Friends of Daley Ranch Board Meeting Minutes

April 18, 2013
Present: Board members Fred Woods, Rick Paul, Mike Whalen, Jim Schafer, Dick Althouse, Jerry Harmon and Rick Mercurio; and guest Sally Costello

Escondido Humane Society:
FODR invited the head of the Escondido Humane Society, Sally Costello, to introduce herself and her organization, which is a neighbor of Daley Ranch. Sally told us all about the EHS. It has been in its present location next to the Caballo trailhead for eight years. Sally has lived in Escondido since 1991. The EHS contracts with Escondido, Poway and San Marcos for many services, with a focus on companion animals. They pick up strays and house them; deal with injured animals; pick up and rescue wild animals; deal with animals threatening public safety or creating a hazard; conduct dog licensing; monitor quarantining after bites; handle animal abuse; contract with three Indian tribes for services; and provide educational services including pet camps for kids. No healthy animals are euthanized except for venomous snakes, which Sally said is a state requirement. Sally said that she is happy to have a good neighbor like Daley Ranch. Jerry asked if the FODR and EHS boards might have an informal get-together, and Sally said she would take that back to her board.

Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Jim summarized highlights from the March meeting minutes. Rick P moved to approve them. Mike seconded and the motion passed unanimously. In the future, Rick M will strive to briefly summarize previous minutes at the start of each meeting. Rick P delivered a printed treasurer’s report. He said that the El Caballo Park has now been approved as its own 501c3 non profit, and therefore will no longer need FODR’s assistance with banking. Mike moved to approve reimbursing Rick M for $97.01 postage expenses related to the upcoming membership mailer. Rick P seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
School Visits: The first ten seventh grade field trips are completed, with the final two scheduled for April 23 and 24. Fred has been working hard to coordinate each visit, and all reports have been positive. We will offer another invitation to Escondido Charitable Foundation members to witness the experience on one of these last two dates. The Board brainstormed ideas to raise money and awareness in order to facilitate next year’s trips. Fred suggested a “road show” to local service organizations, like Rotary, and to Indian casinos. We also ought to meet with the school district superintendent, who has shown great enthusiasm for this year’s trips. We should encourage each middle school to help with costs. We will also consider a “matching funds” program. The school visits will be a headline item in all our fundraising efforts, including the next newsletter.

Restoration of Buildings: Dick Althouse has been very busy meeting with various City planning officials in order to obtain final approval for the plans to restore the foreman’s quarters building. He is still awaiting final approval. Once it is obtained he will seek volunteers to help remove the roof, and to continue the dismantling and reconstruction.
New Website: David Woods has launched the new FODR website. Board members praised the site, and David’s work, for many reasons. The Facebook presence has been particularly effective in bringing new users to our organization. The Board is enthusiastic about all the new features, and we thank Don Piller for agreeing to continue as our webmaster.
FODR Outreach: Jerry re-stated his goal of having FODR become an active member of the Escondido Creek Watershed Alliance. Rick M mailed its current leader, Olga Diaz, a formal request from FODR to join the group, and to appoint Jim as our representative. We have not yet heard back. The Board is happy to make our native plant guide available to ECWA when and if they request it. Jerry mentioned upcoming hikes to which the Board is invited, including to Bottle Peak April 27 and to University Heights on May 4. Rick P suggested that FODR reciprocate by inviting members of other boards to FODR hikes, including his own. The Board agreed that was a good idea. Everyone is invited to Cruising the Creek bike ride sponsored by Reveal Escondido Creek on May 5 at 8:30 a.m. starting in Grape Day Park.
Panorama Signs: Mike was able to negotiate with EZ Signs to produce a higher quality product for the replacement signs atop Stanley Peak. Jim generously volunteered to install the new signs, which are now in place. He said the photo signs look sharp, and we are all very happy with how this project has turned out.
Grape Day: The Board agreed to participate in this year’s Grape Day event on September 7. Rick P moved to pay the booth fee of $35. Rick M seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Rick M said that the Grape Day parade permit is usually mailed to him, and we will once again join in.
Weekends at the Ranch: Fred agreed to write a brief letter of response to Barbara Redlitz of the City regarding FODR’s proposed weekend presence near the La Honda entrance. This would be staffed only on Saturdays and Sundays, if and when volunteers are available. We are proposing only simple shade, such as an umbrella, with a small table and chair, in order to provide information to users as an outreach on behalf of the City and FODR. We would not sell anything, but may accept donations.
Fundraising Campaign, Press Release & Newsletter: Rick M read his draft of a fundraising letter that will soon be mailed to everyone on our database who has not donated in more than a year. The letter emphasizes the need for funding for the school visits, and also for building restoration and more signage. The letters will include a remit envelope. It was decided to create a stamp with FODR’s address to use as the return address on the large envelope and the mailing address on the remit envelope. Rick M also read his draft of a press release about the school visits. Fred will supply a photo to go with this release. The FODR Board had agreed to publish our newsletter on a quarterly schedule in May, August, November, and February. Wendy Barker asks us to submit content a month before publication. This means that we are already past that deadline for a May newsletter.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, May 16 at 6 p.m. at the home of Fred.
Respectfully submitted,
Rick Mercurio