Friends of Daley Ranch Board Minutes
December 19, 2018


Present: Colleen Mackinnon, Rick Paul, Fred Woods, Dick Althouse, Jerry Harmon, and Rick Mercurio.


Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Colleen opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the Train Depot in Grape Day Park. The minutes from the October meeting were read. Rick P moved approval, Colleen seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Rick P had prepared a treasurer’s report, which he summarized. Colleen moved to reimburse Rick M $130 for postage costs for both the summer and fall newsletters. Fred seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Rick P explained that FODR needed a corporate resolution in order to put Colleen on the Mission Fed bank account. Rick M moved approval. Jerry seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Rick P and Colleen will meet Saturday to complete the arrangement. Also, Colleen, besides agreeing to pick up FODR mail, will now become the holder of record for the PO Box, which is still in the name of Irene O’Neill.

The Word Press Engine, which is the hosting site for the FODR webpage, will henceforth be paid by using the DR credit card, beginning when the next payment is due.


School Visits Update: Fred reminded the Board that all the middle schools have been scheduled for the field trips in March and early April. Fred presented a summary of all monies that have been received for this year’s trips, as well as a budget for all expenses. The largest item is the bus service ($13,500), with other categories including the raptor program, the Native American presentation, and lunches; grand total = $18,300. No new capital expenditures are planned at present. We will have to use our general funds to supplement about $3000 in order to make budget. FODR had approved up to $20,000 for this year’s trips, so no further approvals are needed.

Email Best Practices: The Board discussed practices and procedures involving email correspondence.

Newsletter: Rick M reminded the Board that the winter newsletter is set for January. Denise Harter has agreed to write an article on an animal species. Rick M will write a piece about the November picnic, supplemented by photos taken by Mercedes. And Colleen will submit an article about the recent Girl Scout Troop 2906 trip to DR, along with photos. Deadline for all articles is January 7.


Picnic Discussion: The Board evaluated November’s picnic and explored ideas for improvement. The organization and food this year were exceptional, thanks especially to Colleen; Fred, Linda and David Woods; Dick Althouse; and Rick Paul and Mercedes. There were many other volunteers who helped, including high school students. Attendees appreciated the decorations, and the use of the artificial turf on the ranch house grounds with the City’s nice tables and chairs. The date was in the middle of a three-day weekend, which may have hurt attendance. Next year we may move the event up a week to Nov. 3, and hopefully get the City to open the ranch house. It was suggested to shorten the part of the presentation that was all about the Board and our progress report, while adding a more interpretive segment. Ideas included a raptor or other animal “show,” and/or a guided tour of the ranch house and the utility buildings and barn, possibly led by Ranger Gregg Anderson.


Plant Signage: The Board is still considering options for replacing and/or repairing the plant signs at DR. Community organizations such as Sunrise Rotary, or even scout troops, may be willing to help. Colleen will spearhead communication with interested parties about this project.


New Possible Projects:

1. Colleen said that Denise Harter may be applying for a grant from a benefactor in order to expand her tracking efforts in North County, and Daley Ranch in particular. She may want FODR to oversee this grant, in which case we may be supplying “overhead,” for which we would be compensated. The Board enthusiastically endorsed this idea. Denise will offer us more information about this in the near future.

2. Colleen also told the Board that Ann Van Leer of TECC is actively working with City staff on the renovation of the auxiliary buildings near the ranch house.

3. Rick P asked Dick to look at the current position of the FODR kiosk near the trailhead of the Caballo Trail, with hopes of re-locating it to a more appropriate alignment. Dick agreed to look into this. Rick P also mentioned that a County grant will fund a new equestrian arena near the sign for El Caballo Park.

4. The next cycle of grants for the Escondido Charitable Foundation focuses on bringing the community together. Accordingly, FODR may apply for funds in order to establish regular shuttle service on Sundays from the parking area to the ranch house. Rick M will see if he can complete the letter of intent by the January 7 deadline.


Historic Farm Equipment: Dick successfully located an historic corn drill, originally horse drawn, and re-located it to the new fenced in display area just north of the ranch house. He continues to actively search for other items, especially a hay wagon and a freight wagon. He would like to connect with the “other” Daley Ranch in Jamul to see if they might have something. The City does enforce strict standards for safety and liability with any new items.


Next Meeting: The annual FODR Board “retreat” is scheduled for Saturday, January 12, from 10 am until 2 pm, at the Oceanside home of Jerry Harmon.


Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, Secretary