Friends of Daley Ranch Board Minutes

February 25, 2020


Present: Colleen Mackinnon, Jerry Harmon, Fred Woods, Dick Althouse, Denise Harter, and Rick Mercurio


Draft Letter to Attorney Johnson: The Board discussed seeking legal advice to ensure compliance with FODR's Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, before extending Denise's contract when the grant term ends in May.  Rick drafted a letter to Keven Johnson, the attorney who wrote and submitted the original legal documents for FODR in 1997.  The Board (excluding Denise) agreed to take this action, and Rick's draft letter was approved. He will mail it. Denise left the room for this discussion to protect against conflict of interest issues. 


Administrative Business: Colleen opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the Train Depot in Grape Day Park, Escondido. The Board received notice that Liz Ridder was resigning her position on the FODR Board in order to have more time for her professional responsibilities at Cal State University San Marcos. The Board individually expressed our thanks to Liz for her dedication and hard work. She will be sorely missed.

The minutes from the January “retreat” meeting were discussed. Fred requested that the minutes be changed to indicate his vote on the 2020 FODR budget be changed to “No.” Jerry moved approval of the revised minutes. Dick seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Denise, under her role as FODR treasurer, presented the Board an Assessment of the Financial Records of FODR. She found several issues that ought to be addressed in order to upgrade record keeping methods to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). She also listed priorities and next steps. Her report compiled Grant & Temporarily Restricted Income Reconciliation for 2019. The Board also discussed possibilities of using locked filing cabinets or some sort of safe deposit box for secure archiving of printed records.

Dick moved approval for two reimbursements: $27.76 to Fred for copies of the FODR newsletter for the SDF visitation meeting last year; and $469.84 to Rick for winter newsletter printing and postage, and for purchase of a new TV for use in the local history learning station for the seventh grade visits. Jerry seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.


Protocol for Meeting Reminders: The Board discussed the method and timing of notifications of upcoming meetings and events. Colleen said she would work on the automatic notification program she uses in order to ensure email reminders to Board members within a few days of events, including agendas.


SDMBA Grant: The San Diego Mountain Bike Association recently announced that the application for a Daley Ranch Trails Maintenance grant was approved. FODR was one of three entities that pledged $5000 each toward the matching grant worth $30,000. Colleen, Denise, and Rick attended the initial meeting to discuss the next steps. Also attending were Chris K and Greg G from the City, Scott Hanson and Ben from SDMBA, and Ann from TECC. The grant will fund a significant study of the Daley Ranch geography to create a detailed master plan for trail improvements and realignments. FODR and TECC attendees stressed the importance of commencing habitat monitoring of the conservation bank in compliance with the Daley Ranch Master Plan and Daley Ranch Conservation Agreement with the Wildlife Agencies.


April Newsletter: Denise has already submitted three items: an autobiographical introduction including a photo, a summary/thank you for a successful end-of-year membership campaign, and an “ad” for FODR’s online merchandise for sale. Rick will write an item about the Escondido Union School District honoring FODR for its partnership. Denise has photos for this. Rick will reach out to Scott Hanson for an article about the successful trails management grant.


Insurance: Denise stressed the need for FODR to purchased Directors and Officers Liability Insurance. She has already obtained one quote. Colleen said she would seek others, including asking TECC for recommendations.

Annual Picnic: The annual member appreciation picnic is set for March 29. The City has generously agreed to supply shuttle service. Sister organizations have agreed to provide speakers for the program, and a pre-lunch hike will be organized. Colleen has already created an email invitation. She will coordinate jobs and responsibilities for the Board and other volunteers closer to the event.


Five-Acre Parcel: Colleen met with Jay Petrek, Michael McGuinness, and Paul Van Elderen about the City's interest in acquiring Van Elderen's five-acre county-zoned parcel located just west of the La Honda parking area. FODR has volunteered to finance the appraisal and seek grant funding for the purchase. The matter was brought to City Council in Closed Session on February 5, 2020. Jay reported back to Colleen that the City is not interested at this time.  He suggested that Van Elderen and FODR could reintroduce the offer after the City addresses the sales tax measure in the coming months. 


School Visits: The first of 11 visits is set for tomorrow. All learning stations will now be located in the Ranch House area. Fred has been extremely busy planning for these trips. The Escondido Community Foundation (ECF) has approved FODR’s Letter of Intent for grant funding of the 2021 school visits. Rick and Fred will work on the final grant application which is due March 23.


Barn Restoration: Dick says he is “dismayed” by the issues surrounding engineering assistance for his plans to strengthen and reinforce the barn’s structure. He has been trying to get professional assistance from structural engineers and subsequent approval from the City planners. Besides strengthening the barn, he seeks to retain as much of the original materials and appearance as possible. He will continue to work on his plans.


Next Meetings: A strategic planning meeting is set for 6 p.m. at Colleen’s home on March 10. The next regular meeting will be March 17 at 7 p.m. at the Depot.


Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, Secretary