Friends of Daley Ranch Board Minutes

July 15, 2015


Present: Fred Woods, Mike Whalen, Rick Paul, Dick Althouse, Jim Schafer, Jerry Harmon, Colleen Mackinnon, and Rick Mercurio


Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Fred opened the meeting at 7:15 p.m. at the home of Colleen. The minutes from the June meeting were approved by acclamation. Rick P had emailed his treasurer’s report earlier this day, and he also had a print out. He said everything balances. The Ivy Funds account needed a re-authorization for signatories. The Board formally approved the signatories of this account to be President Woods, and Treasurer Paul.


Informational Panels: Jim has been conducting extensive research in order to plan the three panels that were part of the county grant. He found Van Wormer’s report from 1984 on the utility buildings especially helpful. The barn and Building #4 were most significant historically. But all these utility structures help preserve the “common man’s” history. Jim is also looking into various options for photos, diagrams and other graphic designs, while remembering that we do not want the panels to be overly “busy.” Jim hopes to create one panel for the four utility buildings, one for the barn which would be placed on the east side of the creek near the picnic table, and one for the Engelmann oak habitat to be placed at the top of the first hill along Ranch House Road.


Building Restoration: Dick has been spending plenty of time at City Hall obtaining needed permits. He submitted plans at the end of June, then made requested corrections, then resubmitted, and still needs Fire Dept. approval. He is very close to a final okay, and hopes to begin work with a backhoe within a week and a half. He is finding good deals on equipment. Dick will contact Sandy Zelasko when he sees a good work day photo opportunity, so we can be documenting key progress.


Newsletter: The next newsletter items have all been submitted, and Wendy should have it ready for printing by early next week. Per the Board’s desire to honor Wendy, who is moving on to a new position in Ojai, Dick custom made a beautiful wooden frame for a photo of DR that we purchased from Zelasko. He used wood from the original wainscoting in the train depot for added significance. Dick will contact the History Center to try to arrange a City Council presentation for Wendy, in hopes that we could present the gift to her on that occasion. Meanwhile, Fred will invite Bruce Swanson to our next meeting, with the thought that he may become our next newsletter editor and possibly a Board member.


School Visits and Grants: Fred reported that we still have not been notified about either the Escondido Charitable Foundation grant, the Rotary grant, or the original SDG&E grant. Our third place finish in the Eco Ambassador competition should earn us $2000, but this has yet to be delivered. Fred has been proactive in planning for the 2016 trips by securing dates from all five middle schools.


DR Video: Rick M will remind Zelasko of our request that she create a slideshow that we could use at future events and presentations. Fred will contact Mission Middle School, after they return to school, to see about the possibility of their award winning audio-video department creating a video centered on the school visits.


Member Lunch Event: Colleen has volunteered to coordinate an event for our membership, both current and prospective, which we would like to hold at the ranch house on Nov. 8, the Second Sunday. That way the house will be open to the public, serving as a big draw. She will investigate the possibilities of obtaining some sort of shuttle service for that day, which will necessitate RSVPs for proper planning. She will also look into food options, possibly donated, but in any case free of charge for participants. She also suggested a same-day morning hike, and Rick P volunteered to lead it. Jerry suggested that this would be a perfect occasion to honor people who have made important contributions to FODR or to DR, whether monetarily or otherwise. Rick M will make mailing labels for Colleen to use on invitation postcards. For further publicity we could send press releases to local newspapers, as well as using our email list, the FODR website, and the next newsletter.


Iron Ranger: Mike previously reported the break-in of our iron ranger at the main La Honda entrance. He estimates over $100 may have been stolen. The Board discussed options of making the iron ranger more secure. Jim’s suggestion of welding a heavy-duty hasp, and a using a strong, secure lock, was welcomed, and he will look into this, including contacting Dan Hippert.


Council Springs: Jerry said that the Escondido Creek Conservancy, TECC, is looking into purchasing three properties for habitat open space in the Escondido area, and one of them is the Council Springs 80+ acres adjoining DR on the southwest border. Jerry said the most helpful way that TECC could be assisted in this effort is with widespread community, grassroots support, meaning lots of individual donations, both large and small. To that end, Jerry is hoping to find sympathetic homeowners in the North Broadway/Hidden Valley area willing to host an event, akin to a fundraiser. He would like us to brainstorm for leads.


DRVA: Rick P reported that an organizational meeting was held last Sunday for the Daley Ranch Volunteer Association and other volunteers associated with DR. Kathy Boyd, the incoming coordinator, and Sue Evarts, the current coordinator, both attended. We are encouraged that monthly meetings may now be initiated.


The next meeting is slated for Wednesday, August 19, at 7 p.m. at the train depot.

Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, Secretary