Minutes of the Friends of Daley Ranch Board Meeting

June 28, 2012


Present: Fred Woods, Mike Whalen, Dick Althouse, Jerry Harmon, and Rick Mercurio

Fred opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the home of Dick. Rick Paul had sent the most recent treasurerís report via email a few days earlier. Mike said the new checks from our Mission Federal account have arrived. Mike also reported that he has $93.56 in cash from the El Caballo event and the iron ranger. Rick M gave Mike two receipts for newsletter related expenses, and Mike will give these to Rick P for reimbursementFred gave Mike $170 he had received for the Sally Thomas fund. This will be put into a separate savings sub-account at Mission Federal. The Board agreed that this money should be the foundation for a permanent endowment fund in Sallyís name, with the interest to be used to support educational outreach at Daley Ranch. We hope to continue to solicit additional donations for this new fund. The FODR website should be a vehicle for such a purpose.
Rick M reported that Norm Syler passed away in April. Norm served as the original FODR treasurer, and was a great friend of the environment. We will submit a memorial article in the next newsletter.
Fred discussed the need to establish a formal procedure for sponsoring FODRís participation in any sort of event. Any Board member may suggest a booth or other sort of presence. Normally this would be part of the regular Board agenda. If, however, the event falls before the next Board meeting, that suggestion should be emailed out to the rest of the Board well in advance of the event in order for organizational details to be worked out. The Board agreed with Fred.
Rick M and Mike reported about their research into panorama signs. In order to view other signs, they visited Mule Hill trail together, and Mike visited Lake Wohlford. Mike shared his photos of these signs with the Board. In addition, Mike and Rick visited EZ Signs and spoke with its owner, Pete, who gave them a sample of the material to be used along with a sample of the photographic quality. Jerry moved to approve the purchase of two signs from EZ Signs for the top of Stanley Peak, and to ask Pete to refer us to a company that could make frames for the signs. Mike seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. Rick and Mike will pursue this, and look toward Sunrise Rotary for help in mounting the signs.
Wendy Barker did another great job of putting together our newsletter, which was just mailed and emailed to our membership. The Board agreed to thank Wendy for her work. We also appreciate Don Piller for working on an updated website. It will be ready this Monday, July 2.
The Board discussed the possibilities for honoring Sally Thomas, in addition to the endowment fund already mentioned. Jerry has built a memorial bench, which he brought to the meeting. It looks great, with Sallyís name engraved, along with a green oak tree to symbolize Daley Ranch. The Board would like to place this bench along Ranch House Road where sign #20 is located. This would offer a view of Stanley Peak, which Sally worked hard to preserve. It would also be placed in a position that could accommodate a U-shaped, low profile stone wall, similar to those on Mule Hill Trail. In the future we could install a panorama sign or two along that wall. Scouts and/or Rotary could assist with such a project. Jerry will check with Tony about the bench placement. Also, the Board hopes to construct a new wooden display board at the entrance to Caballo Trail. At this location we could have the FODR mission statement, plant guides, and an iron ranger. We also noted the need to post rules for the ranch, in both English and Spanish.
Dick and Jerry reported on the utility building project. They and Mike recently visited the site and carefully examined the foremanís quarters. Dick is currently completing drawings for its reconstruction. He wants to re-use as much of the original wood and other materials as possible, though he noted that much of the roof, or all of it, will need to be replaced. Once Dickís drawings are finished he will obtain a demo and building permit from the City so we can proceed. A new electrical structure, with an outlet, has been built at the north end of the buildings.
Jerry reported that at the recent city council meeting when the ranch house restoration project was discussed, the mayor asserted that henceforth, all money that the City collects from Daley Ranch mitigation bank credit sales will go into the general fund, rather than be used for ranch needs. The Board unanimously and vigorously opposes this policy. We feel that the City needs to use these funds for a biologist and other habitat protection, which was an original purpose from the implementation agreement that created the conservation bank. Rick M will write a letter expressing our stand to the City.
Rick M moved to transfer FODR funds from our US Bank account into our new Mission Federal Credit Union account. Mike seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
Fred and Rick M reported on grants for school visits to the ranch. The Escondido Charitable Foundation made a ďsite visitĒ to the Hilltop picnic area at Dixon Lake, after FODRís application had made the first cut. We feel that we made a good impression on the four ladies who visited, and we will hear the results at the end of July. On June 27 Rick M and Fred attended the kickoff luncheon in San Diego for the SDG&E environmental grant program. They have already begun working on this application, which is due July 27.
In accordance with the FODR bylaws, the Board held its annual election of officers. Rick M moved to nominate Mike as the vice president, and to re-nominate the rest of the existing officers. Jerry seconded, and the Board unanimously elected the slate. The elected officers are as follows: President, Fred Woods; Vice-President, Mike Whalen; Secretary, Rick Mercurio; Treasurer, Rick Paul. Congratulations to Mike, one of the hardest-working members on the Board!
The Board discussed ways to increase renewals. Our current system does not alert email newsletter recipients about their renewal date. We like the idea of sending out a reminder letter with a remittance envelope, possibly every two months, to those whose membership is due. Since we just sent out newsletters with envelopes, we need to wait a couple months before implementing this new policy.
The next Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. on July 19 at the Train Depot.
Respectfully submitted,
Rick Mercurio, Secretary