Friends of Daley Ranch Board Minutes

May 11, 2006

Present: Board members Sally Thomas, Jerry Harmon, Carol Stanford, Rick Paul, Tracey Brown and Rick Mercurio; guests Rick Landavazzo and Dwayne Boney.


     Sally called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. at the Train Depot in Grape Day Park, Escondido. Minutes from the previous meeting were approved without reading. No treasurer’s report. Sally said that about two dozen people attended our May 6 meeting, which was a great success. Plans were made for the May 21 Street Fair booth.

     Jerry said that strategic planning arrangements are still pending, and that he has not yet heard from the San Diego Foundation. He also said that CRN has named the acquisition of Stanley Peak one of its top three priorities for this fiscal year due to its importance as a biological resource. Its location is critical, being wedged between the City’s MHCP and the County’s MSCP areas. It was noted that if development were allowed on the site it may prove costly in the long run for the City to mitigate edge effects in Daley Ranch.

     Tracey was unable to attend the SDF workshops, but everyone agreed that FODR should strive to send a representative to this valuable offering in the future. It includes grant-writing skills, nurturing key relationships, fund raising, and other knowledge that will be important to FODR. Tracey reported on her meeting with City officials the previous Monday. First she met with Barbara Redlitz then with the Daley Ranch “management committee.” They reported to her that historic preservation specialist Bob McQuead has been hired by the City as the lead architect for ranch house renovations. The committee also reiterated that the City’s Merkel biological report is not technically a public document. The City has been using a one-page interim management plan approved by the wildlife agencies, but has not yet implemented a full-fledged biological monitoring program. FODR will be discussing the biological needs of Daley Ranch at future meetings.

     Carol reported that the Daley Ranch Volunteer Association met this week. She said that a mosquito larvacide in pellet form has been used in the various ponds at Daley. The Daley Ranch photo contest will be skipped this year but planning has already begun for next year’s contest.

     Sally, Jerry and Rick Paul reported on Stanley Peak. The City has met with the owner and the grant money is insufficient for the asking price. Redlitz said that private organizations such as FODR would be allowed to raise funds to make up this difference. With this in mind, the Board brainstormed ideas with Rick Landavazzo. A meeting among representatives from FODR (Sally), Hellhole Canyon (Rick L.) and TECC (Geoffrey Smith) was set for May 17. They will formulate plans for a cooperative fund raising drive. A first priority, however, must be the City reaching a purchase agreement with the owner. To this end, we want to encourage the City to hasten its negotiations; Rick Paul will work on personal contacts and Sally will draft a letter. Rick L. said that FODR could be the “lead organization” and that we ought to establish a second bank account for property acquisition. We will need pledges, a time line, a launch date, and possibly “bridge financing” from SDF or TECC.

    Next FODR board meeting is June 8, at 6 p.m., at Rick Mercurio’s house.

Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio