Minutes of the Friends of Daley Ranch Board Meeting

May 15, 2012



Present: Fred Woods, Rick Paul, Mike Whalen, Irene O’Neill, Carol Stanford, Dick Althouse, Jerry Harmon, and Rick Mercurio

President Fred Woods opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the train depot in Grape Day Park, Escondido. Rick Paul moved to approve the minutes from the April meeting, compiled by Mike Whalen. Fred seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Rick Paul delivered his treasurer’s report: $7563 in US Bank, $19,693 in our Ivy account, and $9585 in the DRVA account. Two renewals and iron ranger cash brought $116 in new income. Also, we received a check for $100 toward the Sally Thomas Memorial Fund. The Board decided to establish a new sub-account for this fund. The new El Caballo Park Conservancy will be using FODR’s non-profit status for their initial fundraising activities. Therefore, Rick Paul moved to open a separate checking account for this purpose. Mike seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. Rick Paul said that the post office requires a credit card, or possibly a debit card, to automatically pay the annual fee for our post office box. US Bank has not been willing to issue us a card previously. Therefore, before opening the new accounts, Rick Paul and Fred will investigate whether to “negotiate” with US Bank or possibly open a new account at Mission Federal Credit Union.

Fred said that Don Piller is continuing to work on updates to FODR’s website. Mike suggested that he rotate different “cover” photos from Daley Ranch every so often, to literally open up eyes to the beauty of the ranch. Fred also reported that the plant guide order of $1699.22 was paid and delivered today. Thank you to Mike for handling these.

The Board discussed the ongoing utility building restoration project. Mike had drawn a plot plan showing how the buildings could be aligned with the road, and therefore be far enough away from the creek to avoid permits to shore up the bank. Dick said that the foreman’s residence should be the next priority. Jerry and Dick will arrange the necessary paperwork, and then will schedule an outing to create drawings and to ascertain the next steps.

Irene brought up recent land use issues with the property north of the Deer Springs Monastery. Jerry said that the Escondido Creek Conservancy has recently negotiated some acquisitions, together with the monastery, to protect the land. Talks are continuing.

The next newsletter should come out in late May or early June. We want to remember Sally with a photo and an article, which Rick M agreed to draft. Irene had already submitted a “nature” article, Fred will write a President’s Message, and Rick M will write a brief request for a social media volunteer coordinator in order to handle Facebook requests.

The Board will attend the memorial for Sally on May 26 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Jerry will speak on behalf of FODR. Rick P and Irene also plan to speak. Sally served on the FODR Board from September of 1999 until her passing last month. She was our president from May 15, 2000, until February of 2007. She was a passionate defender of the ranch’s wildlife and natural wonders, and she will be sorely missed. The Board discussed possible memorials to Sally at the ranch. Rick P suggested a bench and plaque at the Caballo Trailhead. Mike thought that a bench and plaque might also be fitting at Middle Pond, where there is a great view of Stanley Peak for which Sally fought hard. These ideas will be presented at the May 26 event, where attendees may consider contributing to Sally’s memorial fund.

Rick P said that the Northeast Gateway Coalition has been renamed as El Caballo Park Conservancy, and is meeting frequently as they organize. The FODR Board fully supports this new organization, and Fred suggested that we place our mission statement and possibly plant guides with another iron ranger at this location.

Rick M expressed his opinion that we always need a thorough “vetting” before communicating sensitive or critical comments from FODR to other groups, particularly the City of Escondido. The Board agreed, and will henceforth use the Daley Ranch email, rather than an individual’s email, when official messages are sent.

Mike has been working on changing Google Map’s incorrect labeling of Daley Ranch as Lake City Park. After many unsuccessful attempts, he finally achieved success through the 11 layers of map zooming. Thank you, Mike, for your persistence!

Rick M reported on three companies’ estimates for panorama signs. The latest is from EZ Signs in Escondido, which quoted $233.56 for a laminated sign on aluminum. The Board was enthusiastic about this possibility. Rick M and Mike will continue to pursue this option.

The next Board meeting will be on June 21 at 6 p.m. at the home of Dick Althouse.

Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, Secretary