Friends of Daley Ranch Board Meeting Minutes

November 15, 2007


Present: Fred Woods, Rick Paul, Sally Thomas, Irene O’Neill, Carol Stanford, Mike Whalen, Rick Mercurio, and from the City, Tony Smock


     President Fred Woods opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the Train Depot in Escondido. The minutes from the October meeting were approved as written. Irene gave the treasurer’s report, indicating a balance of $7139 in checking and $14,060 in the investment account. In addition, we received $795 in membership renewals following the last newsletter. We agreed that the pre-addressed envelopes we included really did pay off for us. We also discussed the possibility of digging up the iron ranger near the ranch house and moving it to a drier location.

     Under old business Rick Paul distributed a handout with a proposal for an investment committee and policies. Rick M moved to approve the formation of an investment subcommittee consisting of Rick Paul, Irene O’Neill and Mike Whalen. Sally seconded and the motion passed unanimously. The committee then approved the Investment Policy Statement that Rick Paul had shared. They also approved the transfer of $5000 from the checking account into the investment portfolio. Rick Paul confirmed that this money was liquid.

     The Board had a lengthy discussion about the proposed native plant garden and the restoration of the outbuildings. Tony said that the structures may have to be propped up from the outside with beams to protect them from falling. Mike has met with Bob McQuead, the architect, and with Jay Petrek of the City. Jay is very interested in both the garden and the outbuildings, but said the City has not allocated money for either. One possibility is to dismantle the exterior boards, rebuild the framing correctly, then replace the original boards. We could ask the Daley family for financial help, and we could seek blacksmithing help from Bandy volunteers. Tony said that he hoped City crews could begin by cutting away brush from the structures, and diverting potential water run-off away from the wood of the buildings. The Board discussed locating the native plant garden on the slope just north of the old “Sears Catalog” house on the hill to the east of the ranch house. The slope now features an old fruit tree orchard, which could potentially be integrated into the garden.

     Rick M. suggested asking Bob McQuead if he might be willing to conduct a preliminary assessment of what would need to be done to restore the outbuildings. We need a “master plan.” Mike agreed to contact Bob. If a fee were to be charged the Board would have to consider this at our next meeting. Another possibility is that Bob may point us in the right direction. Tony said that we ought to investigate whether the structures may be considered historically significant as an early California ranch complex, and thus be eligible for a grant. Fred will discuss this with Wendy Barker of the History Center, and also see about volunteers to help with the project.

     Sally will look into possible dates for a tour of the xeriscape garden at Cuyamaca College. She and Tracey are still looking into a letter to property neighbors of the ranch regarding illegal entry.

     Next meeting is January 17 at the Train Depot.

Respectfully submitted, Rick Mercurio, Secretary