Friends of Daley Ranch Board Meeting Minutes

Sept. 18, 2008


Present: Fred Woods, Jerry Harmon, Mike Whalen, Rick Paul, Carol Stanford, Tracey Brown, and Rick Mercurio from the Board; Tony Smock from the City.

     Fred opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the Train Depot in Grape Day Park, Escondido. Rick P. moved to accept the minutes from August as written by Sally. Mike seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Rick P. delivered his treasurer’s report. We have a grand total of $22,123 between checking and investment accounts.

     Tony reported on several items. The City has been actively working on the ranch house restoration for the past three weeks. The deck is off and some of the shingles have been removed from the siding. Workers will check to see what wood needs to be replaced. The original tongue and groove is visible in parts of the deck. The City will clear 100 feet of brush around the house, and trim nearby trees, for fire protection. Tony finally got permission from wildlife agencies to remove 20% of the non-native willows from the creek bed in front of the house. Some silt may also be removed. The City Council has authorized up to $700,000 for the ranch house project, and the money is coming from the mitigation bank credits. Tony also reported that the well has been repaired but there are ongoing issues with the bacteria count. The City is checking on what can be done. The garage may be converted into restrooms, but the exact strategy is still uncertain; the hope is to retain the visual appearance of the current garage, which is architecturally sympathetic to the house. SDG&E will be replacing its utility poles, converting from wooden to metal. This will require a slightly larger footprint, which means that SDG&E may have to provide mitigation funds for habitat removal. Tony said that Lori Vereker is the Director of Utilities, and is therefore the City administrator for Daley Ranch operations. Rick M. will add her to the email list. Tony also said that Lincoln Elementary School will be visiting the ranch for two days in November.

     Fred thanked those Board members who worked at Grape Day and marched in the parade. We noted that the nice trail maps were popular, and we will look into making more copies of these. Rick M. asked about next steps with the proposed restoration of the outbuildings. Fred will try for another meeting with Bob McQuead in order to establish a definite, specific set of steps that need to be done. This should include materials, a sequence, and needs for specialized vs. “grunt” labor. Once these items are established FODR can begin to coordinate volunteer efforts and/or fundraising.

     Tena Scruggs has expressed an interest in connecting with high school students at Daley Ranch. These would include special needs kids with whom she works.

     Jerry reported that this Saturday Deer Park will host an open house for all neighbors, followed by a meeting of those interested in land use issues nearby. Concerns include access, development, and open space easements. The Buddhists also want to plan an Earth Day event for this spring. All are welcome.

     The Board discussed the status of biological monitoring at the ranch. We were grateful to Sally for obtaining a copy of the Merkel report, at long last. Tracey said she would like to examine it.  No monitoring is apparently being done at the ranch, and the Board expressed a desire to reexamine the specific agreement that established the conservation bank to see what sort of monitoring is required.

     Jerry said the next CEO meeting will be at 5:30 on Sept. 23. Next FODR Board meeting will be at 6 p.m. on October 16 at Mike’s house. Directions will be emailed. The next Depot meeting will be Nov. 20.


Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, Secretary