Board Meeting Recap: July 2, 2019

The scene at 9:33am. A few more people showed up by the start.

Update: Caitlin Kreutz’s fire mitigation presentation was added below, and she is an employee of three years, not a new employee.

A fairly lightly attended Board meeting was kicked off around 9:45am Tuesday morning (apparently the executive session took quite a while, having started at 8:00am). New officers were elected, all via unanimous vote:

  • President: Rick Sapp
  • V.P.: Mike Gallagher
  • Treasurer: Bill Weber

Committee Liaisons:

  • CDRC: Sharon Ruhnau and Bill Strong
  • Forest: Laurel Lemarie
  • Golf: Steve Dunn
  • Osuna: Laurel Lemarie
  • Technology: Rick Sapp
  • Tennis: Rick Sapp
  • Trails: Bill Strong
  • Water: Bill Weber
  • Compensation: Composed of Steve Dunn, Mike Gallagher, and Bill Weber

County Supervisor Jim Desmond

Our fairly new County Supervisor (6 month in the job, still a part time Delta pilot) stood up and gave a presentation on several topics:

  • You may have heard that SANDAG is looking to renege on their promise to spend sales tax money on much needed freeway projects and instead spend the remaining amount on public transit? Desmond is not a fan of this and provided us with a handout outlining the problems with SANDAG’s approach. He urges people to show up to SANDAG meetings which are held in downtown San Diego, and thus are populated by transit proponents.
  • The County should start resurfacing our streets “soon” now that the fiber network is mostly done tearing them up.
  • Fire season is starting soon and Desmond recommended people register with the Alert San Diego webpage, or download the SD Emergency app so that you can get alerted during wildfire emergencies.
  • News to me was that San Diego County is paying to take care of the thousands of asylum seekers flooding our border. It used to be that the federal government would take on this essentially federal cost, but the County is now being stuck with the bill. The County is suing the feds for the cost, but Desmond didn’t appear optimistic.

Member Input: Rory Kendall

Rory made an impassioned plea for the Association to get moving on building a permanent toilet for our baseball diamond. He said that he first brought up the need to remove the Covenant contravening porta potty in September 2010 and the Association brushed him off. It wasn’t until his 4th attempt to get the Association moving (we wrote about it two years ago) that the Board finally allocated $100K to build a restroom. Since then, the project has somewhat moved ahead (see here for an update), but still appears stuck in neutral.

Rory had heard that there was a FEMA flood plain issue, so he went to the County himself to investigate and was told there was no issue. Board Director Sharon Ruhnau offered to work directly with Rory to help move the project forward.

Member Input: Sandy Johnson

Sandy chastised the Association for not following basic courtesy and perhaps even open meeting law by not providing supporting materials for Board resolutions sufficiently ahead of time so that members may review them. On other public Boards that she had been involved in, resolutions were made public well in advance of a meeting where a first reading would take place. Then the following Board meeting, a second reading. This would allow the public to make substantive comments to proposed resolutions. The Association doesn’t come anywhere close to this standard.

In particular, she called out the fences resolution which was posted late the night before an expected Board vote at this meeting. She also pointed out that the CDRC was promised a meeting before a resolution vote, and that meeting never took place. She implored the Board to table the resolution until the CDRC’s objections could be heard.

In the end, when the Board got to the fences resolution item, the Board did in fact decide to table the resolution until the Board and the CDRC could meet.

Small Cell Wireless Letter Sent to County

New Director Laurel Lemarie was involved in getting the Association to hire a consultant to write a letter to the County offering suggestions to their proposed new Small Cell Wireless ordinance (our article about this here). The Board retroactively voted to send the letter (it had been sent over the weekend). Here is a similar letter the San Dieguito Planning Group sent.

Explorer Scouts

Patrol Chief Matt Wellhouser introduced the Explorer Scouts program and its relation to the Patrol. A very well spoken young lady, Isabella, told her story of how she joined  the program 6 1/2 years ago at the age of 14 and how it helped her get onto the path of graduating from college, a feat she had no prior hope to do.

Cost Sharing Agreement

With no substantive discussion, the Restaurant Cost Sharing Agreement was passed with the slight modification of “best efforts” to find two non Golf members to join the Joint Committee changed to “reasonable efforts”. Rachel Laffer and Lisa Barlett separately weighed in on this issue in recent articles.

Golf Club Items

The GC Bylaws were amended to explicitly state that standing committees were advisory only.

The promotional playing privilege was deemed a success so far, and the Board voted to extend the time a new resident could take advantage of it from three months to twelve months.

Parks & Rec

Enthusiastic employee, Caitlin Kreutz, gave a detailed overview of how the Association will spend the $436,400 in grant money for fire mitigation in the two highest risk canyon corridors. Click here for a good presentation of both fires risks and mitigation efforts.

The new playground (which the RSF Post rang the alarm bell on here) is expected to be in place by July 9th.

RSF Connect

Rehash of the meeting last Thursday. To fix the problem of horses stepping through flower pots, the Association is looking to replace the flower pots and possibly vaults with stronger lids. Unfortunately this won’t go far enough since horses can easily slip on those large vault lids that are sometimes placed directly in the middle of the horse trails. The only viable solution is to move the vaults off the horse trails away from the roads. 

Transparency, Accountability and Governance

Monday I wrote an article about transparency, accountability and governance, and so far this new Board still has a ways to go to make substantive changes.

The Board, with new Board members abstaining, accepted the minutes of the June 11 Board meeting even though the minutes were significantly deficient.

President, Vice President and Treasurer positions were obviously pre-determined with votes cast with no discussion. It doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to deduce they discussed these assignments in Executive Session, where members are not permitted to observe. Deciding Board positions is NOT something that is allowed to occur in executive session. Neither is deciding to table a proposed resolution, which is obviously something the Board also discussed in executive session. In a recent article, Lisa Bartlett highlights use and misuse of executive sessions.

No mention was made of any reforms such as allowing meetings to be recorded, noticing improvements, rectifying the lack of minutes for important Board committees, polling members for their opinion on important matters, etc. 

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