Temecula-Elsinore-Anza-Murrieta Resource Conservation District
Regular Board Meeting
Thursday, May 11, 2017 4:00 PM
41923 Second Street, Fourth Floor
Temecula, CA 92590
I. PRELIMINARY FUNCTIONS
Call to Order, 4:00 p.m., meeting recorded by Rose Corona
Roll Call/Establish a Quorum:
Directors Present: Rose Corona (President); Michael Newcomb; Judy Guglielmana
Directors absent: Carol Lee Brady, David Kuhlman
Associate Directors Present: Randy Feeney (arrived late)
Associate Directors Absent: Rick Neugebauer
District Counsel Absent: Tawny Lieu, Greg Priamos
Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCS) Absent: Bob Hewitt
Office Manage Present: Dave McElroy
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
President Corona requested a motion to approve the agenda. Director Guglielmana moved to approve, and Director Newcomb seconded. Call for vote. Motion passed 3-0.
II. CONSENT CALENDAR, III. CORRESPONDENCE & IV. GENERAL INFORMATION
President Corona called for a motion to approve the consent calendar, correspondence and general information with no changes. Director Guglielmana moved; Director Newcomb seconded. Call for vote. Motion passed 3-0.
V. ACTION ITEMS/ DISCUSSION CALENDAR
Item 1: Discussion and potential approval of firm to conduct District’s annual compilation report for FY 2016 and 2017
President Corona reported that Nigro & Nigro’s compilation for 2015-2016 was not yet completed because the approval from the Board of Supervisors (to perform yearly compilations with an audit the 5th year, rather than an annual audit) had not been received until tax season, and CPA firms were very busy at that time of year. Office Manager Dave McElroy reported that estimated completion date was the following Friday.
President Corona noted that Nigro & Nigro had been the low bidder each time an RFP for CPA services had been issued, and that the deadline for the next compilation is very close. She asked for the Board’s thoughts regarding a suggestion by Mr. McElroy with which she agreed – having Nigro & Nigro do next year’s report rather than going out to bid again. Director Guglielmana said that it would probably be the easiest and most expeditious way to have it done. Director Newcomb said that he had no additional comments on the topic.
President Corona called for a motion to approve having Nigro and Nigro do the 2016-2017 compilation. Director Guglielmana moved; Director Newcomb seconded. Call for vote. Motion passed 3-0.
Item 2: Discussion and potential approval of Investment Policy as amended to reflect the current name of TEAM RCD
President Corona reminded the Board that the document for review was in the packet, and that there didn’t appear to be many changes from the original financial policy that had been in place for EMARCD. District Counsel had changed the name to TEAMRCD. Mr. McElroy noted that this is part of a larger project for the development of policies that will be provided to the Board for review in approval. After brief discussion, Director Newcomb said that he had no objections.
President Corona moved to approve the financial policy with the name change. Director Guglielmana seconded. Call for vote. Motion passed 3-0.
VI. OLD BUSINESS
Item 1: Discussion and update on Benton Channel Easement Proposal
President Corona provided an update, reporting that she and Mr. McElroy had met with Fish & Wildlife and Mission Pacific and at the meeting had given them TEAM RCD’s property analysis report that had been prepared for TEAM RCD by Ms. Mandy Parkes (of Inland Empire RCD). President Corona provided some background regarding the series of events leading up to the meeting, including TEAM RCD’s estimated cost for work that will be required to maintain the easement in perpetuity vs. the offer from the developer as the endowment.
At this point in the meeting, Associate Director Feeney arrived.
President Corona continued with the discussion and restated concerns that had been expressed by TEAM RCD’s Board and Fish & Wildlife in prior meetings regarding some previous endowments that had been underfunded. In this case, she said that the offer from the developer essentially covers 5 years, and doesn’t fully cover the basic requirements for the channel. The numbers provided by Ms. Parkes took inflation and other projected factors into consideration, and President Corona pointed out that TEAM RCD is responsible for the easement in perpetuity. With the uncertainty of future economic and environmental conditions and increased requirements that have been issued by Fish & Wildlife, TEAM RCD’s estimate may need to be reviewed and adjusted if any further changes occur, such as additional mitigation being considered adjacent to the property. President Corona said that she declined to provide a final agreed-upon number to the developer in a phone conversation because that’s a board decision. She asked if anyone had additional questions and opened the floor for discussion.
Director Newcomb noted that it would be negligent on the part of the TEAM RCD Board to approve the low amount offered by the developer if the Directors reasonably believe it should be a higher figure based on consultation with various groups they rely upon. He said he thought it would be fair to all parities for TEAM RCD to clearly articulate to the developer that the estimated figure is what’s needed in order to fulfill TEAM RCD’s obligations, and anything less is not acceptable. There was further discussion and agreement between Directors Newcomb, Guglielmana and Corona.
President Corona noted that she and Mr. McElroy would be meeting with Jeff Brandt at Fish & Wildlife the following week and invited other Directors to attend as well.
Item 2: Discussion and potential approval for June 9th, 2017 Special Meeting to visit Conservation Easements
President Corona turned the floor over to Mr. McElroy, who outlined the tentative agenda and order of stops. He suggested June 9, the day after the regular board meeting. There was general discussion regarding logistics and special meeting notification and posting requirements. Mr. McElroy suggested calling for a motion and vote authorizing him to reserve a rental vehicle with $200 cap. The Board agreed to table it until Director Newcomb obtained a quote on his laptop, and President Corona proceeded to the next item.
Item 3: Discussion and update on Boot Strap Grant and Requirements
Mr. McElroy reported that he was working on the policy manual and list of items required in order to satisfy the first tier of governance outlined by the state, which was one of the tasks the grant funding is helping accomplish. There will be policies for Board review included with meeting packets starting with an associate director policy and a volunteer policy.
President Corona noted that submittal of form 700s is also a requirement, as well as ethics training for all Directors (including associate) and sexual harassment training for Directors only.
At this point in the meeting Director Newcomb said that he was ready to return to the tabled item 2 since he had obtained a quote online, with a range of prices up to $142 plus taxes and fees. President Corona suggested having Director Newcomb negotiate the best option and authorize up to $150 for a passenger van. There was no further discussion, and she moved to approve up to $150 and approve allowing Director Newcomb to negotiate and reserve a passenger van for the Board to visit conservation easements.
Director Guglielmana seconded the motion. Call for vote. Motion passed 3-0.
Item 4: Discussion of Due Diligence application with CDFW
Mr. McElroy clarified the difference between due diligence vs. tier one requirements for the grant, and explained that although they’re similar there are a few things required by Fish & Wildlife for due diligence that are not required for the tier one status. Part of the grant is also being able to show Fish & Wildlife that TEAM RCD is also doing due diligence, and Mr. McElroy suggested that TEAM RCD work on doing both. He said that he would prepare the form and bring it to the Board for approval prior to submitting it to Fish & Wildlife for approval.
President Corona briefly summarized the history leading up to a prior hold that had been placed on the District (at the time known as Elsinore-Murrieta-Anza RCD or EMARCD) and their ability to take more conservation easements. At that time, requalification required three straight years of certain milestones which TEAM RCD and the new Board is close to achieving. With the due diligence requirements met and submittal/approval to new standards by California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW), TEAM RCD could then be on the approved list for developers to approach. She noted that this item was an administrative update only, and no approvals were needed from the Board at this time.
Item 5: Discussion and update on Crop Swap and Water Audits
President Corona again turned the floor over to Mr. McElroy, who reported that since the last meeting there have been three Crop Swap applications and one irrigation audit application. He said that Lance (who is TEAM RCD’s partner at Mission RCD and does the field work for the audits) spoke at a conference, which may have encouraged some more participation. There was brief general discussion, and President Corona moved to the next item.
Item 6: Update and discussion for 2015-2016 Compilation
President Corona noted that this item had been previously covered and moved to item 7.
Item 7: Update of Earth Day-Plant sale
Mr. McElroy reported that some plants that had been donated by a local nursery and TEAM RCD had sold about 125-150 of them for $1 each. There also was a person from the City of Temecula that visited the booth and asked if TEAM RCD might consider giving a presentation to City Council introducing the District and exploring how there might be an opportunity for a partnership with the City of Temecula in the future. He noted that this might be a good future agenda item to discuss.
VII. NEW BUSINESS
Item 1: Discussion of monthly meeting with Fish & Wildlife
President Corona reminded the Board that Jeff Brandt has made the third Thursday of every month a time that RCDs can meet with him if desired, and that there would be a meeting at 11:00 the following Thursday and the Board is welcome to attend.
Item 2: Discussion and update of meeting with Army Corp of Engineers for in-lieu fee program in partnership with Mission RCD
President Corona said that she and Mr. McElroy had met with Peggy Bartels (Army Corp). There had once been a program in place between Mission RCD and EMARCD (now TEAM RCD) to perform work in the watershed without requiring TEAM RCD to have conservation easements in perpetuity in order to do the work. This program was for landowners with one acre or less, and Miss Bartels said that she would go back and review the paperwork along with Judy Mitchell (Mission RCD) to see if there was any language regarding a termination date. She noted that it would be helpful to the District to work in partnership with them to help small property owners.
Item 3: Discussion and possible approval of creation of ad-hoc committee to create more specific board procedures and policies
President Corona suggested that the Board table this item to be discussed at the next meeting when more Directors are present. Mr. McElroy noted that Director Brady (absent) had indicated that she would help. Director Newcomb noted that the County of Riverside Board of Supervisors had adopted procedures, and since TEAM RCD operates under similar rules those procedures could be reviewed to see if they could be adopted as well. President Corona said that was the goal and, and rather than reinventing the wheel the ad-hoc committee would be considering that as an option.
VIII. ORAL/WRITTEN REPORTS
1. District Counsel Gregory P. Priamos/Tawny Lieu – not present
2. TEAMRCD Director Reports Open
Rose Corona – nothing to report except to remind the Board of training requirements
Dave Kuhlman – not present
Carol Lee Brady – not present
Michael Newcomb – nothing to report
Judy Guglielmana – nothing to report
3. Associate Director Reports Open
Rick Neugebauer – not present
Randy Feeney – nothing to report
4. SAWA/Fire Safe Reports Rick Neugebauer, Representative: not present
IX. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Update and discussion regarding ad hoc committee for additional content for website and potential approval for process in presentation of content to the Board for approval and approval of content by Counsel
President Corona moved to adjourn; Director Guglielmana seconded. Call for vote. Motion passed 3-0.
Carol Lee Brady -Secretary/Treasurer Date