Temecula-Elsinore-Anza-Murrieta Resource Conservation District
Regular Board Meeting
Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 4:00 PM
Per Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20
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), Randy Feeney (Director), Lisa Battiato (Director), Stacy Kuhns (Director)
Directors Absent: Newt Parkes (Director)
Associate Directors Present: Rick Neugebauer
Associate Directors Absent: None
Office Manager: Deborah Getty – Present
District Counsel: Ward Simmons, Best, Best & Krieger – Absent
Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCS): Robert Hewitt – Absent
Guest Speakers: Mandy Parkes
Public Guests: None
Approval of Agenda
President Corona called for a motion to approve the agenda as presented with the removal of Item 1 on the Action Items, swearing in of Newt Parkes and Item1 on Old Business which would provide an update on the task force due to Newt Parkes being absent. Director Kuhns moved and Director Battiato seconded. Motion passed unanimously 4-0.
II. CONSENT CALENDAR, CORRESPONDENCE & GENERAL INFORMATION
President Corona called for a motion to approve the consent calendar, financials, and correspondence and Director Feeney moved and Director Battiato seconded. Motion passed unanimously 4-0
III. ACTION ITEMS/ DISCUSSION CALENDAR
Item 1: Appointment and Swearing in of new Board Director Newt Parkes.
Tabled until next Board meeting.
Item 2: Update and discussion of the Bureau of Reclamation grant for proposed Santa Margarita Watershed Council.
As a result of the withdrawal by WRCOG for the Bureau of Reclamation Grant, it was requested to bring the issue back for a discussion for the Board by Ms.Teri Biancardi, District 7 Flood Control Commissioner, who had worked on the Grant. Via a telephone conversation with President Corona, A.D. Neugebauer and the office manager Deb Getty present, Ms. Biancardi asked that the Board reconsider their objections to the proposal. The sub-committee agreed to put it back on the agenda.
Each Board Director was given the Grant proposal in their packet to read in its entirety and given the opportunity to review the entire proposal as submitted to the Bureau of Reclamation along with the copy of the letter from WRCOG declining the grant prior to the meeting.
A.D. Neugebauer made brief comments regarding the initial discussions with Darcy Kuensey of Flood Control and noted that he had been informed by her that the timeline to put the proposal together was less than 48 hours to make the deadline and that TEAM RCD had not been included in the discussion as a stakeholder. He mentioned that there appeared to be much duplication of efforts in this proposal and perhaps a dilution of those efforts by creating another organization in the Watershed. He also expressed concern regarding the dollar amount being directed toward a new group when there were already existing groups in the watershed doing similar work.
President Corona summarized the telephone conversation referenced above with Ms. Biancardi including AD Neugebauer and the office manager Getty, that the objection to the proposal by the Board was, in short, as follows:
- The Board felt that there was already an existing group (IRWM) who was already doing similar work in the watershed and capable of bringing groups listed in the proposal together for discussion and therefore another group was duplicative. It seemed much better that other groups who wished to improve the watershed should partner with an already established existing group.
- Although TEAM RCD is the major stakeholder in the area of the Santa Margarita Watershed and the RCD whose District covers most of the watershed, they were not even mentioned as a stakeholder and dismissed in a few pages as insignificant in the process.
- Many other stakeholders listed in this proposal were not contacted or notified as to the content of the proposal and once they obtained a copy, also voiced that they would be objecting to the proposal as written. It was pointed out to Ms. Biancardi that TEAM RCD was not the only organization that objected to the proposal. It seemed to the Board that many of the stated “stakeholders” in the proposal were not included or consulted and therefore the proposal would not be as “inclusive” as stated.
The individual Board Directors were then offered the opportunity to comment and voice their opinions in open forum. Following are their responses:
Director Stacy Kuhns: Her feeling was that “there’s too many cooks in the kitchen” and that this proposal was ill written from the beginning. It was her expression that she did not feel that there should be another group or that any group should go forward as it was proposed.
Director Lisa Battiato: She indicated that she read through it briefly and read the executive summary. Director Battiato stated that “It doesn’t really say what they (the potential new Council) feel is missing in the current system. I don’t think another layer of bureaucracy helps anything. I don’t support this.
Director Feeney: Director Feeney expressed” Yes, I was just going to say what Lisa just said. Another layer of bureaucracy. I can’t see that. It just doesn’t make sense. It seems redundant.’”
Director Parkes was absent from the meeting and had not sent forward any comment to be read.
Jack Symes from the Bureau of Reclamation joined the call and was given the opportunity to speak. Although as he stated was “surprised” by WRCOG’s decision to withdraw the grant and that he heard what TEAM RCD was stating about having an organized group already (IRWM) focused on doing projects in the Watershed. He also mentioned that other grant funding from the Bureau of Reclamation would be coming out and TEAM RCD could compete for those funds. He also thanked the Board for giving him a brief opportunity to speak.
The opinion of the Board did not change from their initial opposition to the proposal and with a majority of the Board present, it was clear that the Board felt the decision from WRCOG to withdraw the proposal was appropriate and moved on to the next item of business.
Item 3: Discussion and potential approval of the proposed amended Conflict of Interest Code.
Provided for review, the Notice of Intention, redline copy and Resolution 2020-01 as completed by Best, Best & Krieger. After general discussion President Corona moved to approve the amended Conflict of Interest Code. Director Feeney seconded. Motion passed unanimously 4-0.
Item 4: Discussion and potential approval of appointing new office manager Deborah Getty on a contract basis.
General discussion in regard to Barb Dalton moving into another role and unable to fulfill her obligation. Deborah Getty has stepped in to assist as needed. President Corona moved to appoint Deborah Getty as the new office manager. Director Kuhns seconded. Motion passed unanimously 4-0
Item 5: Discussion and potential approval of conversation easement management recommendation from IERCD.
President Corona provided a quick overview of accounting monies as it relates to Adeline Farms and Greer Ranch. Mandy Parkes discussed the IERCD and TEAMRCD Memorandum of Understanding that allows collaboration of work. General discussion on what IERCD would be able to provide and costs involved on the conservation easement. President Corona moved to spend the $1,200 to get started on the work at Greer Ranch. Director Kuhns seconded. Motion Passed unanimously 4-0.
General discussion as to what may be needed for Adeline Farms and most efficient usage of money would be. Director Battiato to report back at next meeting. President Corona recommended this item be tabled until next meeting. All agreed. No motion necessary.
IV. OLD BUSINESS
Item 1: Update on Homeless Task Force.
No updated provided as Director Parkes is not present. No motion necessary.
Item 2: Discussion and update CDFW cannabis program.
Director Kuhns had no updates at this time. No motion necessary.
Item 3: Update on Long Term Streambed Agreement meeting.
President Corona reports that due to COVID-19 this meeting has been postponed. No motion necessary.
Item 4: Update on Form 700 submission.
President Corona reports that all Form 700’ have been submitted timely as required. No motion necessary.
V. NEW BUSINESS
Item 1: Update on billing for TEAMRCD/SAWA for Riverside County Flood Control.
President Corona reports that we are submitting the second half of the billing for 2020, updating the cost of Fish and Wildlife charges.
Item 2: Discussion and update on AEIP and CropSwap reports.
Director Battiato reports she has made contact with Rancho California Water District and would like to follow up with the participants to find out how we can do a better job in the future. She is establishing questions and then will present to the Board. Some initial findings show that 18 participants have seen over a 50% water reduction. No motion necessary.
VI. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Item 1: Discussion and potential approval of 2020/2021 Budget.
Item 2: Election of Officers
Item 3: Review and further discussion of Phase 2 of the Meadowview project.
Item 4: Potential presentation of new cannabis program by Jim Brandt of CDFW.
VII. ORAL/WRITTEN REPORTS
Bob Hewitt not present. President Corona reports that CARCD and the State may have some potential grant opportunities.
Director Kuhns reports that California Department of Fish and Wildlife was at Bonanza the 13th of May. The eradicated 9,970 plants, 300 pounds of processed weed and 10 people. There were several containers of toxic pesticides, including Carbofuran which is banned in the US as it endangers domestic animals and wildlife and are known hazards in the water table and located at two other locations.
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR REPORTS
VIII. CLOSED SESSION
Meeting is paused so that the Board may go into closed session to discuss the potential public employment of a District Manager.
Upon return from closed session the result is to move forward with further negotiations with Riverside Flood Control as it relates to the District Manager position.
With no further business, President Corona made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Director Kuhns seconded. Motion passed unanimously 4-0. Meeting adjourned at 5:25 p.m.