Temecula-Elsinore-Anza-Murrieta Resource Conservation District
Regular Board Meeting
Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 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), Lisa Battiato (Vice President), Newt Parkes (Secretary/Treasurer) Randy Feeney (Director), Teri Biancardi (Director)
Directors Absent: None
Associate Directors Present: Rick Neugebauer
Associate Directors Absent: None
Office Manager: Deborah Getty – Present
Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCS): Robert Hewitt – Absent
Guest Speakers: Eva Plajzer – Rancho California Water District
Brian Brady – SAWA – Santa Ana Watershed Association
Public Guests: Kimberly Wall – Rancho California Water District
Andrea Mares - District Supervisor Chuck Washington’s office
II. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
President Corona called for a motion to approve the agenda, consent calendar, financials and correspondence as presented. Director Battiato moved and Director Parkes seconded. Motion passed unanimously 5-0.
III. ACTION ITEMS/ DISCUSSION CALENDAR
Item 1: Discussion and potential approval to appoint Board Director to serve as Anza/Aguanga liaison.
President Corona moved to appoint Director Teri Biancardi as the liaison for the Anza/Aguanga area. Director Parkes seconds. Board moves to discuss. In discussion, Director Biancardi notes that she did not feel that she is the appropriate person for the Anza/Aguanga area but would be willing to do the work until an Associate Director can be nominated to do the work. A.D. Neugebauer states that he feels that this position needs to be taken care of by a Board Director as it was by the previous Director that Ms. Biancardi replaced. Director Battiato shares her experience with the Board as to how she knew nothing of agriculture per se in regards to Crop Swap and the Irrigation Efficiency programs but has found the learning process and the work rewarding. Input from Director Parkes who also was unfamiliar with Homelessness and the reporting it entailed but notes that it has been highly educational for him. President Corona reminds board that the motion on the table addresses only that a Director, in this case Ms. Biancardi, take on the responsibility of liaison to the Anza/Aguanga area of the district but it does not include assigning the duties of the Board Director to an Associate Director. Motion passed unanimously 5-0.
Item 2: Discussion and potential approval on investment strategy for Conservation Easement CD’s and new account creation.
Director Parkes reviews and reports on the current bank status as presented on the financials. After general discussion, President Corona moved to move all bank accounts that exist at Wells Fargo Bank to Chase with the exception of one mitigation account that is waiting for review by CDFW in order to move those funds over to Chase as well. As well, all bank accounts at Union Banc will move to Chase with the percentage of the CD’s at .05% or five basis points for a 6 month period at which time it will be re-evaluated. Director Feeney seconded. No further discussion. Motion passed unanimously 5-0
IV. NEW BUSINESS
Item 1: Discussion on reviewing and potentially approving Board Director/Associate Director policies.
Associate Director Neugebauer reports that he and Director Feeney have been working on putting together an updated Associate Director policy and he is hoping to be able to provide updates at the next meeting for suggestion and/or review. No motion necessary.
V. OLD BUSINESS
Item 1: Update on Homeless Task Force.
Director Parkes reported that the encampments reported in the months of December and January have been handled as there was no evidence left in the Santa Gertrudis Channel. Temecula Creek Channel report has shown there may have been some activity but they were no longer there. Director Parkes has forwarded this information over to Mike Wooten for further follow up. Director Parkes also attended the monthly Homeless Task Force meeting in Lake Elsinore with nothing new to report. No motion necessary.
Item 2: Update and discussion on AEIP and CropSwap reports.
Director Battiato reports that we have had approximately 10 new CropSwap applications since the last meeting mainly due to the rootstock replacement. General discussion and education on the rootstock replacements. Additionally, Director Battiato is working with the grove managers and providing them with the consent forms and liability waivers ahead of time to streamline the process for their clients. No motion necessary.
Item 3: Update on approval of new District Counsel.
President Corona reports the appropriate legal services agreement has been signed which will be put in front of the Board of Supervisors by March 23rd or March 30th. There is considerably hourly cost savings with moving to have County Counsel be the new District Counsel. As well, the new District Counsel was formerly the District Counsel for TEAM RCD from June 2015 to approximately 2019 and they have a good historical and experienced knowledge with TEAM RCD. The District Counsel should be in place by next meeting. No motion necessary.
Item 4: Update of the TEAMRCD website.
Deborah Getty reports that we received the SDLF scholarship covering 15 months of the initial fees. Additionally, our monthly fees came in at $25.00 per month instead of $50,00 per month. Director Battiato, Director Feeney and Deborah to attend a website training session on March 23rd. No motion necessary.
VI. SPEAKERS AND PRESENTATIONS
Introduction of Eva Plajzer, Assistant General Manager – Rancho California Water District. Ms. Plajzer presents how Rancho Water is working for our community with a District overview of their Mission, Board of Directors, At a Glance, Diversifying the Water Supply Portfolio, Business Initiatives, The CropSwap and Agricultural Irrigation Efficiency Program in partnership with TEAM RCD. Ms. Plajzer addressed a common misconception about the role of RCWD in the community and noted that their mission is to maintain the pipelines and delivery systems for water in the community. Also there was a brief discussion about Vail Lake and other projects regarding the Vail Dam. President Corona noted that they TEAM RCD is looking for more projects to work with Rancho Water on and hoped they could find more in the future beyond what TEAM was presently working on.
Introduction of Brian Brady, Executive Director of SAWA (Santa Ana Watershed Association) and also a Board member of the Rancho California Water District. Mr. Brady notes that SAWA has been around since the late 1980’s and they incorporated in 2002. They are a 501 (C) (3) and they are a consulting company that is not for profit that handles biomonitoring and remediation. The Board is comprised of representatives to include TEAM RCD, Riverside, Corona, Inland Empire and San Jacinto Basin RCD’s. First priority for SAWA in much of their work is removing invasives for their clients both private and governmental and then habitat restoration for the same. SAWA and TEAM RCD have been partnering on the contractual work since 2015 and have projects with Riverside Flood and working on improving the Homeless situation by monitoring particular sites and notifying the local organizations that handle and help the homeless. The partnership and pilot program has made great strides.
VII. ORAL/WRITTEN REPORTS
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR REPORTS
VIII. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
With no further business, Director Battiato made a motion to adjourn the meeting. President Corona seconded. Motion passed unanimously 5-0. Meeting adjourned at 5:31 p.m.