Elsinore-Murrieta-Anza Resource Conservation District
Thursday, April 14, 2016 4:00 PM
41923 Second Street, Ste. 401
Temecula, CA 92590
I. PRELIMINARY FUNCTIONS
Call to Order-4:00 pm, meeting recorded by Rose Corona
Directors Present: Rose Corona, Carol Lee Brady, Michael Newcomb, Dave Kuhlman, Vicki Long (arrived late, during guest speaker’s presentation)
Associate Directors Present: Dave McElroy
Associate Directors Absent: Randy Feeney, Rick Neugebauer
Deputy Counsel Absent: Melissa Cushman, Greg Priamos, Tiffany North
Bob Hewitt: Absent
Guest Speakers: Teri Biancardi
MOTION TO APPROVE AGENDA: President Corona requested an amendment to the agenda’s order, since Associate Director Neugebauer needed to address a few discussion items; but had indicated that he would only be able to attend for a short period of time. He had not arrived at this point in the meeting. Motion to approve agenda as amended was made by Director Kuhlman. Seconded by Director Brady. Call for vote. Motion passed 4-0
II. CONSENT CALENDAR/CORRESPONDENCE/FINANCIALS
President Corona asked for a motion to approve the consent calendar. Director Newcomb moved for approval; Director Kuhlman seconded the motion. Call for vote. Motion passed 4-0.
III. GUEST SPEAKER – Teri Biancardi, Meadowview Creek Update
Ms. Biancardi, a Board member of the Homeowners’ Association (HOA), began with a brief background of Meadowview Creek, which covers 380 acres of open space in Temecula. Since 2011 they have worked with Fish and Wildlife service on an uplands restoration, which has been productive. In 2013 there was an accident with a creek bank collapse just outside of the edge of their property that tragically took the life of a child playing there. Some portions of the eastern side of Meadowview’s property have Rancho California Water District (RCWD) water lines that deliver storm water; and the Association would like to address the erosion and potential instability of their own banks to reduce the chance of collapse in the area under their jurisdiction. During this introduction, Director Long arrived at the meeting.
As an overview of the situation at hand, the Meadowview Creek HOA would like to perform a bio-engineered natural restoration project in partnership with Fish and Wildlife. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has agreed to prepare a design incorporating natural rock and plants to hold the banks in place, perform the hydrology work, and partially fund the project. This is estimated to save the HOA roughly $250,000. Riverside County Flood Control ha also decided to set aside $250,000 to match the NRCS project. In addition, the Bureau of Reclamation could administer the funds from Flood Control (which are available only if the project is administered through a public entity such an RCD), and also provide project management.
Director Corona had toured the site shortly after becoming a Board Member, and this update to the full Board by Ms. Biancardi provided some additional information regarding possible participation in the project by EMARCD. Ms. Biancardi indicated that she was “shopping around” for administrators, and as part of her due diligence she has approached Riverside-Corona RCD (RCRCD) as well as EMARCD.
President Corona asked how EMARCD could assist, and invited Director Long to provide additional background since she was with EMARCD when the issue was brought up in the past. Director Long mentioned that Kerwin, of RCRCD, had also looked at the stream about a year ago to consider performing the work through an MOU, and that she (Director Long) had talked to Teri at that time as well.
There was further discussion about various options, and President Corona asked if they Board would like to contact RCRCD and Mission RCD perhaps Inland Empire RCD, and request estimated costs of the project for Teri’s Board to review. Director Long mentioned that she knows Kerwin (RCRCD) could do it, but she didn’t think Mission had done it before. President Corona said she would like to include them in the proposal as due diligence. Director Brady asked for clarification as to whether it would be an invitation to bid or simply an estimate for budgetary purposes. Ms. Biancardi confirmed that she would like to have it for budgetary review and also to have an overview of what would be involved (staffing, timelines, navigating the Army Corps and other entities, etc.)
Director Newcomb asked who the HOA’s contact at NRCS had been, and Ms. Biancardi responded that it was Bob Hewitt. President Corona mentioned that Mr. Hewitt had ongoing invitations to attend EMARCD board meetings.
President Corona mentioned that scope of work information was needed prior to sending out an RFP and Ms. Biancardi agreed that she would go to her Board and inform them that EMARCD would send out an RFP based on the plan to be prepared by Meadowview Creek and submitted to EMARCD on scope of work.
President Corona called for a motion and Director Newcomb moved to send an RFP to RCRCD and Mission RCD to gather information for the Meadowview Creek HOA to review. Director Long seconded. Call for vote. Motion passed 5-0
President Corona thanked Ms. Biancardi, who then left the meeting.
IV. ACTION ITEMS/ DISCUSSION CALENDAR
Item #1: Discussion of election of officers to fill open positions.
President Corona briefly summarized the actions from the last meeting, with a vote for President only with the remaining positions to be addressed at this April meeting at the suggestion of District Counsel Melissa Cushman.
Director Long asked for clarification since she thought Director Kuhlman was both secretary/treasurer and vice president through June. Director Newcomb mentioned that voting in a vice president right now isn’t pressing since the secretary/treasurer defaults to VP anyway. Director Long agreed, and President Corona noted that it’s only 2 months away. Director Newcomb suggested that the Board wait and then review all 4 positions in June. Director Long suggested that the Board create an overview the duties of each position.
Item #2: Discussion of Bear Creek HOA update.
President Corona noted that Associate Director Neugebauer had not arrived to address this item, and moved to item #3.
Item #3: Discussion and approval of draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mission RCD to include appointing a Board Member authority to negotiate and sign MOU with Mission upon finalization of only minor changes are made.
President Corona noted that District Counsel Melissa Cushman could not attend this meeting and her substitute representative Tina North was ill so she also was absent. President Corona briefly summarized the discussion item and stated that if major changes ended up being needed, the MOU would come back to the Board for further review; but if not, this was ready for a motion.
Director Long moved that we appoint Rose Corona to negotiate and sign the MOU with Mission RCD in the event that there are no major changes to be made to the document; and then in that event it would come back to the Board and power of attorney for review. Director Brady seconded the motion. President Corona called for a vote. Motion passed 5-0.
Item #4: Discussion and possible approval of rolling calendar and deadline dates to meet ongoing EMARCD easement, monitoring and financial responsibilities.
President Corona briefly described the sample calendar included in the packet, and requested permission from the Board to further develop and expand upon it. She explained that this would help keep track of deadlines; and welcomed input from Directors and Associate Directors, specifically Director Long since she had been on the Board for so long and may be aware of some upcoming milestones or actions needed. Director Long mentioned that EMARCD used to do that and also included upcoming items as a calendar of events on the agenda.
Item #5: Discussion and potential approval to assign a delegate or appoint a representative proxy for EMARCD to attend as a voting delegate to Annual Conference in 2016.
President Corona introduced the item and asked if there normally was a vote taken for a representative. Director Long said “no”, and that EMARCD doesn’t always go to the convention except if it’s local. She suggested putting the decision off until fall when the date of the convention is closer. President Corona agreed, and noted that it could go on the calendar under development.
IV. OLD BUSINESS
Item 1: Update for Spring Area Meeting. Discussion and recommendation for speakers. Discussion and potential vote for District to allocate funds to pay for associated costs for all Board members and “gift bag” items. Discussion and possible approval on Area Meeting raffle item cost limit.
President Corona gave Director Newcomb the floor, and he mentioned that she had invited him to emcee the event. He agreed to do so, and reported that Fazeli Winery had placed the date of May 14, 2016 on their calendar. He also mentioned that B.J. Fazeli would be one of the speakers regarding conservation, recycling etc that he had incorporated into the winery.
President Corona asked for suggestions for other speakers, and there were none. She reported that someone from National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association had agreed to speak as well. She also said that Mandy Parks from Inland Empire RCD is helping EMARCD with the event and had sent out Save The Date notices and had already received some RSVPs (deadline is 5/6/16.) Estimated attendance thus far is 20-25.
President Corona noted that there have been several significant cost savings achieved for the District in the past year and everyone has worked hard. She asked for feedback on the idea of the District paying for Director/Associate Directors’ lunches at the event this year at a cost of $35/person. Director Long mentioned that she had a potential schedule conflict but may be able to work it out. She also said that RCRCD always pays for their people to go.
President Corona called for a motion, and Director Newcomb moved that EMARCD sponsor the Directors and Associate Directors for lunch. Director Kuhlman seconded; President Corona called for a vote. Motion passed 5-0.
Further discussion briefly discussed ideas for gift baskets and raffle items, and it was agreed that there should be cap of $75 for the amount spent on gift bags for the event. Director Long made the motion, and President Corona seconded. Motion passed 5-0.
Next the donations for the raffle were discussed and Director Long said that each person brings an item valued at about $20. Director Newcomb then said that he was going to ask for donations from his various winery clients along De Portola Wine Trail including bottles of wine and tasting tickets.
Director Long mentioned that other District members usually bring plants, fruit etc. Director Brady said that she would be willing to collaborate with Director Newcomb to contact wineries owned by her contacts on De Portola as well. Director Newcomb suggested jointly sending out a letter to the various wineries. Director Brady agreed, and also said that she would see about other items such as literature, tasting glasses, and Temecula related items to include in a basket from business owners (such as a Lavender company and an Olive Oil company) throughout the region.
Director Newcomb reminded the Board that there had been discussion with Counsel and determined that there is no prohibition against drinking wine at the event. Director Long noted that under SDRMA insurance this may be an issue; and that in the past, attendees were free to wine taste after the event when they were on their own time. President Corona noted that she needed to clarify that with District Counsel. Director Newcomb noted that he is an alcohol beverage law Attorney and although he isn’t Counsel for the Board, as general rule in alcohol state law, there is a statute that immunizes social hosts. President Corona requested that Director Newcomb work with General Counsel Melissa Cushman to clarify. He agreed to do so, and President Corona called for a motion on the discussion item.
Director Long moved that Director Newcomb and Director Brady draft a letter and send it out to the people that they know in Wine Country for donations for the upcoming area spring area meeting, and that Director Newcomb work with General Counsel to clarify the rules regarding alcohol consumption. Director Kuhlman seconded, President Corona called for a vote. Motion passed 5-0.
Item 2: Update and discussion on the proposed Benton Channel Agreement.
President Corona noted that Associate Director Neugebauer apparently was unable to make it to the meeting so she provided an overview of the situation. Bear Creek owes EMARCD a substantial sum of money, and Linda Alexander of the HOA was supposed to go to their Board and ask if they were going to approve payment. After two past-due notices, the HOA said that they were unhappy with the work performed and felt that EMARCD overcharged. Associate Director Neugebauer and Hugh Wood (SAWA) had explained that it had to do with the 1600 permit restrictions on what could be touched. The Bear Creek HOA sent a letter canceling the agreement.
President Corona said that General Counsel Cushman had contacted Bear Creek and notified them that EMARCD intended to move forward to collect the debt unless Bear Creek wanted to avoid litigation and meet the terms of the contract. The Bear Creek attorneys agreed to have a meeting to include General Counsel Cushman, Associate Director Neugebauer, Hugh Wood, a Bear Creek Board member, and their attorneys on May 4, 2016.
Director Long noted that this had been ongoing, and that she had met with Kerwin and Linda Alexander as well as Jeff Brandt (California Department of Fish & Wildlife) to explain to one of their board member and Linda Alexander that there could only be minor cutting of dead wood as well as other limitations. She said if this ever came to trial she would testify to the extent of how EMARCD and Fish and Wildlife had made Bear Creek HOA aware of the scope of work and permit conditions.
President Corona mentioned that one of their Board members owns a landscape company and so this may be the basis of what they think is a reasonable cost, not taking into consideration the specialized nature of a 1600 permit and associated expenses. She also reminded the Board that she had sent a demand letter to Bear Creek for $10,726 and had not sent the final report to them because of non-payment.
Item 3: Update on RFPs for Accounting Firms for Annual End of Year Financials and Annual Audits to include submission of Annual Report to State.
Director Brady reported that RFPs had gone out to four entities with a due date for submission of proposals of 6/1/16. With this underway EMARCD is on track or ahead of track for timely audit reporting. President Corona asked for clarification if this included two companies that had requested to have two companies on the bid list, and Director Brady replied that it did. President Corona also mentioned that we had heard back from Greg Fankhanel who said that he would be bidding on the compilation but could not bid on the audit since he was still doing work for EMARCD at the time and could not audit his own books.
Item 4: Water Audit Updates
Associate Director McElroy explained that he had one slide which shows a final audit that had been conducted. There had been a pre-audit performed by RCRCD and Mission performed the post (final) audit, because the owner had not submitted the request to RCWD for next steps within the window of approval time to allow RCRCD to finish.
Director McElroy continued the presentation and noted that there is a small piece of equipment called a catalytic conditioner that the grove manager suggested the landowner install to improve efficiency, and the initial audit stated that it was optional; however since this type of system is still being researched it’s unclear if it will be approved for reimbursement. Director McElroy reported that this matter is between RCWD and the landowner, which was clearly stated in the initial audit.
President Corona suggested that a final step for each audit could be for Director McElroy to follow up with the landowner to see if the results were satisfactory and perhaps an additional follow- up a year later to see if expected savings had been achieved with the improvements made.
Director Brady noted that each audit presents an opportunity to refine the process and incorporate the learning experience into future administration/project management.
Return to Item 2: Benton Channel
President Corona returned to the discussion of Benton Channel since Associate Director Neugebauer had still not arrived, and she wanted to include some additional information as further update regarding the cost of the right to dump water on EMARCD property, and also ongoing monitoring etc. in perpetuity, and a possible endowment. She stated that she had been in email contact with Jeff Brandt at Fish and Wildlife but has been unable to meet with him to discuss anything further. She did say that Jeff Brandt had concluded that these are two separate issues the Board will need to address.
She continued by saying that Mandy Parks was working on a matrix to estimate what the endowment should be but had not been able to provide it in time to add to this agenda packet; but it should be ready for the next meeting. Informational only, no vote needed.
Item 4: Update, discussion and potential approval on additional content for the website.
Director Newcomb reported that Associate Director Feeney had created a shadow site but that Director Newcomb needed a user name and password, which he had not yet received. President Corona suggested that he and Associate Director Feeney discuss this in person and report back next meeting.
Item 5: Update, discussion and potential approval on potential projects for High School volunteer hours.
Director Newcomb noted that the school year was nearing an end, but that he would return to the topic in a month with more of a complete plan.
V. NEW BUSINESS
Item 1: Discussion of Morgan Heights Agreement -- CDFW Certification
Director Long provided background as follows:
Following is the transcript from this portion of the meeting:
VL: And they're, what they're supposed to do is give us a $75,000 endowment when we change hands, so that's been ongoing. And one of the things that we talked about last year was that we have to get our certification to hold this easement still. It took awhile for this easement to get going and in the process, the state legislature passed new information and new laws that we had to abide by. And Melissa came back and told us about the, it's called due diligence, and she gave us all the updates on the wads 1094, and that was last year. And what I would suggest, I did a packet for CDF two or three years ago now, and everything is out-of-date, whenever, it was on that disc that I gave you. I can give you another copy of it if you need it.
RC: Could you?
VL: And it's out-of-date. It wasn't enough information for them at the time, and so, they rejected it, in a way, they said, "Go back and fill out more information." And what they were concerned about were the audits. What they want and what Melissa told us was that they're really concerned, I'll tell you the same thing, is that they're concerned about the financials of how we handle keeping money, how we handle our reports on our held easements, so they want copies of those.
VL: They wanna make sure that we're going to manage this land in a way that they're gonna feel comfortable with. The reason the law was passed is that others have defunked on these things and not taking care of them, and so, they don't want that happening anymore. So anything that they allow to go from Cal Fish and Wildlife to an entity has to prove that it's going to take good care of that and meet the obligation that goes with the endowment.
VL: So there's a lot of things that you have to do with that and I would suggest, Mandy has offered, and I know you guys have worked with Mandy, she did a really good job on hers and passed right away, if she would help on this due diligence, she came at one point and told our board she would help us do that. And I had already started and I had already put it in, but what I was waiting for was another audit. We had to have three years of audits so we finally finished that audit and we're getting another one going. They wanna see these audits...
VL: Yeah, consistency and they wanna know that the money didn't disappear somewhere and that we're doing our reports. So if she could possibly help, and I don't know, Rose you've been working with her and I don't know if anybody else has...
RC: Well, but just through the area meeting 'cause she offered. But I have no problem because when I was talking to her the other day, she said, she offered to come and answer any questions about how she comes to reach a number for endowments, and she said, "I'll be more than happy to come to your meeting and explain."
VL: Well, and she would have templates on things that she could help with to do...
RC: Right, well, I'll contact Mandy and see.
VL: Because that's what I would suggest, instead of trying to have me do it again when there were things lacking. The main thing they were concerned about was we didn't have enough audits in it. They wanted more years of reports, we've got those now 'cause we've had more years that we've done reports on. So, that's mainly what they're looking for, but there's a lot of other things that she might be able to help with on that.
VL: It's a whole list of things.
RC: Then I will... I'll talk to her and see what can be done.
VL: And if there's something that you don't have in the office. That I might have, I can supply copies of that for you guys or email you stuff, so whatever you're looking for, you should have everything on that disc that I gave you.
CLB: Okay. Do you have anything that's kind of an outline of existing projects or matrix that shows status... How did you organize yourself when you were… did you have a listing that you created for yourself? Or...
VL: No. These things have been going on for so long that at one point, we listed 'em, but then they would drop through the cracks. And the other thing that we have here somewhere...
VL: We used to have a matrix and then we had a bookkeeper that put everything together, and so, [chuckle] she shouldn't break it out, she didn't wanna break out our deposits and our mitigation. So we broke out in the beginning, the mitigation for the Clinton Keith property, the 98,000, that was broken out and we just put it in a separate account in the bank and we've kept it that way so it didn't get...
RC: Okay, so let me ask you about that, the 98,000, is that over in Union Bank or is that 98,000 at Wells Fargo?
VL: That's the Wells Fargo and that's for Clinton Keith.
RC: Okay, and the 90,000 or whatever for Adeline Farms and Greer Ranch...
VL: Well, Adeline Farms is 75,000, that's in Union and then Greer Ranch is 125,000.
RC: Okay, but those are over in Union Bank, those are in the brokerage accounts, correct?
VL: Right. And Shelly has told me you should have broken those out, but we had Lory Marsher who was doing SOWA's bookkeeping at the time, she was working for us and she didn't break anything out. So it's all lumped together, but the good thing is we haven't got a whole bunch of activity because the downturn in 2009, we had things that might be coming in, so we've lost that a long time ago 'cause everything fell through and then it took forever.
CLB: I'm just thinking from the project management standpoint, it might be beneficial… I think it would be beneficial to create a template for ourselves…since you have so much institutional knowledge we could build something where we have a listing of… I'm just kind of thinking out loud a little bit…a listing and have the different categories. So okay, is it an easement….or whatever it is.
VL: Well, and we should have like you're saying, well, a spreadsheet anyway, I'm gonna call it a spreadsheet. And I did have spreadsheets, but at this point we need to redo 'em because other things didn't happen.
CLB: Was that something you'd be willing to help us create and fill in the blanks?
VL: Well, I can give you what we have right now and then from then on, you could go ahead...and fill in after that.
VL: Because what we really should have for our bookkeeping and this doesn't sound like it's on the point but it is because it all works together, what we didn't do with Lori Marsher, and she worked for TRS at the time and they're a very good accounting firm, but because she worked for SOWA and they just lump everything in what they call the pool, when we go to spend money out of those accounts, we broke out those easements that are in Union Bank, rolled their interest into a checking account. Each one of those endowments should be broken out separately and then the cost should be attributed to those separately.
RC: I did ask Landmark Business Services, Catherine and Vicki if going forward, that information can be broken down in our financials and they said that it isn't a problem, they will tie it in that day.
VL: And it needs to be because in the future, say we have 10 of these easements if we're lucky enough to get more easements coming to us, how are you gonna keep track of all that if it's lumped in one big interest account at the checking level?
MN: Well, if we're keeping our books properly in QuickBooks, we'll have our general ledger, [chuckle] we'll have GL accounts that document...
VL: But if you don't break it out though, like it wasn't broken out for us with Lori Marsher...
RC: She said that she would do that.
RC: 'Cause I asked them I need these things separated and including, putting in interest.
VL: Right. And then this ledger though would go with that because you would have each easement and then the accounting would go with that.
MN: Yeah, our bookkeeping system will have our chart of accounts and we'll have...
VL: We've always had that, but...
MN: But if we don't we have to make sure that we have some very fine granularity in those accounts. And so, even if it's all coming out of one account, we have the inflows and the outflows coming out of our chartered accounts.
VL: But that didn't happen with this bookkeeper, and so, and that didn't happen at SAWA either and we had to go back and get another bookkeeper to start breaking it out.
RC: Okay, so where are we at with Morgan Heights? As I understand we're on our third year.
VL: So we're at where we need to do our due diligence, the CDFW certification which I call them the due diligence, that needs to be completed and we need to be approved by the state to take that easement.
RC: Okay, alright.
VL: So if Mandy could help us and she will flew through with flying colors.
RC: Okay, I will check with her.”
End of Transcript at this point in the meeting.
No action required, Board moved on to next topic.
Item 2: Riverside Flood Control and potential future projects.
President Corona reported that Jason Uhley of Riverside Flood Control had said he would try to make the meeting but was still on the road. As an overview of the information in the packet, the Disadvantaged Communities Project (DAC) has funds available to help with projects, for example, a vegetation water garden. In order to take the funds, entities must go through a public agency, and EMARCD has an opportunity to participate. Paperwork needs to be filled out in order to be considered, and President Corona requested permission and a motion to fill out the paperwork and send it in.
Director Newcomb made the motion; Director Brady seconded. Call for vote. Motion passed 5-0.
Item 3: Lake and Alteration Streambed Agreement update
President Corona reported that the Lake and Streambed Agreement (LSA) reports had been sent in and the deadline was met. Director Long asked if it had the new name on it, and President Corona responded “not yet.”
Director Long then asked for clarification on recipients of the report – that Jeff Brandt (Fish & Wildlife) had been sent one and Linda Alexander with Bear Creek had not due to the fact that they had not paid. President Corona confirmed that was the case, and also that RCRCD’s report had also been sent in.
VI. ORAL/WRITTEN REPORTS
Item 1: District Counsel not present
Item 2: EMARCD Director Reports
President Corona recognized Director Newcomb. He noted that during the discussion about templates and spreadsheets there was no mention of a shared directory – a unified file systems for the District to access, and asked if one existed. President Corona responded that although Director Long had put together a disk when she turned duties over, there are different folders and it was difficult to navigate. She noted that there are certain things that cannot be put out to the general public.
Director Newcomb stated that this is from a purely administrative standpoint – a shared Cloud network drive that Directors and Associate Directors and Counsel could access. President Corona responded that everything is on a computer archived from the disk that Director Long had provided.
The Board agreed that once all files from the disk had been organized and named, that this could be revisited.
Director Long was recognized by President Corona. She stated that she wanted to talk about developer deposits, and that the only one active is Anne Lopez, with Morgan Heights. Director Corona asked if EMARCD had taken any money from them, and Director Longs said yes, for deposits. President Corona that she had spoken with Ms. Lopez, who had said she had not given money; Director Long clarified that the developers had done so a long time ago, reflected in the running balances given to the accountant.
President Corona inquired about the amount, and Director Long responded that it was $10,000 from DR Horton. Director Long said that she would write the information down because as a Board and as a District, leftover funds need to be addressed. She mentioned Brookfield having another developer buying them out as one example. Sue suggested talking with General Counsel to determine how to handle remainders of deposits, and mentioned that at one point the EMARCD attorney had been paid out of those deposits as well as Rick Hopkins for biological surveys.
Director Newcomb asked if there is any obligation under the contracts for the depositor to request the monies be returned. Director Long said that they are supposed to request the refund. Director Newcomb asked how many project are sitting “in limbo” now, and Director Long estimated that there were five. President Corona asked if Director Long was going to provide her with a list, and Director Long said that she was. President Corona said that this was something that would need to be discussed with District Counsel.
VII. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Item 1: Discussion and possible approval of creating a policy for email use
General Counsel Cushman was not present, and Director Brady indicated that she had not yet seen the templates Ms. Cushman was preparing and it was agreed to table Items 1 and 2 (ad hoc committee) until the next meeting.
President Corona called for a motion to adjourn and Director Long made the motion. Director Kuhlman seconded. Call for vote. Motion passed 5-0. Meeting completed: 5:28 pm
Dave Kuhlman-Secretary/Treasurer Date