Temecula-Elsinore-Anza-Murrieta Resource Conservation District
Special Board Meeting
Thursday, January 19, 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); David Kuhlman (Vice President); Michael Newcomb
Directors Absent: Carol Lee Brady (Secretary Treasurer), Viki Long
Associate Directors Present: Dave McElroy; Randy Feeney; Rick Neugebauer
Associate Directors Absent: None
District Counsel Present (telephonically): Tawny Lieu
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
President Corona asked for a motion to approve the agenda. Director Kuhlman made the motion and Director Newcomb seconded. Call for vote. Motion passed 3-0.
II. CONSENT CALENDAR & CORRESPONDENCE & III. GENERAL INFORMATION
President Corona noted that the consent calendar and correspondence were included in the board package, and asked for a motion for approval “as is”. Director Kuhlman moved to approve the consent calendar and correspondence. Director Newcomb seconded. Call for vote. Motion passed 3-0.
IV. ACTION ITEMS/ DISCUSSION CALENDAR
Item 1: Discussion and update on obtaining unanimous approval of Riverside County Board of Supervisors to Replace TEAM RCD’s annual audit requirement pursuant to Government Code 26909 with an audit conducted every third year and other special financial reporting
President Corona turned the floor over to District Counsel Lieu. Ms. Lieu reported that on December 5, 2016 the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, by resolution number 2016-25, approved TEAM RCD’s request to replace the annual audit requirement, under government code section 26909, with an audit every third year covering that year’s accounting records. A yearly financial calculation and review is to be prepared by a Certified Public Accounting firm along with a quarterly management report. A copy of that resolution has been provided to President Corona via email; and President Corona then noted that the copy of the resolution was in the packet.
Ms. Lieu said that she was completing her participation in the meeting unless there were any questions from the board. There were none, and President Corona said that the board would call Ms. Lieu if anything urgent arose. Ms. Lieu thanked the board and ended the call.
Item 2: Discussion and potential approval for Request For Proposal to complete yearly compilation by CPA firms if audit resolution is approved by Board of Supervisors
President Corona noted that Director Brady was not present, and so she proceeded to summarize item 2 in her absence: With the passing of the audit resolution by the Board of Supervisors, a motion is now needed to get an RFP for the compilation reporting for years not requiring an audit. President Corona suggested two bids in addition to the quote already provided verbally to her by Nigro and Nigro, and asked for discussion.
Director Kuhlman said it was a good idea. Associate Director Neugebauer asked if it would be three years out that the next audit would occur. President Corona confirmed that was correct. She explained that now that TEAM RCD has Quick Books, that Ms. Catherine Lazara (the bookkeeper) closes out the books for the quarter and sends a copy to the county controller. TEAM RCD then does a compilation every year; and then on the third year an audit is performed for only that third year. The two prior years do not require an audit, since the compilations would already have been provided. By obtaining this approval from the Board of Supervisors and controller, there is a savings of $6000-$8000 for a three-year audit.
Associate Director Neugebauer asked if another firm does the audit, and President Corona confirmed that Nigro and Nigro had been approved by a TEAM RCD board vote. She said that a certified CPA could do the compilation but not the audit and compilation in the same year because it may be a conflict. Mr. Neugebauer commented that it was too bad that the three years of compilation and then the audit couldn’t all be included and done by the same firm within a single contract. President Corona said that she could ask that question, and clarify whether or not that would be acceptable as long as the same firm didn’t do the bookkeeping, compilation and audit.
President Corona noted that she had received an email from the auditor and Jerry Grau asking where the audit was, and that he had not realized that the Board of Supervisors had passed the resolution to do the compilation instead. She said that she brought him into the loop, and that he would have a quarterly report by March 30, 2017.
Associate Director Neugebauer advised the Board that SAWA is doing their audit next week and will have a firm that understands the type of district an RCD is. He suggested talking to Hugh Wood to compare pricing with their auditor.
President Corona, in Director Brady’s absence, made the motion to send out an RFP for the yearly compilation, and asked for a second. Director Newcomb seconded the motion. Call for vote. Motion passed 3-0.
Item 3: Discussion and update of Crop/Swap Program with Rancho California Water District (RCWD)
Discussion and potential approval of all forms and checklists for TEAM RCD website to be posted online.
Authorize President Corona to approve minor changes for website content based on any amendments necessary to meet RCWD or Mission Resource Conservation District request for changes if time sensitive
President Corona summarized the CropSWAP program and noted that it is very similar the water audit program already in place; and some of the exceptions had been addressed and resolved in a meeting with RCWD attended by herself, Director Brady and Associate Director McElroy.
There was some further discussion regarding the irrigation allotment requirements and steps for approval. President Corona then called for a motion for potentially approving all forms and checklists for the TEAM RCD website, and to authorize President Corona to approve minor changes for website content based on any amendments requested by RCWD or Mission Resource Conservation if time sensitive.
Director Newcomb made the motion and President Corona asked for a second. Director Kuhlman seconded. Call for vote. Motion passed 3-0.
Item 4: Discussion and update of Memorandum of Understanding with Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority (RCA) and partnership with TEAM RCD
President Corona introduced Item 4 and noted that the board may not have had the chance to read through the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU); but that she had received a note from Karen Watts-Bazin who is District Counsel Tawny Lieu’s boss. In that note, Ms. Watstts-Bazin provided a brief background of her own past negotiations with resource agencies and said that she had reviewed the MOU with the RCA. Although the former District Counsel Melissa Cushman had reviewed the MOU and had provided input, and then TEAM RCD had already approved it, Ms. Watts-Bazin had a few concerns and invited President Corona to contact her to discuss.
President Corona reported that she had responded to Ms. Watts-Bazin via email and advised her that TEAM RCD had not approved the MOU with RCA yet, and had asked to have a meeting with Laurie Correa to clear up any possible miscommunication regarding this MOU and the MOUs TEAM RCD has with organizations in order to move quickly should we want to work together.
President Corona continued, saying that she had spoken briefly at an annual conference with Ward Simmons from BB&K (Best, Best & Krieger), RCA’s attorney and he suggested meeting together to clarify.
There was further discussion regarding sphere of influence, Adeline Farms, Morgan Heights and Greer Ranch. Director Newcomb commented that the MOU would provide TEAM RCD the flexibility to consider case-by-case projects.
The board agreed to address the item later.
Item 5: Discussion and update of Conservation Easement monitoring contract with Santa Ana Watershed Association (SAWA) and dates specific for expectation of report
President Corona noted that Item 5 and Item 1 of New Business were essentially the same, and asked Associate Director Neugebauer for an update. He indicated that he would be attending a meeting the following week and could probably bring information back in February’s meeting.
President Corona noted that Hugh Wood had requested information, and asked Mr. Neugebauer to ask Mr. Wood where we are, because the reports are due no later than April 1.
Associate Director McElroy said that he and Mr. Neugebauer had gone out with the two biologists to Greer Ranch, and that they were going to provide a report by March. Associate Director Neugebauer said that they had just lost their managing biologist.
There was further discussion, and President Corona requested that Mr. Neugebauer get an answer on when the report would be provided; he agreed to do so.
V. OLD BUSINESS
Item 1: Discussion and update on Biological Monitoring progress and reports on Adeline Farms and Greer Ranch
This item was included in Item 5 above.
Item 2: Discussion and update on reports for California Department of Fish and Wildlife
President Corona reported that she had been conducting ongoing discussions with Jeff (Brandt) to keep him apprised of what TEAM RCD has been doing, especially with respect to Adeline Farms and Greer Ranch conservation easements. She said that Mr. Brandt seems to be pleased with the direction TEAM RCD is going; and that she had explained to him that some information is still missing from the files and we are attempting to locate past reports and rebuild them. With the improved communication between TEAM RCD and his department, he said that he would work with us as long as TEAM RCD continues to keep him in the loop. There are several different ideas on the table including options for possible use of TEAM RCD property by 501C3 organizations as one example.
Associate Director Neugebauer mentioned that he had been conversation with Santa Rosa Plateau Project of Education Foundation. President Corona mentioned that she had mentioned Santa Rosa Plateau, which pleased Mr. Brandt. She then moved to Item 3.
Item 3: Discussion and update on Benton Channel and conference call with Riverside Flood Control and California Department of Fish and Wildlife
President Corona summarized the call by saying that Fish and Wildlife is hoping to see more conservation-minded groups maintaining conservation easements and there may be an opportunity to make some changes. She indicated that the conversation had gone quite well noting that Mr. Brandt had brought up the possibility of looking into swapping properties that Flood Control may have in their inventory that could be of more value to TEAM RCD given their potential for different types of uses.
There was further discussion regarding Fish and Wildlife’s requirements, and President Corona then moved to the next item.
Item 4: Water Audit and CropSwap Updates & Item 5: Update and discussion on letter to Riverside County Flood Control regarding current maintenance at Adeline Farms
Associate Director McElroy reported that he had received one new application for irrigation audit, and Associate Director Neugebauer noted that rains had started.
Mr. McElroy continued, saying that there had been five potential CropSWAP opportunities, and Director Kuhlman commented that it showed that people are interested. President Corona said that Mission Resource Conservation District is looking at what TEAM RCD is doing and hopefully they can adopt a similar plan in Fallbrook.
Item 5: President Corona suggested skipping Item #5 because it was along the same lines with the Benton Channel discussion.
Item 6: Update on TEAM RCD and Santa Ana Watershed Association (SAWA) Memorandum of Understanding- Signed by President awaiting approval and signature of Board of SAWA
President Corona reported that the SAWA Board had approved the MOU.
Item 7: Reminder-Form 700’s due for next year. Recommendation of filing all Form 700’s early
President Corona asked that Directors and Associate Directors prepare, sign and return their forms as soon as possible so that she can submit them to Sherry Merinos.
Item 1: Discussion on the possibility of an Open House special meeting day for all Board members, Associate Directors and public to view all Conservation Easements and properties that are the preview of TEAM RCD in addition to review of all financial obligations
President Corona suggested a day to take a tour of conservation easements so that everyone could visualize what TEAM RCD owns which would provide a good way to begin moving forward and developing plans for the future of the District. In addition, a special meeting for review of financials could help answer some of the questions that had been raised by the recently seated board regarding the past acquisitions and monetary events, compiled in a flowchart or whiteboard format.
Director Newcomb suggested putting a map that clearly define the borders of TEAM RCD’s area of responsibility on the website, and President Corona said that she had a large one. Associate Director Newcomb mentioned that there was one online.
Item 2: Discussion of hosting a potential meeting to include all Area Resource Conservation District’s and non-profit groups in a discussion with California Department of Fish and Wildlife and other agencies regarding further collaboration
President Corona said that Mr. Brandt had mentioned to her that he heard that TEAM RCD had done an excellent job hosting the area meeting, and would be interested in partnering with TEAM RCD to put together a group of RCDs and some non-profits. He would like them to come together with Fish and Wildlife for a meeting to discuss thoughts regarding top priorities, concerns, and challenges facing their districts. There was some discussion regarding logistics and ideas for venue.
VII. ORAL/WRITTEN REPORTS
1. District Counsel Gregory P. Priamos/Tawny Lieu: no longer present
2. TEAMRCD Director Reports Open
President Corona reported that Judy Mitchell, the Executive Director at Mission Resource Conservation District mentioned to her that she would like to discuss the possibility of executing an MOU with TEAM RCD to provide pond turtle monitoring for the Santa Rosa Plateau. Ms. Mitchell indicated that they have a qualified pond turtle monitoring biologist.
President Corona explained that Ms. Mitchell is waiting for details so Mission can propose an MOU arrangement, with Mission potentially carrying insurance, providing the employee and vehicle, and then providing a copy of the report. Once President Corona receives more information she will bring it to the board.
Dave Kuhlman: none
Carol Lee Brady: absent
Vicki Long: absent
Director Newcomb reported that he holds a position on a board at Galway Downs, and it brought to mind an opportunity to market, educate and fundraise for TEAM RCD. He gave a few examples, and President Corona asked that he work on some bullet points of a plan so that it could be discussed at the next meeting. Director Kuhlman suggested including any obligations that might need to be addressed; and both he and President Corona said that they liked the idea. President Corona asked Director Newcomb to let her know once he is ready to have it placed on the agenda.
3. Associate Director Reports Open
Rick Neugebauer: none
Dave McElroy: none
Randy Feeney: none
4. SAWA/Fire Safe Reports Rick Neugebauer, Representative: none
5. Natural Resources Conservation Service Programs and Activities-Bob Hewitt Representative: not present
VIII.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 by Counsel.-Dave Kuhlman/Randy Feeney
Discussion and possible approval of creating policy for e-mail use-Carol Lee Brady
Discussion and possible approval of creation of ad-hoc committee to create more specific board procedures and policies-All
Discussion and potential approval to begin scanning and digitizing files-All
Discussion and update of Country Roads Maintenance Agreement-Rose Corona
Discussion and update on Morningstar discussions and Benton Channel-Rose Corona
President Corona asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Director Kuhlman made the motion and Director Newcomb seconded. Call for vote. Motion passed 3-0.
Carol Lee Brady -Secretary/Treasurer Date