Reflections on the 2018 BRECA Annual General Meeting
A big THANK YOU! to our all-star lineup of guest speakers. This year, gracing the panel for our Annual event, we were honored to have the following:
- State Assemblymember Ken Cooley,
- Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli,
- Cordova Recreation and Park District (CRPD) District Administrator Patrick Larkin,
- Deputy District Attorney Shauna Franklin,
- Chief of Code Enforcement Barry Chamberlain,
- CHP Officer Tommy Riggin,
- Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Officer Deputy Mike Matranga, and
- Park Ranger AJ Bennett.
Other key officials came to answer our questions and included our Neighborhood Police Officer Bill Winton as well as members of the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) who serve our area.
This year’s event had the highest attendance in our history, and the feedback received from audience and speakers alike was very positive. The energy was high, the questions provocative and well thought-out, and answers provided were informative and appreciated.
The focus of this year’s meeting was “Homelessness and Crime”, and there were many questions around those issues. Our audience also asked our panel about our park, the parkway, code enforcement, traffic, development, and myriad of other issues as well. A very well-rounded representation of the issues and concerns within our community were addressed. The questions that we did not have time to address during the meeting were sent to the panel members, and answers were received later.
Homelessness and Crime
During the meeting, our audience learned how law enforcement works with other agencies and with the community to address different types of issues relating to the homeless.
For example, our State and local leaders have obtained funding for law enforcement and parks to work hand in glove to identify where the homeless congregate along the river or in our parks. They go into those communities, provide services to those who will accept them, identify and apply law enforcement remedies where they exist, and clean up the debris left behind. Needless to say it’s a daunting task.
These task forces rely quite a bit on community members to identify where the needs exist. Where we see an issue, they encourage us to report it so they know where to start. It’s important that we let them know. Even if we don’t think it will help, it starts the process in motion. Your report just may be the missing piece in an overall puzzle that they are putting together.
The panelists informed the audience about the differences between what they can do on public property vs. private property, and how code enforcement comes in to the mix.
The audience had several questions around code enforcement. On any given issue, to whom should we report and how do we know? Is it a code enforcement issue? A law enforcement issue? Some other jurisdiction? The answer is, we don’t really have to know. They’ll help us.
How to Report in Sacramento County?
- Emergency – 911
- Non-Emergency – Dial 311 or (916) 874-5115
- Smartphone – Use the “Sac County 311 Connect” app
They will make sure it gets directed to the right department. The bottom line is, when in doubt, REPORT. They’ll figure it out.
The key takeaway from this meeting, above all else, is… REPORT. When in doubt, REPORT. There’s not much the agencies can do if there is no formal report.
Social media (Facebook, Nextdoor, Twitter, etc.) is not the same as a formal report. The agencies are unable to take action based on social media. The best thing that we as a community (and as individuals) can do to help law enforcement, code enforcement, etc., help us is to REPORT. That’s the only thing that will start the ball rolling. Even if no action can be taken on a particular incident, the report creates a paper trail that can be followed up if problems arise later. It also allows them to track hot spots, patterns, and trends.
As an example, one panelist looked up a particular area of community concern that BRECA shared with her in preparation for the meeting. She found that zero reports from the community had been made about that issue. That’s right. Zero. I’m sad to say it, folks, but that part is on us. But we can do better. By reporting what we see (even if we think there is nothing they can do), we help them help us.
That report is the starting point, or may even be a missing link, that they need.
RIVIERA EAST PARK
The audience expressed a lot of interest in the status of our park, and was very pleased to hear what District Administrator Patrick Larkin had to say. He informed us that funding to fix the walkways in our park has been obtained. That news received a huge round of applause! We’ll have an updated status on this soon, so stay tuned. More to come on this!
Another area of interest to the community was traffic. Participants discussed one particular stop sign at Allegheny and Elmira where several people have witnessed drivers “running” the stop sign, and a number of people reported having almost been hit. Supervisor Nottoli has taken action to look into this. Not long after the meeting, BRECA received an email that this has been referred to Sacramento County Department of Transportation for review and action.
We didn’t have time for all of our questions during the meeting. So, after the meeting, our CHP Officer was able to respond to a question about traffic laws at the railroad tracks at Bradshaw and Folsom Blvd. The question was, “What are the stoplight (i.e., traffic) laws at light rail on Bradshaw and Folsom?”
Here is his response:
- For northbound Bradshaw at the light rail tracks approaching a red light, traffic must stop at the double limit lines where it says “WAIT HERE,” since it is illegal to stop on railroad tracks. Only if the traffic light is green can anyone pull forward of the railroad limit line(s). The crosswalk along the intersection is to provide a marked safe route for pedestrians, and act as a limit line to motorists only if no unusual conditions, such as railroad tracks, were in place.
- Since right turns can be made on a red light when safe, at this particular location, a motorist looking to make a right hand turn onto eastbound Folsom Boulevard must visually clear the intersection and check for eastbound traffic before moving forward to the crosswalk, provided no trains or pedestrians are approaching. If the light is still red, the motorist must stop again at the crosswalk and ensure the intersection is clear before proceeding to make his/her right turn.
Folsom Blvd and Complete Streets Project
People were also very interested in the status of the “complete streets” project for Folsom Blvd. After the meeting, Supervisor Nottoli’s office followed up with an email, providing the following information:
- Folsom Boulevard Complete Streets Project – recently approved for funding (for design, right-of-way and construction) from the State Active Transportation Program. This project will construct improvements from Bradshaw Road to approximately La Riviera Drive, including new sidewalks along the south side, sidewalk upgrades on the north side, new buffered bike lanes throughout, landscaped medians and frontage landscaping and streetscape. This project is now in the design phase with construction scheduled to begin in spring of 2020. The Sacramento County Department of Transportation (SacDOT) will hold community meetings on the project in the coming year.
- Pavement Overlay Project between Bradshaw and Butterfield Roads is scheduled to go to bid in June with construction this summer. SacDOT is completing the design and right-of-way for the construction of new sidewalks on the north side of Folsom Boulevard east of Mayhew Road. Sidewalks will be installed along the vacant property located across from the Butterfield light rail station. This project is currently scheduled to be bid late this year and constructed in spring 2019. The sidewalks will be designed and constructed to be compatible with the streetscape project coming in 2020.
- Regarding the bike path near Rod Beaudry Drive, scroll down on the attached City of Rancho Cordova link regarding the Folsom Blvd. Beautification and Enhancement Project Phases IV and V. http://www.cityofranchocordova.org/government/public-works/plans-and-projects.
Toward the end of the meeting, the proposed ARCO AM/PM gas station at the northeast corner of Bradshaw and Folsom was discussed. Supervisor Nottoli shared that the plans had been brought to County Planning, and that the plan is currently on hold. BRECA and CORPAC (Cordova Community Planning Advisory Council) are both following this closely, so stay tuned to both of these forums if you are interested in this issue.
The evening was capped off with the drawing for River Cats ticket vouchers. Supervisor Nottoli’s office receives some vouchers from the River Cats organization to give away to community organizations. BRECA wishes to thank Supervisor Nottoli for choosing our community for this generous gift! The lucky drawing recipients were Rick Sloan, Amy Gillingwater, and David Frichtel and each recipient received two vouchers. Congratulations all!
Again, my sincerest thanks to everyone, speakers and community members alike, who made this such a successful meeting! Let’s do it again next year!!
For complete minutes of the 2018 BRECA Annual Meeting, click here.
If you aren’t already a BRECA member, please consider joining. Or if your membership has lapsed, please consider renewing. It’s only $10 per year. It’s easy! You can fill out an application and pay online, or download an application and send in a check. The application is on the BRECA website. Click here to join or renew today!