02-22-11 Meeting Minutes


DATE: February 22, 2011
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA Steering Committee Meeting


Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Mary Ann Winters

  1. Welcome from Chair Gay Jones
  2. Minutes
    1. Minutes of November, 2010
      Lori Christensen made a motion to adopt the draft minutes.  Gay Jones seconded the motion.  The motion was approved with 3 votes in favor and 2 abstentions.
    2. Minutes of December, 2010
      Lori Christensen made a motion to adopt the draft minutes.  Gay Jones seconded the motion.  The motion was approved with 3 votes in favor and 2 abstentions.
  1. Reports
    1. Treasurer’s Report
      Kelly Cohen reported that the balance in the BRECA checking account was $4,711.88.
  1. Old Business
    1. Updates from the floor
      Gay Jones reported that Katherine Franklin (with the Cordova Recreation and Park District) sent an e-mail to the effect that a contractor had been hired to install curbing and equipment for the new playground in Riviera East Park.  If weather permits the work could be finished by late March.Gay Jones reported that County Regional Parks is preparing a sign for the Gristmill area that would acknowledge the volunteers who are taking out the trash from the area.  A draft of the sign was presented.  There were several suggestions for modifications to the draft sign.  These included adding “Please help by packing out your trash” and identifying the Gristmill Gatherers as the name of the group taking out the trash.  The sign is to be installed on an existing post at the Gristmill parking lot.

      Gay Jones reported that she had received a message from Bonnie Slaven (with the Library) that they are trying to get money for an awning to protect the tree round from the largest oak removed for the Mayhew-Gristmill levee project.

      Gay Jones reported that Grant Kreinberg (with the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency) left a voice mail message to the effect that work restoring the Kansas Access staging area could start in April or May.

  1. New Business
    1. California Public Utilities Commission meetings and BRECA response
      There was a general discussion of the recent California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) meetings regarding the request by California American Water (Cal Am) for rate increases.  There were two meetings, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.  In the afternoon meeting about 120 people attended.  There were some good technical comments, but most people simply didn’t want the rate increase.  Comments from elected officials included Connie Bruins from Citrus Heights and Linda Budge from Rancho Cordova.  The evening meeting was similar.Joe O’Connor noted that the Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) recommended scaling back the rate increase from about 40% over three years to about 10%.  Joe spoke at the evening session, and stated that social engineering is behind using metered water, and that the costs of a unionized workforce are being passed along the customers.  Kelly Cohen also spoke in praise of the Ratepayer Advocates position, and suggested that since water is an essential resource it should not be subject to the profit motive.  Jim Morgan spoke at the afternoon session, and stated that his rates had gone up by 6% over 7 years with Citizens Utilities, and 128% over 7 years with Cal Am.  He concluded that Cal Am is padding their investments in order to increase profits.

      There was discussion about whether and what BRECA should do.  Lori Christensen suggested that the Cal Am subcommittee put together a BRECA letter and send it.  Mary Ann Winters seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

    2. Regional Parks Budget
      Jim Morgan stated that at the last Save the American River Association meeting Janet Baker (with Sacramento County Regional Parks) made some comments about the upcoming Sacramento County Regional Parks budget.  In particular, her superior has stated that they do not want to make more cuts to Parks, as Parks has been cut severely already.  However, they were directed to prepare a budget with a 10% cut for the coming fiscal year.Jim suggested that a Parks budget committee be formed to follow developments and advocate for an adequate budget.  Kelly Cohen made a motion to form a Parks budget committee.  Lori Christensen seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.  Jim Morgan, Gay Jones, Kelly Cohen and Joe O’Connor are to be on the committee.
    3. Request from Sacramento County for a “Sewer District Report Card”
      Gay Jones stated that she had received a request for a “Sewer District Report Card” from Sacramento County.  The purpose was not clear.  We will request the “Report Card” and see what it is about.
  1. Items from the floor.
    Gay Jones stated that a “citizens academy” is being held to inform people about how law enforcement works.  People can apply to go to the “academy.”It was announced that there will be a Spring Cleanup on the Parkway on April 19, 2011.
  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be on March 22, 2011 at the Rancho Cordova Library.

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