08-24-12 Meeting Minutes



DATE: August 24, 2012
PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE: BRECA Steering Committee Meeting


Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan
Stan Mofjeld
Mary Ann Winters

1. Welcome from the Chair Gay Jones

2. Minutes

a. March 2012

Mary Ann Winters made a motion to adopt the draft minutes of March 2012. Stan Mofjeld seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.

b. July 2012

Lori Christensen made a motion to adopt the draft minutes of July 2012. Stan Mofjeld seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.

3. Standing Reports

a. American River Parkway Coalition

Gay Jones distributed copies of a memo on herbicide use in and near the Parkway from William Katen, Park Maintenance Supervisor. Stan Mofjeld stated that he is concerned that homeowners are not being notified of pesticide use. Jim Morgan stated that he is interested in finding out where herbicides are being used in the BRECA area, and volunteered to follow up with William Katen.

Gay also reported that Federal money is coming for reducing the fuel load in the Parkway (aka removing brush) and that two reserve rangers have been added.

b. Treasurer’s Report

There was no treasurer’s report.

4. Old Business.

a. Recap Folsom Walk Project

Gay Jones stated that it was a good thing to get to know Judy Robinson, as she is a player in several issues at the Sacramento County level. There was a discussion about the sort of people staying at the motels on Folsom Blvd, which could include former criminals and sex offenders. Joe O’Connor commented that the motels are close to a children’s day care operation. Gay noted that this was a talking point on the Folsom Walk projects already.

b. Cal Am Update

Joe O’Connor reported on some minor matters regarding California American (Cal Am) Water rates, including billing for unfunded approved projects and cost of capital. Jim Morgan noted that there was a discrepancy between the rate increase recently approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), of 25.5%, and the increase in rates on the recent bills, of 14.77%. Even if the previous two small rate increases were included, it was still short of 25.5%. Joe pointed out that it’s a revenue increase for the entire Sacramento District, not each water bill. There are different categories of rate payers, and it’s based on estimated water use.

Joe O’Connor also reported that he had contacted The Utility Reform Network (TURN), which is one of the parties to the Cal Am rate case. He asked the person from TURN what we could do for them and what they could do for us. The person had responded that a good community turn out at the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) meeting is a good thing, as is having people focus on specific issues of the rate case.

Joe further stated that the Phase 2 proceedings currently underway are mostly about Monterey, not Sacramento. Jim Morgan noted that rate increases for 2013 and 2014 are also pending. Joe stated that he would let us know if they become significant.

Joe also stated that he had talked to Evan Jacobs, with Cal Am, about the low income assistance program. There is a proposal to pool all of Cal Am’s California Districts under a possible single low income assistance rate. If so, since the cost is being borne by full rate payers, it might result in something like Sacramento helping subsidize other district’s low income customers. Evan doesn’t think that will be the case for Sacramento.

Lori Christensen pointed out that when BRECA was waiting for the appropriate time to send a letter on the (phase 1) ALJ report, because there are 30 days between BRECA meetings there was no time to send a BRECA letter. Joe responded that the CPUC agenda was not available until late and he was never notified, but he found it three days before the CPUC meeting and one day before the BRECA meeting. Jim Morgan pointed out that the release document for the ALJ report stated that a CPUC meeting could be held as early as 30 days after release of the ALJ report, so BRECA needed to get moving soon after the ALJ report was released. Joe responded that BRECA could have made Joe’s individual letter a BRECA letter, but Jim Morgan objected. Kelly Cohen stated that the Steering Committee needs more timely information to comment on issues. Joe responded that he would continue to brief the Steering Committee at the monthly meetings. Brief further discussion failed to resolve the conflicting viewpoints.

c. Newsletter

There was a discussion of articles for the upcoming Newsletter. The objective is to publish the Newsletter in October. The deadline for articles is the end of September.

d. Native Planting Project at Gristmill

Kelly Cohen reported that a mini-restoration of native plants is planned for the area next to the Gristmill parking lot. Jim Morgan stated that the project should start with a map of the proposed action. Gay Jones requested that Kelly come up with a map, and also noted that the project has to get approval from County Parks.

5. New Business.

a. Great American River Clean-Up – September 15th

It was suggested that John Whelan be asked to staff a table at the Gristmill parking lot for BRECA for the Great American River Clean-Up. Gay Jones to follow up.

b. From the Floor

After some discussion, it was agreed to hold the annual BRECA picnic on Sunday, September 23rd. Kelly Cohen to organize.

There was discussion about the Corps of Engineers recent action regarding levees, as reported in the Sacramento Bee. Jim Morgan pointed out that the Mayhew-Gristmill levee was certified by the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, not the Corps, and should not have a problem with not meeting the Corps’ criteria.

6. Meeting Adjourned

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on Friday, September 28, 2012, at the Rancho Cordova Library

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