06-24-14 Meeting Minutes



DATE: June 24, 2014

PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California

MEETING TYPE: BRECA Steering Committee Meeting


Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Bonnie Domeny
Gay Jones
Rene Hamlin
Jim Morgan
Greg Vaughan
Andrea White

1. Welcome from Chair Gay Jones

2. Minutes of April 22, 2014

Kelly Cohen made a motion to adopt the draft minutes from April 22, 2014. Lori Christensen seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.

3. Guest Speaker Officer Tommy Riggins, California Highway Patrol

Officer Tommy Riggins with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) spoke. He stated that there are about 30 officers in the Sacramento East Division, which works out to about 6 officers on any given shift. He stated that the BRECA area is generally quiet in terms of calls for service to the CHP. He stated that there are occasionally stolen cars at Vince’s Hotels, but the staff of the Hotel is very co-operative. He stated that the CHP responds to vehicle accidents in the unincorporated areas of the County. Also, they will check on abandoned vehicles. In response to a question from the audience, he stated that motorized bicycles must have an M2 license, and they would check it out. In closing, he noted that 911 calls from cell phones go to the CHP, and they route to the relevant agency.

4. Election of Steering Committee Officers

Gay Jones nominated Andrea White to be treasurer. Rene Hamlin seconded the motion. Andrea accepted the nomination. Andrea was appointed by unanimous consent.

Gay Jones nominated Jim Morgan to be secretary. Jim accepted the nomination. Jim was appointed by unanimous consent.

Rene Hamlin indicated that she would be interested in the position of Vice-Chair. Rene was appointed by unanimous consent.

Andrea White nominated Gay Jones to be Chair. Gay accepted the nomination. Gay was appointed by unanimous consent.

Kelly Cohen stated that she thinks there should be term limits. Gay Jones disagreed.

5. Reports

a. Treasurer’s Report

Kelly Cohen reported that the balance in the BRECA account was $2,808.62.

b. Parkway Coalition

Joe O’Connor reported that the County Parks budget is mostly stable, but with small cuts. Also, due to the drought, the operators of Folsom Dam are having difficulty maintaining water temperatures in a good range for fish.

c. Floor

Gay Jones stated that the Cordova Community Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC) did not meet last month.

Andrea White stated that there had been dialogue on Nextdoor.com regarding installing port-a-potties or restrooms in Riviera East Park. She has forwarded this to Jim Rodems, the Cordova Recreation and Park District (CRPD) Administrator. She asked whether we would want him to come to the next BRECA meeting. She noted that nobody has actually contacted CRPD regarding the question. It was stated by several speakers that installing restrooms has been a contentious issue in the past. Gay Jones stated that we would like to have Mr. Rodems come to the next meeting and talk about port-a-potty compared to permanent restrooms, their costs and standards.

6. Old Business

a. Folsom Blvd. Tree Planting

Gay Jones stated that tree planting on Folsom Blvd. between Butterfield and Bradshaw is supposed to happen in the next 30 days. She noted that the delay has been due to the need to map the property line between the County and Regional Transit.

b. Special Planning Areas – Decide on Committee

Gay Jones stated that Keri Blaskowski has been replaced as the person in charge of the Folsom Blvd. Special Planning Areas (SPA). Gay asked for people who are interested in being on a BRECA SPA committee. Gay Jones, Kelly Cohen, Bonnie Domeny, Jim Morgan, Shelly Johnson and Greg Vaughan volunteered.

Gay stated that in essence the SPA is about being able to ignore standard zoning codes for the area. There are two SPA areas left on Folsom Blvd.: Butterfield and Hazel. BRECA has taken the position in the past that SPA infill development must include connectivity, blending and melding with surrounding areas, and full parkland dedication on site.

Joe O’Connor noted that there are lots of elements in the SPAs. For the Butterfield site, they include buildings up to three stories in height, to which BRECA has objected.

c. Cal Am Rate Case

Joe O’Connor reported on the California American Water (Cal Am) General Rate Case. He stated that public participation hearings are scheduled in May and June before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Other groups are joining in the case, including the Small Business Association and National Association of Minority Companies, who want set asides for their groups. Joe stated that he has become a Steering Committee member for the California Water Rights Association – Nor Cal. This group is mostly composed of small water companies. They applied to be a party to the Cal Am case, but were rejected by the CPUC. Joe has suggested that the system should be investigated by the Little Hoover Commission.

There was discussion of how individuals and groups such as BRECA could communicate their opinions to the CPUC. This is a difficult undertaking due to the highly technical nature of submissions. The CPUC Office of Ratepayer Advocates has put out an analysis of the submission. Letters to the ALJ or the CPUC can be helpful.

d. Starthistle Removal, Mini-Restoration

Gay Jones stated that a considerable amount of Yellow Starthistle had been removed at the mini-restoration site near the Mayhew Drain. There were 26 volunteer hours, and 17 large black garbage bags full of starthistle. She stated that they had cleared about half of the area, and also around the plantings. They also added more dri-water to the containers around the plantings. The dri-water had sustained the plantings from March 16 to June 21.

e. From the Floor

There was no Old Business from the floor.

7. New Business

a. Establish Committee to Review By-Laws

Gay Jones stated that she had put in the agenda an item to establish a committee to review the By-Laws as a way to examine some of the questions and suggestions that had been put forward in the last couple of months. Also, a group should examine their By-Laws periodically to see what fits and what needs to be changed.

Gay stated that, as an example of this, the By-Laws state that the incoming Steering Committee members take office 30 days after the election. Since the last Steering Committee meeting, where the results were announced, was May 27, 2014, the meeting on this night (June 24) was less than 30 days after that meeting. Jim Morgan pointed out that “the election” which is referred to in the By-Laws actually should be interpreted as the voting period, which ended on May 22. Hence, 30 days later was June 21, so the announced candidates took office at that time. So, no problem.

Lori Christensen commented that a lot of time went into writing the existing By-Laws, it was a difficult undertaking, and she did not want to see a line-by-line review. Kelly Cohen agreed that they were not thinking of a line-by-line review of the By-Laws. Rene Hamlin stated that she liked the brevity of the By-Laws, but they could be reviewed. She also pointed out that some organizations also have “operating rules” to supplement the By-Laws. She further pointed out that the California Secretary of State must be notified of changes in the By-Laws. Lori Christensen requested an example of “operating rules.” Rene stated that they typically contain things like election committee, election complaint committee, and so on. Jim Morgan echoed the comment that writing the By-Laws was a hard undertaking, and that he could support small changes, but not a big rewrite.

Gay Jones requested volunteers for the By-Laws Review Committee. Bonnie Domeny, Jim Morgan, Jaime Gurevich, Kelly Cohen, and Rene Hamlin volunteered, with Gay as a substitute.

b. From the Floor

Joe O’Connor commented that Jim Morgan had done an excellent job writing the minutes.

Jim Morgan reported that the recently completed BRECA elections had come in over budget due to having more members to mail to and more candidates than usual. The authorized budget was $131, but the actual expenditure was $181.97. Jim made a motion to authorize $181.97 for the election expenses. Kelly Cohen seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.

Jim Morgan stated that he had a conflict between a music festival for which he has tickets and the BRECA picnic scheduled for September 14, 2014, and requested a change of date for the picnic to September 7 or 21. After some discussion, September 7 was selected.

8. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a Steering Committee Meeting on Tuesday, July 22 at the Rancho Cordova Library.

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