06-23-15 Meeting Minutes


DATE: June 23, 2015
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA Steering Committee Meeting


Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Bonnie Domeny
Rene Hamlin
Gay Jones
Carmen Mitchell
Jim Morgan
Celia Rasmussen
Andrea White

  1. Welcome from Chair Gay Jones
  2. Minutes for May 2015
    Some changes were made to the draft minutes for May 2015.  Rene Hamlin made a motion to approve the draft minutes as amended.  Carmen Mitchell seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
  1. Election Results
    Jim Morgan distributed a handout from Elaine Crawford confirming Joe O’Connor’s counts for the Steering Committee election (see May 2015 minutes).
    Steering Committee officers were elected as follows:
    Gay Jones nominated Rene Hamlin for Chair.  Kelly Cohen seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
    Lori Christensen nominated Gay Jones for Vice Chair.  Bonnie Domeny seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
    Gay Jones nominated Andrea White for Treasurer.  Bonnie Domeny seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
    Carmen Mitchell nominated Jim Morgan for Secretary.  Bonnie Domeny seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
  1. Reports
    1. Treasurer’s Report
      Andrea White, BRECA treasurer, stated that the ending balance in the BRECA checking account is $4,087.07.  She handed out a statement of expenditures versus budget.
    2. CORPAC
      Gay Jones reported that Carmen Mitchell is now a member of the Cordova Community Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC).  Gay distributed a handout of master plan locations and responsible County staff for the Jackson Highway area.  A question was raised about whether Jackson Highway is to be widened.  It was stated that there are plans to widen Jackson Highway to four or six lanes.  Carmen Mitchell commented that the overall impression of the master plans is a lot like San Jose.  Kelly Cohen questioned whether BRECA should make comments on the plans.  Carmen responded not at this time.
  1. Old Business
    1. Army Corps of Engineers GRR Erosion Protection Proposal
      Jim Morgan reminded the group that the Army Corps of Engineers has released a General Reevaluation Report (GRR) that proposes a large amount of “erosion protection” work on the Lower American River.  The proposal includes some sort of rock protection for all parts of the left (south) bank levee that do not already have revetment, as well as some work on the right (north) bank.  This would include the Mayhew-Gristmill levee area adjacent to the BRECA area.

      Two variations of erosion protection work are proposed.  One would line the river bank with rock, with perhaps a bed of dirt for growing some trees near the waterline.  The other is called a launchable rock trench.  It would involve digging a large trench, for our area about 80 feet wide by 25 feet deep at the toe of the levee, filling it mostly with large rocks, and covering it with about three feet of dirt.  The dirt could be revegetated with grasses, bushes, and small trees, but not the large oaks or black walnuts that are there now.

      Jim stated that either variation would have horrendous impacts on the Parkway.  Also, there has been no real supporting analysis of the proposed actions, which are based on “expert opinion.”

      Jim further stated that the proposals were discussed at a recent meeting of the Lower American River Task Force (LARTF).  It was stated that the Corps had received many comments on the GRR and environmental documents, and expects to have responses completed by August 2015.  Jim commented that this likely implies no major changes to the proposed plan.  The Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) proposed formation of a “Bank Protection Working Group” under the LARTF to foster “conversation” among the stakeholders, SAFCA and the Corps regarding erosion protection needs and environmental impacts.  One major concern that was discussed at the LARTF is that the Corps may not have funding for staff to participate in the Bank Protection Working Group.  When asked for volunteers for the Bank Protection Working Group, about half of the people at the LARTF meeting raised their hands.

      Jim commented that the proposed Bank Protection Working Group is a two-edged sword.  On the one hand, it could be an opportunity to influence the proposed project for the better.  But, on the other hand, one is co-opted into a project that one wishes would not happen at all.  Jim raised the question of whether he and other members of BRECA should participate as a BRECA representative(s).  There was general agreement that to should do so.

    2. Website
      Bonnie Domeny reported that the BRECA.org site is now the primary BRECA web site.  She is working to get old documents on line.  She commented that there have been 544 sessions on the site from 484 visitors.  Twenty percent of that is “spambots.”  She also wants Steering Committee members to have e-mail on the BRECA web site.  Lori Christensen commented that there are new “no dumping” signs at Linda Rio Dr. and Butterfield Way, and these should be on the BRECA web site.
    3. Steering Committee Preparation for By-Laws Review
      Gay Jones stated that she would like to have the Steering Committee review and possibly revise the BRECA By-Laws in regard to Steering Committee elections.  She commented that any changes must be approved by the membership, so it is better to be focused on a single concern.  Gay made a motion as follows: “Within the next month, if there are policy level issues of significant concern about the BRECA By-Laws as they relate to the Steering Committee election process, submit reason(s) for concern(s) and proposed change(s) to the Steering Committee.”  The Motion was seconded by Carmen Mitchell and approved unanimously by Steering Committee members present (Kelly Cohen was out of the room).

      Jim Morgan commented that BRECA has no experience with voting for amendments to the By-Laws.  However, experience with Steering Committee elections indicates that candidates at the end of the 9-person list tend to receive fewer votes.  Hence he suggested that we have a goal of 6 or fewer proposed changes to the By-Laws.

    4. From the Floor
      There was no Old Business from the floor.
  1. New Business
    1. Annual Picnic
      Rene Hamlin commented that she had heard that non-traditional families do not feel welcome at the picnic.  Wendi Weston commented that she would like to attract more children to the picnic, and it would be good to have more children on the flyer.  She also suggested some sort of competition, such as a chili cook-off.  Celia Rasmussen stated that she can ask the Sheriff to come and do fingerprinting of children.  Lori Christensen, who is in charge of the annual picnic, requested volunteers.
    2. From the Floor
      Wendi Weston commented that there seemed to be a lot of trucks going up and down the levee at high speed.  Gay Jones suggested that she should contact the American River Flood Control District or County Parks Rangers.

      Bonnie Domeny reported that she had attended a Rancho Cordova area Neighborhood Watch meeting.  She stated that there is gang activity in Rancho Cordova, including Lincoln Village, although not in the BRECA area.  Rene Hamlin suggested that we have a Sheriff’s presentation on gangs at an upcoming meeting.

  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next Meeting will be a Steering Committee Meeting and will be held on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at the Rancho Cordova Library.

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