BRECA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes – May 28, 2019


DATE: May 28, 2019
PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE: BRECA Steering Committee Meeting


Lori Christensen
Bonnie Domeny
Rene Hamlin
Lynda Hammitt
Gay Jones
Carmen Mitchell
Jim Morgan
Andrea White


James Adams


1. Call to Order by Chair Lynda Hammitt

2. Introduction of Steering Committee Election Ballot Counters

Teresa Lindsey-Conesa and Melissa Schuler were introduced as the Steering Committee Election ballot counters (see item 8a).

3. Guest Speakers from SMUD – Presentation on 2019 Rate Increase Proposal

Greg Spagnola, a Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) representative, stated that SMUD is community owned.  They are considering a rate change proposal that would take effect in 2020 and 2021.  There would be increases in residential rates of 4.75% in 2020 and 4.50% in 2021.  For an average bill of $114/month, that would mean rate increases of about $5.40 each year.  These would support investments in several areas, including wildfire mitigation, additional electrical capacity, technology, and carbon reduction.  SMUD currently delivers about 50% carbon free power to customers.  SMUD has an objective of being carbon neutral by 2040.  Coming up on June 4 is a public hearing at the SMUD Board and on June 24 the Board will vote on the rate increase proposal.

There were a number of questions from the audience.  A member of the audience inquired about pricing consistency for all customers.  Mr. Spagnola commented that costs would be spread to self-generation customers, e.g. solar, who have been receiving subsidies from regular customers.  Lynda Hammitt asked about wildfire prevention.  Mr. Spagnola stated that wildfire mitigation includes vegetation management and wildfire insurance.  Bonnie Domeny stated that 9% is a big jump, and asked if there would be a moratorium on rate increases after that.  Mr. Spagnola stated that he did not know.  Andrea White asked how much is the rate increase in dollars?  Mr. Robert Chang, another SMUD representative, stated that it is $54 million for 4.75%.  A member of the audience asked about a slide that indicated that SMUD is trying to encourage commercial customers to use energy when it is most available, but isn’t that the same time as the highest peak rates?  Mr. Spagnola stated no, solar is most available in the middle of the day, but peak costs are in the late afternoon.

A member of the audience asked whether we should now go to the Board and say no to the rate increase?  Mr. Spagnola responded yes, if that is what they think, at the public hearing on June 4.  Another member of the audience inquired whether SMUD encourages solar.  Mr. Spagnola responded yes in general, but individual circumstances vary, and people should get specific information from SMUD.  A member of the audience commented that she had taken the SMUD solar class, and it was really good.  Solar did not make economic sense for her.  Jim Morgan stated that his household is a relatively small energy user, and when the tiered rates were collapsed a few years ago, that amounted to a 9% rate increase for them.  With implementation of the time of day rates, there will be a 4% increase for them.  And now there are more increases proposed.  It seems like small users are getting hit again and again.  Mr. Spagnola stated Mr. Morgan should bring his concerns to the attention of the Board.

4. Minutes of March 26, 2019

An amendment was made to the draft minutes of March 22, 2019.  Lori Christensen made a motion to approve the amended draft minutes.  Gay Jones seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

5. Questions or Comments from the Membership/Community

There were no questions or comments from the membership or community.

6. Reports

a. Treasurer

Andrea White (Treasurer) distributed copies of the most recent budget statement.  She noted that the expense for the web site ($173) exceeded the authorized amount ($150).  Rene Hamlin made a motion to increase the web site authorization to $175.  Gay Jones seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.  It was noted that the expense for the General Meeting mailer was $18.30 over budget.  Gay Jones made a motion to approve the increase of $18.30.  Rene Hamlin seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

A member of the audience suggested that the Steering Committee should approve the overage, but not change the budget.  This would work better, as we would not have a moving target in the budget.  Gay Jones made a motion to approve the increases as overages, but not the budgeted amounts.  Bonnie Domeny seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

Andrea White noted that BRECA often receives “in kind” contributions, and that these are not captured in the budget.  As a result, the true costs of events are not captured.  There was discussion of what to capture.  It was generally agreed to only capture cash contributions.  Gay Jones made a motion that in kind contributions for which the treasurer is provided with a receipt, starting January 1, 2019, be captured in the budget.  Bonnie Domeny seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.


Carmen Mitchell reported that there was not a meeting of the Cordova Community Planning and Advisory Council (CORPAC) this month.

c. Outreach Committee

Lynda Hammitt commented that the Outreach Committee had met.  Andrea White reported that she had talked with the Cordova Recreation and Park District (CRPD) about the Little Free Library.  The Park District will install the Little Free Library at no charge, with some stipulations.  They want to choose several possible locations, and let BRECA choose which one.  Andrea circulated a picture of Riviera East Park with several possible locations.  The location must be Americans with Disabilities Act accessible.  BRECA is responsible for maintenance, including covering over tagging (i.e. graffiti).

Lynda Hammitt commented that the Outreach Committee liked a natural wood look, with a stain finish, and would find a volunteer to do the staining.  A member of the audience (who is on the CRPD Board of Directors) commented that if a stained wood structure gets tagged, it is difficult to refinish, and must be sanded down to be refinished.  Another member of the audience commented that paint is easier to maintain.  Jim Morgan commented that paint is more durable, and he has seen instances of stained wood that was outside peel after some time.  A member of the audience commented that it needs a roof.  An informal poll was taken, and most people supported using paint.

Lynda requested a volunteer to do the painting.  Kelly Cohen volunteered to do the painting.  Lee Leavelle volunteered to supply the paint.

Jim Morgan reported that 25 Welcome Packets have been distributed.

7. Old Business

a. Neighborhood Bike Ride – May 30th

Gay Jones reported that the Neighborhood Bike Ride for May 30 had been cancelled, and will be rescheduled.

b. Casa Linda Motel business license

A member of the audience stated that he had talked to the Shauna Franklin at the District Attorney’s office about the Casa Linda business license.  The County has denied the renewal of the business license and has revoked the business license.  The owner is appealing both actions.  They are going to consolidate the appeals.  There will be a hearing before the Board of Supervisors on June 18 at 2:00 p.m.

Gay Jones stated that she wants to take a vote of BRECA and send a communication to the Board of Supervisors regarding Casa Linda.  Gay made a motion that BRECA send an email to all the Supervisors recommending revocation of the Casa Linda business license, in support of the District Attorney’s office.  Bonnie Domeny seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

c. Annual General Meeting – outcome and debrief

Jim Morgan distributed a handout with the numbers of people who attended the last General Meeting (GM) and previous general meetings.  He stated that the last GM attendance was similar to other GMs except for the 2018 GM, which was unusually high.  Unfortunately, BRECA did not get any new members at the last GM, which is unprecedented.  There was discussion of these observations.

d. Kinder-Morgan speaker on July 23

Lynda Hammitt stated that Kinder-Morgan will have a speaker at the July 23 meeting.

e. Cal Am update

Gay Jones stated that the Administrative Law Judge had sent out a draft final decision on the California American (Cal Am) General Rate Case in December.  But James Adams and Gay did not find it, possibly because it looked like a list serve.  Consequently, BRECA did not comment on the draft final decision.

f. From the floor

There were no comments from the floor.

8. New Business

a. Steering Committee Election results

Jim Morgan reported the election results as counted by Teresa Lindsey-Conesa and Melissa Schuler.  The results were (in the same order as on the ballot):

James Adams: 42 votes, re-elected
Kelly Cohen: 33 votes, not elected
Jim Morgan: 39 votes, re-elected
Gay Jones: 39 votes, re-elected
Bonnie Domeny: 40 votes, re-elected
Lee Leavelle: 38 votes, elected
Lori Christensen: 38 votes, re-elected
Andrea White: 36 votes, re-elected
Tom Custer: 23 votes, not elected
Ken Crawford: 38 votes, elected
Rene Hamlin: 35 votes, re-elected

b. From the Floor

Gay Jones distributed handouts for a Fire Camp for kids and Sacramento Metro Fire statistics about responses.

9. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting of the Steering Committee is scheduled for June 25, 2019, 6:30 pm at the Rancho Cordova Library.

BRECA Annual General Meeting Minutes – April 23, 2019


DATE: April 23, 2019
PLACE: Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California


James Adams
Lori Christensen
Bonnie Domeny
Rene Hamlin
Lynda Hammitt
Gay Jones
Carmen Mitchell
Jim Morgan
Andrea White



1. Welcome from Chair Lynda Hammitt

2. Introduction from the Chair

Lynda Hammitt introduced the speakers and described the format of the meeting.  There are to be presentations from the speakers, followed by questions from the audience.

The speakers were:

Prabhjot Johnson, Sacramento County Department of Human Services,
Ron Fiskan, Sacramento Metro Fire Community Emergency Response Team (CERT),
George Booth, Sacramento County Department of Water Resources,
Jason Wenner and Jason Vestal, Sacramento Metro Fire,
Darren Quackenbush, Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy, and Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officer, and Sergeant Chuck Pfau, POP Supervisor,
Robin Johnson and George Beries, California Highway Patrol, and
Don Nottoli, Sacramento County Supervisor

3. Prabhjot Johnson, Sacramento County Department of Human Services

Ms. Johnson stated that an emergency is any serious, unexpected, often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.  Examples are fires, floods, and disease.  What to do generally comes down to one of two things: evacuation, and shelter in place.  There is a Sacramento Alert Emergency Notification System that can notify you in event of an emergency.  You can also sign up at

To be prepared for an emergency, it is helpful to have an emergency kit, which should include:

three to five days food and water,
medications and a list of medications,
a first aid kit,
a flashlight and batteries,
pet supplies,
a pet crate or carrier, and
a contact list of friends and family out of town (e.g. use social media).

Additional information is available at

If an injury occurs, one should call 911, stay safe, stop bleeding, position the injured, and provide comfort.

A question from the audience concerned how a person who is elderly and immobile can prepare for an emergency.  Ms. Johnson suggested a Federal Emergency Management Agency brochure that she brought to the meeting.

4. Ron Fiskan, Sacramento Metro Fire Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Mr. Fiskan stated that the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was started in 1981.  They provide training of members of the public in basic first aid, how to turn off electricity and other utilities, and general first aid.

A question from the audience concerned how one would initiate service with CERT.  Mr. Fiskan responded that one can sign up for training on the Sacramento Metro Fire website.  Another question was whether everybody should be trained at a basic level.  Mr. Fiskan responded yes, and it is free.  He also stated that there is more advanced training for many eventualities.

5. George Booth, Sacramento County Department of Water Resources

Mr. Booth stated that he is with the Floodplain Management section of the County Department of Water Resources.  He will talk about little water and big water.  On the local level is storm water drainage.  There are 239 acres in the BRECA area.  Water from the storm drains goes downhill until it comes to the pump station at the Mayhew Drain.  He implored people not to put junk, such as oil or dog poop, down the drains as it ends up in the river.

On the big water level, in 1986 there was a flow of 135,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the American River, and in 1997 it reached 115,000 cfs.  Since then, a new spillway has been build at Folsom Dam.  Before the new spillway, the dam could only release 35,000 cfs until the dam was 90% full.  Now it can release more water earlier.  Storage at Folsom reservoir is only one million acre-feet, and there is a big drainage above the dam.  The nemesis of flood control is a big snow pack plus an atmospheric river rain.  Currently, the 100-year flow is estimated at 115,000 cfs.  The 200-year flow is estimated at 117,000 cfs.  The Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency is currently certifying the levees to 145,000 cfs.

Mr. Booth also pointed out that the Rancho Cordova Library is at 70 feet elevation, so should be outside of any flooding from the American River.  He has a map of the flood inundation for 235,000 cfs, but it would only affect people within a few blocks of the levee.  Whether one needs flood insurance, it depends.  Call 916-874-6484 to find out if you are in a flood area.  Flood insurance costs around $600 per year.  Although the current system looks strong, one squirrel can change the whole scenario.  Take away: 235,000 cfs very unlikely to happen.  Protect those levees and keep the storm drains open.

A question from the audience was how to get the 235,000 cfs map.  Mr. Booth responded that BRECA could make arrangements to get the map.

6. Battalion Chief Jason Vestal and Captain Jason Wenner, Sacramento Metro Fire

Chief Vestal stated that they deal with many hazardous materials incidents.  They would use foam to contain a large fire or spill.  They work with other districts to respond to large events.

Captain Wenner stated that there had recently been a large flammable tank fire in Texas, and it took a long time to put it out.  These incidents don’t happen often, but are catastrophic when they do happen.  The Kinder Morgan facility (the tank farm at Bradshaw Rd. and Folsom Blvd.) would be a large incident if something happened.  They can’t put water on it, but would need a lot of foam to put it out.  They would get help from other agencies, but still would likely take a long time to put out.

A question from the audience was whether they were prepared for an event at Kinder Morgan.  Captain Wenner assured us that they are.  Another question was what would they have the community do if Kinder Morgan burned.  Captain Wenner responded that we would generally shelter in place.  The facility has berms that would contain 150% of the largest tank.  Also, any runoff would drain to the south-east.  They have emergency plans on how to contact the local community.

7. Deputy Darren Quackenbush with Sacramento Sheriff’s Department and Sergeant Chuck Pfau with Rancho Cordova Police

Deputy Darren Quackenbush stated that he is the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) officer for this area.  Sergeant Chuck Pfau is his supervisor.  Deputy Quackenbush stated that they would work with the CHP to do traffic control during an evacuation.  Generally they would direct people to the easiest way out.  He recommended that people have a “go bag” if they need to leave right now, with supplies for three to five days.  He asked how many people have an emergency action plan.  A few hands went up.

A statement from the audience was that they had participated in evacuation drills in another community, and that they had put an “X” on the doors of houses that had been evacuated.  Sergeant Pfau responded that it could be done, maybe BRECA could organize something, and to let them know.  However, they would follow up and check to be sure.

8. Lieutenant Robin Johnson and Sergeant George Beries with the California Highway Patrol

Lieutenant Robin Johnson, commander of the East Station of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), stated that they assist with traffic flow in the event of an emergency evacuation.  People need to have a plan, and have gas in the car.  Sergeant Beries stated that when they say evacuate and you don’t, it causes problems.  Floods, fires, and earthquakes: It is a matter of when, not if.  Have a plan: you will get through it.  Medications can become a problem if someone needs to get back into an evacuated area to get their medications.

9. Supervisor Don Nottoli and Other Representatives from Sacramento County

Supervisor Don Nottoli stated that we have a talented and knowledgeable group of people serving the community, and that people need to be prepared for emergencies.  He also gave an update on some ongoing issues for the community.  He stated that the County is working with Rancho Cordova to improve the section of Folsom Blvd. from Paseo Rio to Bradshaw Rd.  This summer the County expects to repave the section of Folsom Blvd. from Bradshaw to Butterfield.  Next summer they hope to do improvements to the same section, including bike lanes.

Ron Vicari, with the Sacramento County Department of Transportation, stated that they are seeking grants for the work on Folsom Blvd. from Bradshaw Rd. to Butterfield Way.  He also commented that people can call in potholes, and they generally get them done in four days.

A question from the audience concerned improvements to the section of Folsom Blvd. from Butterfield Way to Mayhew Rd.  Mr. Vicari stated that would be in the next round of funding, which comes up in 2020.  They want to continue and get to Watt Ave.  A comment from the audience concerned the 311 County information number, which is aggravating, because it does not have an option to go to the County, but directs the caller to the City of Sacramento departments.  Mr. Vicari stated that they know about the problem, and that there is a 311 app for smartphones.

Barry Chamberlain, with Sacramento County Code Enforcement, stated that they have two ongoing cases in this area.  Vince’s Motel has done a good job and cleaned up it’s problems.  For Casa Linda, their business license has been pulled, and they are about to lose the license.  There is a party interested in buying the property.

A question from the audience was whether Casa Linda has to stay a motel.  Mr. Chamberlain stated that they don’t control the use of the property, but will work with a new owner.  Another question from the audience concerned feral cats on Elmira Circle.  Mr. Chamberlain said that would be Animal Control.  But, if someone has too many cats, there could also be other problems that would involve Code Enforcement.

Supervisor Nottoli noted that the Board of Supervisors is encouraging conversion of motels to supportive housing.  Concerning the Sy West property (the Drive-In Theaters), he noted that the owners are investing about $1 million into the existing theater.  Concerning the proposal to build apartments on vacant property behind some businesses on Folsom Blvd., the developer has run into some snags.  Currently they are planning to increase the density to 60 units, and encroach into the 50 feet setback from the private property line.  He noted that state law is changing, and that will affect how local authority controls development.  Some proposals in the legislature include non-discretionary review of higher density development near rapid transit.

10. Presentation of Gift for Sheryll Venegas

Lynda Hammitt presented a gift for Sheryll Venegas, who recently retired from Supervisor Nottoli’s staff, to Supervisor Nottoli.

11. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a regular Steering Committee meeting on May 28, 2019, at the Rancho Cordova Library