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.

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