BRECA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes – May 26, 2020


DATE: May 26, 2020
PLACE:  Internet, via Zoom
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA Steering Committee Meeting

James Adams
Lori Christensen
Ken Crawford
Bonnie Domeny
Rene Hamlin
Gay Jones
Lee Leavelle
Jim Morgan
Andrea White 




  1. Call to Order by Chair Bonnie Domeny
  2. Welcome and Introductions
  3. Questions or Comments from the Membership/Community on Non-Agenda items.
    A member of the audience commented that people are following the social distancing rules in the local park.
  1. Minutes of February 25, 2020
    Jim Morgan reported that the draft minutes for February 25, 2020 were circulated to the Steering Committee via email in March.  One change was proposed and accepted.  The majority of the Steering Committee voted in favor of the amended minutes, which were approved.  (Secretary’s note: 6 Steering Committee members voted in favor, and three did not respond.)
  1. Reports
    1. Treasurer
      Andrea White (Treasurer) reported that there have been few expenses due to the novel coronavirus stay-at-home orders, but some income.  The balance in the BRECA checking account is now $5,297.26.
    2. CORPAC
      Gay Jones reported that there was a CORPAC (Cordova Community Planning and Advisory Council) meeting via telephone conference this month.  The item of BRECA interest was the Bradshaw Apartments proposal, which was an information item for CORPAC.  She reported that there was nothing new to BRECA in the proposal, and that the proposal is still moving forward.  Bonnie Domeny commented that she made personal comments to the effect that the County is allowing variances and other deviations from codes, which reduce the protections for the community.
    3. Membership
      Jim Morgan reported that membership renewals in the first month were pretty good in March, but significantly down in April.  May brought some recovery.  Total current memberships are 93.
    4. Spring Fling Scavenger Hunt
      Bonnie Domeny reported that there were three people who completed the game cards, and that they all won something.  People enjoyed the event.
  1. Old Business
    1. Cal Am
      James Adams reported that they had participated in an update conference call.  They enquired about what all the service fees are for.  He stated that they think it is not worth participating in the hearings in San Francisco in July.  We can put together comments on a proposed decision with a brief on issues.
    2. From the Floor
      There was no Old Business from the floor.
  1. New Business
    1. BRECA 2020 Budget Adjustments
      Jim Morgan reported that the expenses for the 2019 membership year had exceeded the amount in the 2020 budget.  He noted that membership year expenses are paid in the following year.  The budgeted amount was $160, and the actual cost was $194.64.  The sources of the increase were an unusually high number of non-renewing members and an increase in printing costs.  Jim requested that an increase to $195 be approved.  Gay Jones made a motion to approve an increase to $195.  James Adams seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.Jim Morgan also reported that the expenses for the 2020 Steering Committee election had exceeded the budgeted amount.  The budgeted amount was $160 and the actual cost was $164.75.  The source of the increase was a large increase in printing costs.  Jim requested that an increase to $165 be approved.  Gay Jones made a motion to approve an increase to $165.  Andrea White seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

      Bonnie Domeny reported that she had circulated to the Steering Committee via email some options for renewing the BRECA web site, but had received little response.  So, she went with a three year renewal at $305, which saves BRECA some money compared to one year.  Andrea White commented that the exact amount was $301.14.  BRECA has already paid $161.35, so in total we need to approve $462.49.  Rounded that would be $465.  Gay Jones made a motion to approve an increase to $465.  James Adams seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

    2. Mira Del Rio Speed Bump
      Bonnie Domeny stated that she had received a request from a community member on Mira Del Rio Dr. who wants a speed bump at Riviera East Park.  Bonnie stated that as she understands the process, the neighbor must start a petition.  Bonnie stated that she is in favor, but the local residents need to take this on.  BRECA can support the effort.  Rene Hamlin stated that the community members need to come to our meeting to present their case.  Bonnie stated that she would just contact the community with information.  Ken Crawford stated that the people in the area need to work on it.
    3. Casa Linda
      Bonnie Domeny stated that she has no new information on Casa Linda.  She observed that people are working on it, and has sent an email to Supervisor Nottoli’s office enquiring what is going on.  Lee Leavelle commented that he has a friend who works with Sacramento Self Help Housing (SSHH).  They work to transition homeless people to permanent housing.  They are negotiating to rent the entire complex.  They would rent out rooms based on what the tenants can afford.  They try to move tenants on to permanent housing.  They can make a presentation to BRECA.  Generally SSHH works with homeless people, and neighbors often do not like the situation.  Lee’s question is whether SSHH would work with local homeless people, or bring more people in.Rebecca Sloan, with Supervisor Nottoli’s office, commented that the County is working on various facility issues and code violations at the site, and that there is a hold on the occupancy permit.  Supervisor Nottoli had a meeting with staff on the issues, especially concerning compatibility with the community.  Gay Jones stated that her overriding concerns would be supervision, the welfare of the clients, and the welfare of the community.  Lee stated that he would convey these concerns to his contact as SSHH.  James Adams commented that a reasonable development would be good.  Bonnie stated that she would hope to avoid problems.  Lee Leavelle requested crime data before and after Casa Linda closed.  Rebecca also commented that she has talked with Father Hezekaih, of the church next door, and requested that he keep and eye on the situation.
    4. Yellow Starthistle Eradication
      Bonnie Domeny commented that this year we cannot do a group Yellow Starthistle pulling event.  Gay Jones stated that she would like to do a post for the BRECA web site and maybe Next Door.  She stated that the main Starthistle resurgence is at the old staging area from the levee work at the Kansas Access.  There is also Italian thistle to be pulled.  She stated that one could leave the Starthistle where it is pulled.  Jim Morgan commented that, oddly enough, the emergence of Starthistle at the staging area is actually a good thing.  Prior to that, there were only sparse and stunted grasses, but no broadleaf flowering plants.  The Starthistle is being followed by purple vetches, which are legumes and fix nitrogen, preparing the way for more plants.  He recommended leaving the green material on the ground to add organic material to the clay and rock soil that exists there now.  Lee Leavelle commented that perhaps there could be a spread out event: we could make a grid of 10 feet by 10 feet areas, and have one family do one grid.  Gay stated that another thing that could be done is to take pictures of Starthistle and similar appearing plants, that are not to be pulled, and post them on the website.  Jim commented that that would be a good thing to do, so people do not confuse Starthistle with mustard.
    5. Steering Committee Elections: Provisional Ballots
      Bonnie Domeny stated that there is a need to discuss whether to accept three ballots that were not posted via U.S. mail, but were delivered to her today (May 26).  Gay Jones stated that these would be considered provisional ballots.  She stated there are two issues: This is an opportunity to clarify policies and procedures around elections, and what to do about the late votes this time.  She stated that some people likely looked at the instructions, realized they were past the cutoff date, and did not vote.  Jim Morgan stated that the ballots clearly stated that the envelope must be postmarked by May 21, 2020.  Similar statements have been on ballots for a long time.  Having a cutoff date does two things: It motivates people to get it done, and insures that the ballots arrive in time to be counted.  Accepting ballots late by four days would be unfair to the rest of the membership.Bonnie stated that she interpreted the postmark date as insuring that the ballot would arrive in time for the meeting, and was unaware that it was considered a cutoff date.  BRECA needs a written policy going forward.  She did not see a late drop off as unfair to the membership.  Lee Leavelle stated that he recalled the wording on the letter as a request, not a cutoff.  He also stated that he seemed to remember people bringing ballots to the meeting.  Lori Christensen stated that for any election to a non-profit there is a due date, and it should not be a surprise.  She did not see why we should make an exception.  Andrea White commented that policies need to be enforced consistently, and that she seemed to recall people submitting ballots at the Steering Committee meeting where they were to be counted.  Flexibility is needed due to the unusual situation we have with meetings.  Ken Crawford commented that he seemed to recall a ballot being dropped off at a Steering Committee meeting.  Bonnie commented that a cutoff date was not something the Steering Committee had voted on.  Gay commented that when the ballots were sent out there were no objections to the date, and this is not the sort of issue the Steering Committee normally votes on.

      Lee Leavell made a motion to accept the three provisional ballots, and table the discussion about policy.  The motion was seconded by James Adams.  The motion was approved by roll call with six (6) votes in favor and three (3) votes opposed.

    6. From the Floor
      James Adams commented that there had been spraying of herbicide in the Parkway, and that the incident had not been adequately dealt with.  Also, there have been many bikers on the dirt trail.Bonnie Domeny stated that it is considered good practice to make a web site a secure site, and that she will take care of that going forward.  There should be no cost associated with the changes.
    7. Counting of Steering Committee Election Ballots 

      Jim Morgan read off the votes for the Steering Committee members on the ballots that had been received by mail.  Bonnie Domeny read off the votes on the provisional ballots that had been given to her.  The votes were tallied by four Steering Committee members, and the results compared for accuracy.  The results of the Election were:James Adams – 29
      Lori Christensen  – 25
      Ken Crawford – 30
      Bonnie Domeny – 30
      Rene Hamlin – 30
      Gay Jones – 30
      Lee Leavelle – 27
      Carmen Mitchell – 23
      Jim Morgan – 24
      Andrea White – 29
      Write In (Mickey Mouse) – 1

      The result was that James Adams, Lori Christensen, Ken Crawford, Bonnie Domeny, Rene Hamlin, Gay Jones, Lee Leavelle. Jim Morgan, and Andrea White were elected to the Steering Committee.

  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a Steering Committee Meeting on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, via Internet.

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