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Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Minutes, 2/08/2014 Board Meeting minutes

Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Board Meeting

February 8, 2014

DRAFT - not approved for distribution

Board Members Present:

Heather Beer, Glenn Borland [chair], Robert Carlyle, Donna Dose, George Evangelou, Brenda Fromlath, Bruce Graves, Rosemary Johnston, Michael Pique, Michael Walsh.

Board Members Absent:

Elizabeth Getzoff, Zachary Harris, George Lucia, Linda Thorne, Yvonne Vaucher.

The PMPO Board Meeting was called to order at 10:30 AM at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, by Glenn Borland, chair.

Michael Pique reviewed the minutes from the August 24, 2013, board meeting. The minutes were approved as presented, unanimously.

Treasurer Linda Thorne was absent but sent her report: There has been no activity on our accounts since November 2013 except for a small amount of interest on our money market account. The 2014 beginning balance was checking: $8,171.82, savings: $33,315.34, total $41,487.16. The total balance as of July 31 2013 was $41,476.76. The 2013 beginning balance was checking: $6,443.28, savings: $33,287.04, total $39,720.32. The PMPO received donations from 21 donors during 2013 (total $3,528). Linda has written thank-you notes including our tax ID to all of them. The report was approved unanimously.

Old Business

Fire Safe Council and Tree Removal Program:

Robert Carlyle says his crews went through their $60,000 grant funds in late summer and early fall; are now waiting for next $60,000 chunk which is delayed but expected in another month.

Community Center of Palomar Mountain (CCPM):

Bruce Graves reported on the Community Center's continuing to be `coasting' while the Fire Department's crews use the house for eating and sleeping.

Easement Project

Bruce Graves and Cecelia Borland are working to restart the project, started by the Borlands and Bonnie Phelps. Bruce say he is trying to sell his Birch Hill house and finds it is harder to sell it without a deeded easement. Last week, he, Diane Serry, and Michael Pique met with surveyor Lorne DaPron. Mr. DaPron said he can base the easements on the Assessors Map 19, without having to carry out an expensive “as built” survey. He estimates a cost of about $300 per parcel, totaling $16,000 for the 53 parcels on Birch Hill. More money would be needed for the title company and recording fees. Bruce wants to hold a meeting at the Lodge to explain the plan to residents once the costs are nailed down. Having deeded easements are important to refinancing or selling your property, or for rebuilding after a fire.

Traffic Safety:

Alan Serry says Zachary Harris is in class today. They met with new CHP Captain Amy Mangin and two sheriffs, including new head lieutenant Dan Grisland, to make them aware of our situation. Early enforcement is the key to avoid gridlock. One idea is to have the CHP and sheriff's offices' public relations media liaisons meet with local radio and TV stations (including the Spanish-broadcasting ones) to publicize when we have dangerous conditions on Palomar. We would like to have signage “Traffic delays and hazards above”, electric if possible, and will work with Cliff Kellogg and the county to see if that can be done. Alan says he will do the traffic safety job through the summer, and Zachary Harris says he will take over when his classes end in August 2014.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT):

Alan Serry says CERT is going very well, with 18 members academy-trained on rolling hoses and applying Barricade gel. Next will be snow-day training, then radio communications. Cliff Kellogg says Michael Walsh donated a Chevrolet Suburban as a CERT vehicle. Alan is hoping to improve the “Emergency Locator” signs put up in Crestline & Birch Hill in 2003. Rosemary Johnston asked if CERT has a list/map of Barricade stock locations. Yes, and are working with the Fire Department to update it. CERT needs donations, which can be made through the Fire Department, to pay for training, vehicle insurance and registration, fuel, and tires. Each academy attendee costs $100, so about $2000 for the class of 20. Robert Carlyle suggests an “Adopt a CERT Volunteer” campaign.

Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department (PMVFD):

Chief Cliff Kellogg says the Department is well, with staffing at 28. He has been interviewing candidates and hopes to get staffing up to 30 or more. The Department has answered only 8 calls so far in 2014, which he attributes to the mild weather. The new web site is up and running: . The Fire Department Board expects to renew the operating contract with the county and hope to have funds to remove the modular buildings, which are leaky and costly to refit. They could possibly be used at the State Park as offices.

Chief Kellogg says Boulevard has signed a 50-year lease with the county and is getting a new fire station at a cost of $300-400,000. The Intermountain and Sunshine Summit stations need new equipment houses. Ranchita has a new $1,000,000 station - “a beautiful job”. If Palomar agrees to a 50-year lease to the County Fire Authority (CFA), the county would sub-lease the building and equipment back to the Fire Department. He has talked to the other chiefs and their board members and all said working with the county has been OK.

Alan Serry says he's been against the county takeover of the Palomar Fire Department, but admits the Board has been doing their homework, and that at the other stations the CFA lease has put good money into the housing of the firefighters. The 501(c)3 would continue to run the Department, about every five years signing a contract with the county for day-to-day operations.

Linda Fortney, Fire Board chair, emphasized the difference between the short-term operating contracts and the proposed 50-year lease. She said the reality is there have been no “volunteer firefighters” in California for six years and we need to stop using the term.

She is adamant that we will protect and improve our ISO fire rating, now a 9 and working toward an 8b, and that we did very well in supplying water during the two recent structure fires. The CFA is interested in helping, perhaps by lending us an additional water tender.

State Park:

Michael Walsh and Rosemary Johnston reported a great fund-raising season, raising $190,000 for the State Park. Rick Barclay and Michael Walsh met with District Park staff to get a list of needed capital improvements to June 2016. Rick is working with state-wide park cooperating associations. Rosemary is wanting to involve local roadside attractions (wineries, restaurants, fruit markets) to support the Park.

New Business


Brenda Fromlath offers to help coordinate content, production, and assembly. Brenda and Michael Walsh will soon set the calendar deadlines for advertising and editorial. Susan Humason has again offered to edit and print the letter.

Annual General Meeting and Pancake Breakfast:

Donna Dose will organize the breakfast and will need help the day before (May 23). Michael Walsh will organize the Board elections, with help from George Evangelou. Election information will be in the newsletter. Bruce Graves continues to maintain the mailing list, with Michael Pique keeping a backup copy. Bruce could use help in adding new people: Cecelia Borland suggests asking our local real estate agents for this help. Linda Fortney suggests that when property changes hands, the Fire Department and the PMPO offer a “welcome wagon” packet, with emergency contact information and an invitation to sign up for the several community newsletters and e-mail lists.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:52 PM.

Next board meeting is May 24, immediately following the annual general meeting.

Michael Pique, Secretary. Minutes approved by PMPO board not***yet

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