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Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Minutes, 5/29/2010 Annual General Meeting minutes

Minutes of the Palomar Mountain Planning Organization 2010 Annual Meeting

Saturday, May 29, 2010 at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department

Board Members Present:

Glenn Borland, Cecelia Borland (alternate), Robert Carlyle, Mike Chesney, Donna Dose, Elizabeth Getzoff (alternate), Bruce Graves, Susan Huma Mich Pique, Alan Serry, John Tainer, Linda Thorne, Martha Vargas

The annual general PMPO meeting was convened at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department 11:01 A.M. Saturday May 29, 2010. In addition to the Board, about 40 members were present. The Chair, Glenn Borland, thanked the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department for hosting the Pancake Breakfast and Annual Meeting, Susan Humason for editing and producing the newsletter, Donna Dose and sister for organizing the breakfast, and Bruce Graves, Cecelia Borland, and Donna's grandchildren for setup and cooking.

Secretary's Report (Michael Pique):

The minutes of the May 23, 2009, annual general meeting were distributed and approved with a correction to a mis-typed total expenses amount.

Treasurer's Report (Alan Serry):

As reported in the PMPO spring 2010 annual newsletter, our balance carried forward from December 31, 2008, was $42,522.86. Our 2009 expenses, totaling $6,951.94, were $636.59 for annual newsletter printing, $330.20 for newsletter postage, $431.15 for breakfast food and supplies, $5,500 for Community Center of Palomar Mountain materials, $54.00 for general expenses and post office box rental. The total donations came to $1,915, we had $452 receipts from the 2009 breakfast, $250.00 revenue from newsletter advertising sales, and earned interest of $95.73, giving us an ending balance (Dec 31, 2009) of $38,283.65. Alan noted that both donations and interest income were down, but that (thanks to Mike Chesney) donations can now be made on-line though PayPal, and that the $5,500 loan to the Community Center has been repaid. The treasurer's report was approved.

Communications (Mike Chesney):

Since June 2009, the PMPO Board's communications tools have been improved, with a new web site “”, an email sign-up with 70 subscribers, 40 Facebook friends, and faster preparation of meeting minutes. The Communications committee has drafted changes to the by-laws Article IX which will be voted on later today.

Traffic Safety (Alan Serry):

The center rumble strips are now installed on the South Grade Road, time will tell how much help they are. Alan met with CHP North County Captain Deb Scroder, who says she is short of funds but will do what she can to get officers up here. If you see unsafe driving, such as reckless motorcyclists, call the Sheriff or CHP, non-emergency numbers. Otherwise, the complaints will not be documented. Phone (866) 986-9852.

An April meeting focused on the Snow Emergency Plan, with CHP, County Road department, the Sheriff, and the Forest Service. The main plan is to move early and not wait for a true emergency and grid lock to develop. The Lagunas meter traffic up during snows, we're looking to see what our capacity would be. Posting the “up top” conditions on signs below would help, as would having tow trucks pre-stationed on top. If we try to close roads, the public complains, and closures can be enforced only if there are safety issues. Residents should always carry proof of residency, such as tax bill or a letter addressed to you on Palomar Mountain. Alan asked the county to post signs limiting parking on State Park and Canfield Roads, but this is a big slow process. Alan and George Lucia will follow up.

Anyone with ideas, call Alan, (760) 742-0444.

Fire Safety Council and Tree Removal Program (Robert Carlyle):

The county program under Bonnie Burchill is removing dead trees, so far about 4000. Robert Carlyle said that the Fire Safe Council can help residents needing removal of small dead trees in their yards, or light brush clearing and chipping. The residents pay 10% of the cost, which runs about $1500 per day, with small work done at no charge. They should see him to sign up. If your non-resident neighbors have work needing done, they need to sign a contract of liability waiver; if their conditions are actually making a fire hazard, call Kerri Uglik at the Cleveland National Forest.

Ground Water Monitoring (Linda Thorne):

Mike Probert is now measuring eight wells periodically, and Linda Thorne said she has the data and can provide it. The goal is to have a 5-10 year record of well water levels to be able to evaluate any impacts from the La Jolla Indian Reservation pumping project or other man-made or natural stresses on the water supply. The Reservation has not yet started pumping their recently-purchased wells on the East Grade road. John Tainer said that SDSU professor David Huntley determined in 1993 that the LJIR recharge area would support only a safe 1/2 gallon per minute extraction, so the project (intended to supply drinking water for sale off the Reservation) would unavoidably be collecting water from far outside the 7-acre recharge area.

We do not know the extent to which current extractions affect the water levels; the Mutual Water company draws about 3 million gallons per year from wells in Pedley Valley. The PMPO would like to have permission from residents to monitor more wells, currently are monitoring only one on Observatory Point, two on Birch Hill, and six along the East Grade road; contact Michael Pique (858) 354-4391 or email if you are willing to have your well measured every two months.

Mike Chesney moved the board take action to re-engage the LJIR on groundwater monitoring. Seconded by Martha Vargas, approved unanimously.

Gordon Madison remarked that the commercial water interests say they're supplying naturally flowing spring water, not pumping wells. How do we verify this is true, and should the PMPO ask to check? Robert Carlyle said the state of California regulates spring water certification, and the only two commercial water extractors he knows of do not have pumped wells.

Mutual Water Company (Linda Thorne):

The water tanks up on Birch Hill are being fitted with plastic liners instead of being completely replaced; much less expensive and expected to last as long as new tanks would, about 20 years.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT):

Bill Leininger, Palomar Mountain CERT Coordinator, said the Easter earthquake was a reminder to have our own family emergency preparations in place as we head into fire season. On June 26, CERT will hold a weather spotters course called Sky Warn. CERT participants help free up the volunteer fire-fighters for their difficult mission.

County of San Diego Year 2020 General Plan Update:

Glenn Borland said the PMPO submitted its response to the county Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on November 14, 2009. From the committee recommendations, the Board added 5 lots around the fire station to the areas requested for “commercial” designation, for future leach fields and setbacks. The next 2020 steps are unclear; the county has been quiet recently, and the Forest Conservation Initiative December 2010 expiration approved by the voters is being somehow “pushed back”. Glenn Borland and Martha Vargas are monitoring announcements.

Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department (PMVFD):

Fire Chief George Lucia reported the Department is healthy and thriving with 30 active volunteers, and is receiving county assistance to upgrade training and equipment. They answered 125 calls in the past year, mostly medical. A new (surplus) pumper has just been received and will be converted to become a Barricade gel engine.

Community Center of Palomar Mountain (CCPM):

Bruce Graves said the CCPM celebrated its official opening at a March 20 party and fund-raiser with a Saint Patrick's Day theme complete with live leprechaun. The party raised enough money to pay off the PMPO loan. The CCPM Board (Tracey Chesney, Tricia Lucia, Bernadette Madison, John Lesek) is working on plans for use of the facility and its maintenance. Bruce recounted “how we got here”: It all began as a vacant lot where the fire station now sits, with the house next door lived in by the Manifold family and the whole property owned by George Austin. The volunteers needed a place to park the (one) fire engine. The community got together to buy the land, 2 acres, and put up the fire station with its dirt floor, then gravel, then concrete. The community did this, always with the promise that it was for a Fire Station AND a Community Center. Earl Walls is responsible for making the community center really happen. Earl spoke and extended the community's thanks to the 15 people who did all the labor to make use of the $50,000 materials grant. The next work to be done is some final painting, construction of a back stoop, and installation of outside lights.

New Construction Permits (Doug Lande):

Doug Lande said he was against anyone building on the south side of Palomar Mountain, and asked the PMPO to host community discussions about this. Mike Chesney asked if the idea was for the PMPO to be sure the county permit processes are being adhered to? John Tainer asked how building on the south side was a threat to the community, in that his East Grade house was burned to the ground by firefighters. Doug said it was not so much a threat, as a concern.

George Lucia said it would help if the PMVFD could have a look at plans sooner in the construction permit process. Glenn Borland said the county bureaucrats and inspectors can sometimes appear capricious, and having better communications between them and the community would be helpful; perhaps ask them to come up and speak to us about how the process works and what the current codes require for building in our “wildland interface”. George Lucia said the county Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU) web site has good information, also fire safety tips, and perhaps our PMPOinfo web site could have links to them and also a check list for Palomar Mountain property buyers summarizing what would be expected for construction (space, water, access, etc.).

By-Laws Article IX Amendment (Mike Chesney):

Mike Chesney summarized the changes as clarifying how the Board and Chair can appoint committees and what authority committees have to bind the Board or the entire PMPO. Mike Chesney moved the amendment be adopted, seconded by Donna Dose, approved unanimously by the board.

Election of PMPO Board Members:

Terri Bailey, Scott Kardel, and Susan Humason are not running for re-election, and Bob O'Neill has resigned from the board. The two incumbents who are up for re-election are Bruce Graves and Donna Dose. Five persons present were nominated from the floor: Gordon Madison, Doug Lande, George Lucia, George Evangelou, and Steve Clark; each offered brief statements of their qualifications and viewpoints. Paper ballots were distributed, collected, and counted. Steve Clark was elected to a term expiring in 2012; Donna Dose, George Evangelou, Bruce Graves, Doug Lande, and George Lucia were elected to terms expiring in 2013.

The Board roster is:

(terms expiring May 2011):

Heather Beer, Glenn/Cecelia Borland, Robert Carlyle, Elizabeth Getzoff/John Tainer, and Martha Vargas

(terms expiring May 2012):

Mike Chesney, Steve Clark, Michael Pique, Linda Thorne, and Alan Serry

(terms expiring May 2013):

Donna Dose, George Evangelou, Bruce Graves, Doug Lande, and George Lucia

The meeting was adjourned at 1:07 PM.

Michael E. Pique, Secretary. Minutes approved May 28, 2011.

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