The annual general PMPO meeting was convened at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department 11:06 A.M. Saturday May 24, 2014. In addition to the Board, about 25 members were present. The Chair, Glenn Borland, thanked Chief Cliff Kellogg and the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department for hosting the Pancake Breakfast and Annual Meeting, Brenda Fromlath and Susan Humason for organizing and producing the newsletter, Donna Dose and sister Pat for organizing the breakfast, and Bruce Graves and George Evangelou for meeting setup.
The minutes of the May 25, 2013, annual general meeting were distributed and approved unanimously.
As reported in the PMPO spring 2014 annual newsletter, our balance carried forward from December 31, 2012, was $39,720.32 (checking: $6,443.28, savings: $33,287.04). *Our 2013 expenses, totaling *$??, were $913.68 for annual newsletter printing, $396.00 for newsletter postage, $219.78 for breakfast food and supplies, $480.00 for IRS compliance costs, **?*$56.00?? for general expenses (post office box). We received $3528 in donations from 21 donors, we had $228.00 receipts from the 2013 breakfast, *$?? revenue from 2013 newsletter advertising sales, and we earned interest of $**??17.90, giving us an ending balance (Dec 31, 2013) of $41,487.16 (checking: $8,171.82, savings: $33,315.34). Linda has written thank-you notes including our tax ID to all donors. The treasurer's report was approved unanimously. All the paperwork for the IRS is now up to date, but work needs to be done every year to keep up tax compliance. Glenn Borland moved we hire a tax preparer for $300 per year, seconded by Bruce Graves, approved unanimously.
Zach is away today; Alan reporting on meeting with California Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, Sheriff, and County Roads Department to prepare a snow emergency plan. We get lots of visitors, roads get gridlocked, even the Fire Department can't maneuver. Plan is to get traffic enforcement and snow removal equipment up here earlier, before the snow. Both the CHP and the Sheriff will use their Public Information officers to contact local radio and TV stations to inform the public of road conditions and hazards, in English and Spanish. In case of road closures, Palomar residents should carry some identification attesting to your mountain affiliation, such as a tax or utility bill.
Robert Carlyle said that the Fire Safe Council is still helping people to clear around their property. His goal is to make the mountain safer from fires by getting grants, clearing brush, and taking down dead trees. He has some co-pay funding available from time to time, although not right now. Call him at (760) 742-1891 if you need help.
The Mutual Water Company is happy to report adequate water supplies, with wells at normal levels and recovery after pumping requiring less than half an hour.
CERT is sponsored by the Palomar Mountain Fire Department, to prepare and train community members for emergencies. CERT is offering a basic 9-course training weekend on June 6-7-8, at the Christian Conference Center. This will cover basic medical and fire extinguishing topics, with a disaster simulation a the Palomar School Camp. Later in the summer, CERT will be training at the fire station on the Barricade Gel application truck, the Suburban 4WD, and on snow event activities.
The 2004-era signs identifying the Crestline & Birch Hill side roads are being replaced with larger and even more visible ones. CERT is also offering residents 4-inch tall house number signs for $19, intended to be posted near your house or where your driveway branches off from a numbered road. These personal signs are available in standard reflective green, or blue if your house has a water tank usable by fire engines in an emergency. This morning at the CERT booth outside the fire station you can see sample signs, place your order, and update your emergency contact information.
Finally, Alan says CERT always needs more members; training is flexible, ask for details.
Any residents needing advice on fire clearances should ask for a courtesy visit - the firefighters also appreciate the opportunity to see the roads and general surroundings where they may be called out to in an emergency.
Linda Fortney, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, thanked all veterans and active duty military for what they do and have done. She is also proud our our firefighters - “if you see a black or red helmet decal, leave a thank-you note on their car”. The Department has a brand-new web site, www.palomar-fire.org so please go there and sign up for email news, even if you signed up before on the old web site.
She asked everyone to fill out an emergency contact sheet with the Department: leave a phone number we can call if there's a fire near your house, leave us a key or combination to the gate, tell us who is next-of-kin, list any special needs such as a wheelchair, or if you need oxygen and have tanks or a concentrator at your cabin. This notebook is completely confidential and is locked in the Chief's office.
Everyone is seeing a dramatic increase in costs for fire insurance; this is not related to any specific inspections, just a new “brush rate”. Many residents are very under-insured, so review your coverage and discuss rebuilding costs with a knowledgeable local contractor.
Linda said the Department's operating contract from San Diego county is being renewed with essentially no changes this year. We have an outstanding department for the money we've been given. The 50-year lease is still being discussed and considered: this would lease our land to San Diego county, who would then sub-lease it back to us, making us eligible for building improvements as county funds become available.
She invites everyone to come to the monthly Fire Board meetings and to help shape the (complex) future of the department: first Saturday of every month, 8 A.M., at the administration building behind the fire station.
Sharon Dahl asked why she received two billings for the new fire tax. Chiefs Kellogg and Williamson believe it was because the first year's billing was delayed, so two years of bills came at almost the same time. Be sure to check over your bill carefully before paying it.
Bruce Graves said that John Lesac is now the president of the Community Center Board. We are still “just coasting” because the little house is being used full-time as the Fire Department bunk house and kitchen. It turned out to be impossible to get permits to put restrooms and a kitchen in the modular building behind the station, so we've been unable to free up the house to become our community center again.
Bruce recalled back when the fire department was being founded, by Brad Bailey, Steve Clark, Bill McKinley, and others like Otis Kilgore, who funded the clean house used for the breathing air compressor. Otis's daughter Sharon Dahl is right here in this meeting still supporting the community.
“Once back then, a house burned down because Cal Rainford couldn't get the WW II surplus fire truck started and, surprisingly. the owner donated the burned house property to the fire department. Louis Whyte bought it from the Fire Dept. He built the house that's now on the fire department property and later sold it to the Thompsons. There wasn't a steel building here then, just the remains of a gas station and general store. Ray Carpenter became the fund-raising chair; they had lots of barbecues and pie-sales to raise the money to buy this land and put up this building. The community did this and it all belongs to the community. The community chose a Fire Board to take title and look after the property for them.”
“It was always going to be a fire department and a community center. If the county is going to spend a million and a half dollars on a new fire station, have it be a multipurpose building, or include a community room at the very least. Remember, a community center is always what was planned and promised and is part of what we need. I hope that happens.”
Help from CRISPIA, the Cuyamaca State Park Interpretive Association, got the “Friends of Palomar Mountain” started, and are now helping us to become an independent charitable foundation. Relevant web sites are palomarsp.org and www.parks.ca.gov .
George Lucia is leaving the board. All five incumbents up for re-election are willing to serve again, as is former Board member Steve Clark.
Heather Beer, Glenn/Cecelia Borland, Robert Carlyle, Elizabeth Getzoff, and Michael Walsh were elected to terms expiring in 2017. Steve Clark was elected to the remainder of George Lucia's term, expiring in 2016.
The 2014-15 Board roster is:
(terms expiring May 2015):
Brenda Fromlath, Zachary Harris, Michael Pique, Linda Thorne, and Yvonne Vaucher
(terms expiring May 2016):
Donna Dose, George Evangelou, Bruce Graves, Rosemary Johnston, and Steve Clark
(terms expiring May 2017):
Heather Beer, Glenn/Cecelia Borland, Robert Carlyle, Elizabeth Getzoff, and Michael Walsh
The meeting was adjourned at 12:07 PM.
Michael E. Pique, Secretary. secretary@PMPOinfo.com Minutes approved not yet