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Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Minutes, 2/14/2015 Board Meeting minutes

Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Board Meeting

February 14, 2015

Board Members Present:

Glenn Borland [chair], George Evangelou, Bruce Graves, Rosemary Johnston. Michael Pique, Linda Thorne, Yvonne Vaucher.

Board Members Absent:

Heather Beer, Robert Carlyle, Steve Clark, Donna Dose, Brenda Fromlath, Elizabeth Getzoff, Zachary Harris, Michael Walsh.

The PMPO Board Meeting was called to order at 10:33 AM at the Palomar Mountain Fire Department, by Glenn Borland, chair. A quorum of Board members was not present.

Treasurer George Evangelou and assistant Linda Thorne reported our The 2015 beginning balance was checking: $8,752.25, savings: $33,338.67, total $42,090.95. The 2014 beginning balance was checking: $8,171.82, savings: $33,315.34, total $41,487.16. Total donations for 2014 were $2914 from 23 donors; all have been written thank-you letters. George says he is being trained by outgoing treasurer Linda Thorne, who is retiring the job in March or April.

The filing to the Attorney General of California Office - Registry of Charitable Trust - has been completed for 2014. This must be done every year. The three filings needed yearly are 1) income tax, 2) S1 statement of information, 3) registry of charitable trust as above.

Community Center of Palomar Mountain (CCPM):

John Lesac, CCPM Board Chair, reported the Community Center is still “treading water” for lack of a building. He'd like to do classes - cooking, photography, say, but seems there isn't as much interest in a Community Center as before. Need volunteers to help and to be on the board. Bruce Graves said they need to talk to Linda Fortney about the CCPM's relationship with the Fire Department Board: there's some problem about one not-for-profit donating to another. Rosemary Johnston asks what would happen to the existing house if the County builds a new Fire Department building. Would there be a way to keep the house for a community center?

Easement Project:

Mike Pique reported that he, Rob Hawk, and PMPO Easement Committee members Glenn Borland, Yvonne Vaucher, Cecelia Borland, Bruce Graves, and George Evangelou met with Bonnie Phelps on Saturday, November 22, 2014. **details needed**

Traffic Safety:

Alan Serry said he called CHP's Amy Mangin on December 31 asking for help with the forecast snow storm. By 10:00 the next morning, there were already three accidents and long lines of cars backed up on Highway 76. The CHP admitted they had not been ready for the snow.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT):

Alan Serry has been going to meetings with the county - there is some friction with the paid CERT teams in cities. Also, his CERT teams are no longer allowed to train in the rain, for insurance reasons. Alan wants to continue training alongside the PMFD, in what's important by season. He says CERT will take all the training they can get. Last month they did helicopter landing direction training. This week, radio communications. They have a core of 12 to 15 volunteers who come every time.

The easement signs replacement is going well. He is ordering more signs for Birch Hill roads 30 and 32, with directional arrows to clarify the intersections. The reflective house-number signs for houses are still available too.

Palomar Mountain Fire Department (PMFD):

Dave Robarts, PMVFD Board member, said the operating contract with the county has been signed for another two years. Signing a 50-year ground lease to the county is still a possibility but no official draft has been received from the county yet.

Captain Richard Tilch gave the PMFD operational report. The Department is well, staffing levels good, with 7 to 9 new firefighters, always busy training. Two water tenders are now on the mountain. Palomar is still sharing staff with Ranchita. During the big snow, we had no calls: did go out to look, but could not have taken a truck out.

Palomar Mountain State Park:

Ranger Jessica Murany said we now have a confirmed gold-spotted oak borer (GSOB) infestation on Palomar, on the East Grade road about mile 6. The pest has already heavily hit Julian, Campo, Descanso, and to the north, Idylwild and northern Orange County. Need help - email perhaps - spreading the word on how to identify an infested oak, and not to bring oak firewood up the mountain (avocado or pine are OK). John Lesac says he will put a link to onto the Community Center web site. Dave Robarts says that the USFS campgrounds Fry Creek and Observatory do not inspect firewood brought in, unlike the State Park.

Jessica says there have been about 100 band-tail pigeon deaths in the State Park, from avian trichomoniasis. The rock pigeons carry the parasitic protozoan Trichomonas gallinae; other birds possibly affected are crows, ravens, and raptors. If you find a dead bird, put it in your freezer and call Fish & Wildlife. Take down bird feeders to reduce spread of disease.

On the snow day, over 3000 people were in the Park, many stuck vehicles, and a traffic jam along the Nate Harrison grade.

Another theft at the Park: a few thousand dollars in tools, including a generator, table saw, hand drills, and nail gun were stolen from a locked garage on a Monday night. The Christian Conference Center was hit soon after.

According to six reports, bears have been sighted, but not photographed, at Fry Creek, Pauma, and High Point.

Rosemary Johnston says the “Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park” is now a recognized cooperating association, the same as CRISPIA, the Cuyamaca State Park Interpretive Association. Donations have funded re-roofing of the bathrooms, and a visit by children from Escondido. They want to do more promotion of the State Park, more access by the public. Rosemary is trying to increase staffing of the entrance kiosk, to improve revenue, perhaps create a real visitor center and gift shop. Jessica says they've hired two local helpers for the entrance booth. The 6th grade camp has been closed because San Diego Unified School District stopped funding trips up.

New Business:

Doug Tillinghast:

Palomar third-generation resident Doug Tillinghast died January 24, age 66. Lydia is planning a memorial service on Point Loma next Saturday. The family is suggesting donations to the San Diego Zoo for a memorial bench; please visit if you can help. The Tilinghasts used to own the Walls' and Billups' parcels and still own a parcel on Crestline next to Rosemary Johnston.

Newsletter and Annual Meeting:

George Evangelou expects Brenda Fromlath will coordinate this year. Susan Humason has agreed to edit and print the newsletters again. Articles needed are State Park, Gold-Spotted Oak Borer, Band-Tail Pigeon, Fire Department, Easement Project, CERT, Forest Fire Lookout Association, Route 76 Scenic Highway Proposal status, LJIR update, and Annual PMPO meeting and elections. We will start the breakfast at 8:30 AM as before, and the annual meeting at 10 AM, earlier than before.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 AM.

Next board meeting is May 23, following the Annual Meeting and board election.

Michael Pique, Secretary (email:

Minutes approved by PMPO board NOT YET

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