Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Minutes from 2/24 Meeting (approved 3/25/14)

February 24th, 2014

President Jacobs called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM and Director Hayhurst led the group in the flag salute.  Directors Jacobs, Schendel, Stapp, Wilkey, and Hayhurst were all present.  There were no guests in attendance and no public comments/questions to be heard.
President Jacobs requested a motion on the Consent Items.  Director Schendel motioned to accept the Minutes of the January 27th, 2014 Meeting, along with the Financial Reports for January of 2014 as presented.  Director Wilkey seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Correspondence file was offered for review.  President Jacobs highlighted the Annual Tax Allocation Summary received from the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector.  The Summary lists what the District’s expected share of the tax money collected by the County will be this year (approximately $59,385.00 during FY 2013-14).  Presidents Jacobs also read a letter from Robert Gutierrez, Research Analyst with CalTax.  He has requested Public Records from us that answer specific questions they have about past property taxes that were levied by an election (the Road Assessment).  The Secretary was directed to find the appropriate documents that answer their questions and respond to the request immediately.

H Street Park was addressed.  Bid 13-03, the new Covered Picnic Areas was addressed first.  Director Jacobs asked the Secretary if she could provide an update on when the Engineering work is scheduled to begin.  The Secretary replied that she requested that information, but hasn’t received a response yet.  She expects them to confirm a specific date within the next day or two, and that according to previous estimates, the work should be scheduled to begin within the next two weeks.  President Jacobs brought up his interest in designing a Plaque of Appreciation to Dorothy Davis (for her donations of the nearly $140,000 that will help pay for the improvements) to display at H Street Park once the new construction project is completed.  He suggested that the Directors start thinking about what wording they could suggest be used on the Plaque.  Director Jacobs also updated the Board that he was able to check out the metal paneling on the back-side of the restrooms that was mentioned last month. He was able to bend the metal cover back into shape and added that the panel covered a few wires going in and out, but there was nothing underneath it that had been disturbed or that could have been taken.  The Safety Check List from the City was reviewed.  Two sets of the swing hangers were replaced last week and the other two sets were replaced this morning.  President Jacobs added that he stopped by when Lawrence was working on it and he observed that the work that had to be done was quite extensive.  The top portion of the swing set had to be completely unassembled and reconfigured so that the new hangers would fit correctly.  The Directors agreed that the City should be commended for getting this difficult job done well.  Director Wilkey also asked the Secretary to notify the City that there are two different rusted and separated couplings along the top edge of the fence railing on the West side of the park that he noticed recently.  The edges of the couplings are sharp and therefore he is concerned that someone might cut or injure themselves on them.  The Secretary will find out if the City can fix them or if we need to hire Ellis Fence to replace/repair them.  President Jacobs updated the Board about his unsuccessful attempts to exterminate a particular tricky Ground Squirrel again (with Propane).  He suggested that they continue their efforts using the smoke cartridges again and hope for more success that way.
Venner Park was addressed.  The Safety Check List from the City was reviewed.  The Board discussed the cracked sidewalk (and tripping hazard) that Director Wilkey had noticed there and took a photo of recently.  The Secretary then sent that photo to the City and asked what could be done about fixing it.  Mr. Gerardi then placed a call to a contractor and is currently waiting for a response and estimate of the approximate cost of the repairs.  The Board agreed that it would be preferable to just let the City get the job hired out and done as quickly as possible rather than slow things by requesting multiple bids.  Director Stapp asked Director Wilkey how the trees (and new irrigation) at Venner Park are doing.  Director Wilkey replied that they seem to be doing well, but that every once in a while he notices that the water pressure causes a few of the bubbler tops to pop off of the sprinkler heads.  So far, he’s been able to find them and just pop them back on easily, however he continues to keep an eye on them and checks them each morning before he leaves for work.

Form 700 was addressed.  Directors were given their copies to review and sign or notify the Secretary if any corrections needed to be made.  President Jacobs will take Director King’s Form 700 over to him to be signed and returned to the Secretary this week.
The Safety Review Report was read aloud by the Safety Coordinator, Director Wilkey.  Director Schendel motioned to accept the Safety Review Report.  Director Stapp seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.  The Secretary will submit the report to SDRMA.
The need to update the Signature Card for all of the accounts (including the checking account, so all Directors can sign checks) at Desert Community Bank was addressed.  Director Stapp motioned to update the Signature Card at DCB by adding Director Hayhurst and removing former Director King.  Director Schendel seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.
The Annual Audit was addressed.  President Jacobs mentioned that we have continued to use the same Auditor for many years now (since at least 2006) and that it was time to begin discussing our options again.  Director Hayhurst shared her belief that no matter how great our current Auditor is, that it is common practice, to ensure public trust, that Boards rehire a new Auditor at least once every 3-5 years.  She also suspects that we may currently be paying too much for this service.  Even though it may be a little more work at first to establish a new working relationship with someone else, sometimes a new Auditor will look at things differently (with a fresh eye) and catch things that the previous one didn’t.  She urged the Board to look into the possibility of finding a new Auditor for this year as soon as possible.  Director Stapp agreed and confirmed that he also thinks we’ve been paying too much for our Annual Audits.  The Secretary was directed to begin making a list of Auditors who may be interested in working with us this year.  Director Hayhurst motioned to give the General Manager permission to request Bids/Proposals from various new Auditors as needed.  Director Wilkey seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.  Director Hayhurst will work with the Secretary to help her determine who to ask.
The Ethics Training (required course AB1234) was addressed briefly.  President Jacobs and Directors Stapp and Wilkey have completed their courses and turned in their completed self-study exams to the Secretary.  Director Schendel will be finishing his and turning it in to the Secretary this week so she can submit them to complete their certification for another two years.
The Policy and Procedure Manual was addressed.  The Secretary reported that she just finished re-typing the Code of Ethics.  The previous copy was so old that it had been typed on a typewriter, and she needed a newer copy saved that she can easily edit/print from the computer as needed.  The General Manager Guidelines were also complete as presented, but there were a few more items she wanted to correct/revise in the Secretarial Duties and Office Procedures document.  President Jacobs requested that at least the first two items be included on the Agenda next month as well as included in the Agenda Packets for their review before the next meeting so we can get them approved.  Director Hayhurst asked that she get her copies sooner so she has more than a few days to study/review them, and the Secretary gave her those copies right then.

The General Manager reported that she had a really good meeting with Director Hayhurst and was encouraged to continue getting as much additional training as she can fit in.  SDRMA continues to offer free Online Webinars (plus some with a small fee) and two of them are of particular interest to her.  In April she plans to take the “Records Retention & Management” class to help her learn to manage her files more effectively and in June she will be taking a class titled “Top Ten Tips for a Trouble Free Construction Project.”  She continues to have a large list of work to be done most of the time, but feels like she continues to improve at getting things done more quickly now.

The General Manager reported that she continues to keep the Blog ( updated with the most recent Meeting Agendas and Minutes.  She most recently posted the warning to residents that suspicions have been raised about possible animal poisonings in the area and that residents should keep a closer watch on their pets to keep them safe.  According to Facebook analytics, 62 people have currently seen that same post/warning that she shared on Facebook as well, so our online presence is growing and helping to keep our residents informed.  Director Stapp asked if anyone else had heard anything more about the robberies that had been occurring in the Heights so frequently.  Director Hayhurst confirmed that yes, she had heard things about them also and that she believes that the suspects may have been caught or at least deterred since the robberies have ceased.
President Jacobs requested the Directors’ reports.  None of the Directors had anything to add.
President Jacobs asked the Secretary if there were any additional bills to be paid.  She indicated that yes, there was one additional bill that just arrived.  The bill was from the City of Barstow for $707.36 to help pay for the 8 new Swing Hangers installed at H Street Park.  Director Hayhurst motioned to pay the bills as presented.  Director Wilkey seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.
There was no New Business to address and no Executive Session was requested.  The next Regular Meeting was scheduled for Monday, March 24th, 2014 at 6:00 PM.  The meeting adjourned at 6:51 PM.
Submitted by:

Jen Rubio
Secretary/General Manager

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