Thursday, August 28, 2014

We were featured in the Desert Dispatch twice this week!

Please visit these links to see photos and read more about these headlines in our local newspaper, the Desert Dispatch:
Governor's declaration would help Barstow recoup storm damage costs
Heights residents share stories after storm damage

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Minutes from 7/28 Meeting (approved 8/25/14)

Monday, July 28th, 2014

President Jacobs called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM and Director Hayhurst led the group in the flag salute.  Directors Jacobs, Stapp, Wilkey, and Hayhurst were present.  Director Schendel was absent; out of town due to his employment.  There were no guests in attendance.

President Jacobs asked the Board if they had reviewed the Consent Items and if any changes/revisions were suggested.  There were none.  Director Wilkey motioned to accept the Minutes of the June 16th, 2014 Meeting, along with the Financial Reports for June of 2014 as presented.  Director Stapp seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Correspondence file was offered for review.  President Jacobs called attention to a letter received from San Bernardino County Code Enforcement.  It was received, with its outside envelope missing, a month later than the letter had been dated, so the Secretary suspected that it had been damaged/lost in the mail for a few weeks before it was recovered and delivered to the P.O. Box.  The letter requested that we get the proper signage to indicate our address number on the outside of our building.  The Secretary will need to investigate a little more to learn the specific requirements for the signage, since an enclosed page was missing from the letter, and she will get it done as requested.  President Jacobs also read an email received from Bill Little, Supervisor of Public Works (and the Barstow Yard) for the County Roads Department.  His email was in response to the letter the Secretary had sent to request more information about what and where Road repair work may be scheduled in the near future, since our Roads have been in bad shape.  The Directors were pleased with his detailed response indicating that some repair work is planned for this Fall and Winter.

While on the topic of the Roads, President Jacobs told the Board that he had just seen a large dump truck on P Street that was full of weeds that had been removed in response to Director Hayhurst’s inquiries about the obscured intersections that pose a danger on our streets.  It appeared that her phone calls had prompted the County to get work started to remove some of the obstructions.  Director Stapp, voiced his opinion that as of yesterday, he couldn’t tell that any work had been done at the intersections near his home.  He began driving around to write down the intersections that were the most hazardous, but soon realized that virtually every intersection had at least one corner or more that was unsafe.  Director Wilkey agreed with Director Hayhurst that due to time constraints, it would be unrealistic to ask the County to fix each and every corner that wasn’t perfect, and that only the most dangerous intersections where accidents happen frequently need be addressed first.  Director Hayhurst suggested we let the County know which locations are most in need of clearing, because asking them to just fix every corner would likely not get as much of a response as a few specific requests might.  President Jacobs suggested that the Board come up with a marked map/list of the intersections that are most in need of being dealt with first.  The Secretary could also include a reminder in the next newsletter to residents that we would greatly appreciate it if those whose homes are located on corners would please help us make our streets safer by clearing any vegetation/over-growth that might obscure a driver’s view.

Barstow Heights Park was addressed.  The Safety Check List from the City was reviewed.  President Jacobs reported that he had set off at least a dozen “rodent gas cartridges” to reduce the ground squirrel population again last week.  After inspecting the park again tonight, he noticed that there are more new holes again.  He also noticed that are more holes in the locked water tower compound again.  Due to the price increase, the cartridges are now costing approximately $4 each, but still seem to be the most effective solution.

The Plaque to honor Barbara Kelley was addressed.  The Board reviewed the wording one last time to ensure that everyone was satisfied with it before the Secretary submits it to get an estimate of the cost to have it made.  The Secretary was directed to get a proof and price comparison from Brunner’s Tiny Time shop to help the Board determine what size should be ordered (8x8, 10x10, or 12x12), to get the best price possible while still maintaining the quality and optimal size/read-ability of the print.

Bid 13-03, the new Covered Picnic Areas, were addressed next.  President Jacobs reported that he talked with Wade Harris just a few days ago.  Wade was currently still waiting to hear back from the County Building Department.  He continues to follow up with them weekly and expects to have a response from them very soon (within the next two weeks).  He has ordered some of the materials already and will be storing them as he receives them so that the work can begin just as soon as the permits are given.

The Plaque to thank Dorothy Davis was addressed next.  The Board reviewed the wording one last time to ensure that everyone was still satisfied with it.  The ordering of the Plaque and specifics of its desired location will be discussed again as soon as the new Construction is near completion.

Venner Park was addressed.  The Safety Check List from the City was reviewed.  Broken tree branches that had fallen to the ground recently were cleaned up and hauled away quickly.  The City continues to do a great job of keeping our Parks clean and safe.  President Jacobs also reported that the bushes around the office compound are in need of trimming and the weeds need clearing again.  The Secretary was directed to call Best Opportunities to get an estimate from them to do the work.  Director Wilkey asked the Secretary to make sure to ask them if they have their own worker’s comp insurance policy before hiring them to do the work.  Director Wilkey also reported that at Venner Park he noticed a screw missing from a face plate on top of an electrical box.  He called Mark Gerardi to notify him and it was fixed right away.

Director Stapp brought up one more thing to discuss in relation to the Roads.  He had noticed seeing the Water Company in the area fixing leaks quite often over the past couple of weeks.  He shared his concern that perhaps the water infrastructure has been more troublesome lately and wondered if anyone else had noticed the constant leaks/repairs that are needed and being done alongside our Roads.  He wondered if the Board should do some research regarding the age/conditions of the water system.  Director Hayhurst agreed that some of the pipes could be as much as 50 years old and that frequent patching and repairs are a normal and routine procedure for pipes of that age.

The Conflict of Interest Code was addressed next.  Director Hayhurst shared her opinion that the current Code that was adopted ten years ago is too complicated and difficult to understand.  She thinks the District needs a shorter, simpler, and clearer Code, that is more relevant to our District.  She asked the Board to give her one month to find another Code sample that the Districts’ new Code could be based on; one that is easier to read and understand.  President Jacobs agreed that the Conflict of Interest Code could definitely be improved and updated, or cleaned up a lot at the very least.

The General Manager Guidelines were reviewed next.  The Secretary had some questions about the specifics in the Guidelines that allowed her just $200 total per month, to deal with office related necessary expenses.  She was continually feeling like she couldn’t make the purchases needed because of this limit.  The Director’s understanding of it had been that she was allowed to spend up to $200 per incident/item that needed immediate attention in a given month, but the Guidelines didn’t make that clear enough.  Director Hayhurst motioned that the General Manager Guidelines be amended with the language to say that the General Manager be given authority to spend “no more than $200 per transaction, not to exceed $600 per month.”  Director Wilkey seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

The Board addressed the purchase of a new printer that the Secretary was in need of for the office.  Director Hayhurst motioned to give the Secretary permission to purchase the new laser jet printer/scanner/copier presented to them as well as any cables, accessories, and ink cartridges that are needed; the total of which are not to exceed $400.  President Jacobs seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.  The Secretary was also told that she could go ahead and hire Sanchez Roofing to fix the leaking roof since the price of the repairs would be exactly $200 and still within her authority to spend.

The General Manager reported there had been increased discussion on the Facebook page since she shared the report to beware of a man going door-to-door claiming to be a representative for GE alarm systems.  She was pleased that residents had been posting replies and were sharing/discussing some of their similar experiences and concerns.  Director Hayhurst asked how things were going with the Auditor.  The Secretary replied that things were going okay, that she feels a little overwhelmed by the lengthy list of receipts/documents that she will need to scan and send to the Auditor in the coming month, but that she will get it done and learn a lot in the process.  The Secretary is also very pleased with the new Accountants, as that they have been very helpful to her.

President Jacobs requested the Directors’ reports.  They chatted about some of the interesting animals they’ve spotted in the desert recently and shared their excitement over some of the recent achievements of our residents/neighbors, but there were no further District needs to report.

President Jacobs asked the Secretary if there were any additional bills to be paid.  She indicated that there were none.  Director Wilkey motioned to pay the bills as presented.  Director Stapp seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.  There was no New Business to address.

The Board of Directors went into a closed Executive Session at 7:29 PM, to discuss personnel, and the Secretary was dismissed from the meeting.  The Board reconvened to a Regular Session and the Secretary joined them again at 7:53 PM.  Director Hayhurst motioned to increase the salary of the General Manager/Secretary by $1.00 per hour, to begin (retroactively) as of July 1st, 2014.  Director Stapp seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.

The next Regular Meeting was scheduled for Monday, August 25th, 2014 at 6:00 PM.  The meeting adjourned at 8:02 PM.

Submitted by:
Jen Rubio - Secretary/General Manager

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Agenda for 8/25 Board Meeting

Monday, August 25, 2014 - 6:00 PM

1.   Call to Order and Flag Salute

2.   Roll Call and Recognition of Guests

3.   Public Comments/Questions

4.   Consent Items:   Minutes – July 28, 2014
                              Financial Reports – July of 2014

5.   Correspondence

6.   Parks:        Barstow Heights:    Safety Check List and Ground Squirrels
                                                            Dedication/Plaque to honor Barbara Kelley (update)
                                                            Bid 13-03:  Covered picnic areas
                                                            Engineering Proposal (construction staking)

Venner:                   Safety Check List
                                 Flood Damages
                                            What has been done
                                            What still needs doing

7.   Road Conditions update

8.   Flood Damage Surveys (collected from residents)

9.   Conflict of Interest Code

10.  General Manager’s Report

11.  Directors’ Reports

12.  Bills:         Edison - $120.19         Terminix - $38.00       Verizon - $90.53
                         JDR Construction - $1000 (flood emergency dirt/debris removal at Venner Park)

13.  New Business

14.  Executive Session – Litigation GC54956.99 (A) and Personnel GC54957.1

15.  Adjournment

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Have flood damage? Please contact us now!

Attention Barstow Heights Residents who have been affected by the recent flash flooding:  We are working with the San Bernardino County OES (Office of Emergency Services) to get a better estimation as to how much damage was done to homes/properties. If enough damage is reported, some residents MAY qualify for emergency aid/assistance, but in order to do so, we have to have "Damage Survey" report forms filled out and returned to us as quickly as possible. There is no guarantee that funding will be given and we haven't been given much time to gather this information from our residents, but we ask that all residents who have flood damage to report PLEASE contact us by e-mail ( ASAP or text message your address to Jen Rubio at 760-220-0683 so we can be certain that you are not overlooked (as we're not sure exactly how many homes/businesses have been affected). General Manager, Jen Rubio, will be delivering the forms in person again TONIGHT (Thursday 8/14) to residences that we believe might have flood damage to report, and we don't want to miss anyone, so PLEASE contact us now to ensure that you do receive the proper forms to fill out. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Flash Flood aftermath (conditions at Venner Park)

Sending thoughts, prayers, and well wishes to our many residents who have been affected by flash flooding. We also ask the public to please be especially careful and drive slowly on our muddy roads as they are still being cleared and worked on by Cal-trans and County Road crews. Here are some photos of the damage at
Venner park (corner of K street and Panamint) as seen early Monday morning (8/4/14). Our City of Barstow crews have taped off areas that the public should please stay away from until repairs can be made to make them more safe.
Thank you for your cooperation in avoiding any unsafe conditions/areas.