· Joseph called the meeting to order and welcomed the landowners
· Introductions were held.
· The roster of attendees and proxies is with hard copy in Book of Minutes.
· Arden moved to approve the minutes of the Fall membership meeting, Tys 2nd, approved.
· In response to a member’s concern about our being charged additional property taxes for Lakeside School, Manuela asked that any members come see her; she will explain how to request an exemption.
· Joy moved to accept the Secretary’s report, Tys 2nd, approved.
· Manuela determined that we didn’t have a quorum, but we would continue a count as members showed up at the meeting. Later in the meeting when she announced that we had a quorum – including proxies – and would be able to vote, Jose pointed out that we did not have a quorum because 30% of the members who were able to vote were not paid up. Manuela stated that in our JMA there is no requirement for voting members to be paid up.
· Tys gave a hearty thank you to Ron for all his help
· Tys handed out financial reports - the documents are posted online and in hard copy form in the Book of Minutes.
· There were various comments from the membership regarding how the billing takes place:
o Jose registered concern that though he lives on Deer Creek Road, he is expected to contribute to the repair and maintenance of other roads on the road system. He feels it is unfair that he is paying money which in part is used for roads he doesn’t use.
o Hillary said that we are an association and part of a community, so we all pay for repairs on all roads, and why should there be such contention about it?
o Tys commented that though it isn’t fair that someone who lives close to Bear Creek Road and has 5 vehicles that are driven regularly pays less than someone who lives at the end of our road system and drives the road once a week, as does Tys, no one as yet has come up with a more equitable strategy.
· Tys announced that anyone who has not yet paid their dues or contribution has an opportunity to do so at this meeting. Members in arrears have been notified that liens will be filed. A Notary Public, John Kreigsman, was present to notarize the signatures of the 4 officers of the BOD to ready the prepared liens for recording.
· Dave McGuire moved to accept the Treasurer’s report, Hiram 2nd, accepted.
· Tom gave thanks to members who did work over the last months: Tys, Mark, Sam, Ron, Joey, Bruce, John Miller, Keith Dowell, Chris Daly, Craig, Judy Bootie and Mike’s posse on Skyview.
· Tom then gave a power point presentation of projects completed – these were projects that had been approved by the membership at the Spring meeting. The power point presentation is posted on DCLI website. A summary is provided here:
o Of the 13 general maintenance projects that were approved in the Spring 2010 budget, 12 have been completed. Tom displayed photos of the projects. The last general maintenance project (to grade and rock around a new culvert on Ramble), has since been completed.
o The outstanding large infrastructure item from the Spring 2010 budget is to stabilize the landslide at the 3rd bridge. That work is expected to take place after the rains.
· CALFIRE Plan and Status:
o This item relates to CALFire’s agreement to compensate Deer Creek for tractor damage that occurred in spring 2010 when the fire department responded to an alarm by driving a huge tractor on our poor little roads, damaging them. They agreed to provide equipment and manpower to restore the roads.
o The planned restoration / compensation is not on the portions of road directly damaged, as CalFire doesn’t have equipment to patch asphalt. Instead Tom and CalFire reached an agreement on other valuable work that was feasible for them to do.
o CalFire did significant work on the front of the road to the second bridge (grading, etc).
o CalFire also agreed to work on fire breaks and emergency escpare routes on Skyview, Lost Valley Rd. + gate & Jack’s Rd. to Las Cumbres. This work has not happened, as the State of California is out of money. It’s not clear whether they will work on these items in a future year, hopefully so.
· Asphalt Repairs:
o We did have this scheduled (a couple of times) for a few weeks ago but got interrupted by rain.
o Tom has purchased the sealer (Home Depot will not be restocking till May) and will purchase the asphalt when we are ready to start.
o Tom has borrowed a jackhammer to dig up the damaged areas and only need a portable generator.
o Please don’t drive on the sealed sections while they dry.
· Trees: Particularly on telephone wires.
o Technically it is the responsibility of the landowner.
o Sometime it’s an absentee landowner and residents may need to take care of the situation just to travel.
o If dangerous, notify owner and give them the option to remove or hire a tree contractor.
o Also plugged culvert, ditches, etc.
· There was applause following Tom’s report, and some comments:
o John Miller said that in the ditch going into the new culvert at the front of the road the water wasn’t flowing. Chris Daly offered to loan John a shovel.
o Jose said that the road at the paintball area was flat:; Tom said that he would take a look, and that he is aware that 2 wheel drive vehicles are contributing to rock being pushed into the ditch.
· Manuela moved to approve the Road Manager’s report, 2nd by Harold Hall, approved.
· Tom then made comments about the tone of the entries on the Digest (Yahoo Group)
And finally, I have some comments:
The ‘on-line’ Yahoo Group Digest was originally set up (by Victor Smith) to help the Association with the dissemination of helpful information about our Assoc, to post General Meeting notices and minutes, BOD meeting minutes, copies of membership approved budgets, copies of the Treasurer’s financial position report, announcement of work parties, and a forum for members to express their ideas.
It was never intended to act as a forum for launching insulting personal attacks on other members of our community.
Nor was it intended as a medium for disseminating false or misleading… information about how our fellow neighbors, who are volunteering their time and efforts, are poorly managing the resources of our Association.
The digest was not meant to be a tool for “sniping” at other neighbors or as a “graffiti wall” for displaying hateful and disrespectful personal comments to other landowners in our community.
I believe we (or most of us) choose to own property is this rural area because of the natural beauty and peaceful surroundings. It’s a shame to have a malcontent or two, intent on disrupting our community.
I’m suggesting that if we choose to have a opinion regarding a particular topic, we should be able to express our ideas in a respectful and courteous manner and be able to do that without having the fear of a reprisal publicly leveled back at us in a vindictive and discourteous rant.
And now I have a more personal request.
I have been accused in our public on-line forum, among other things,
· Of not having the best interests of the majority of the membership in mind;
· Of working hard but not getting results.
· Of using questionable practices,
· And of using road association resources to benefit my own travel to our house on “Tom’s Road”, (Hartman Creek Road) which is a road I don’t even use.
I pride myself on my honesty, integrity and competence, and to have these and other derogatory statements made about me is disheartening (and frankly pisses me off).
I have applied for and been awarded over $ 225,000 of grant funds for erosion control and road improvements and a new bridge ….all of which benefits our Deer Creek community. I have spent hundreds of hours managing and implementing projects approved by you …..the membership.. some of which were recommended by Pac. Watershed Assoc..(another $125,000 grant) who have designed the erosion control plan for our entire watershed.
And …by the way…none of these grant funds went into any road that I use to get to our property.
I also assisted in the design of a Permit Coordination Process and was one of the presenters to petition the SC Bd. Of Supervisors to approve the process. Which they did, unanimously.
So, I have a personal request:
Enough of the ‘behind the scenes sniping’ spewing angry rhetoric to a limited on-line audience. If someone has complaints or some helpful suggestions, ‘man up’ and have the courage to come to the membership meeting and have an adult conversation, in an open, friendly and neighborly manner with the attending membership.
My elected job in this Association is simple: put into action the projects that the membership, ..…at the annual spring meeting,… have decided they want accomplished for the year.
And, as you have seen by my presentations over the last couple of years, that is what I have accomplished. So, as long as I’m the elected Rd. Mgr., I will continue to take my direction …..from the membership.
· The floor was opened to nominations for Road Manager, and each nominee was given a chance to discuss their qualifications for taking the position of Road Manager.
o Craig Rosenberg was nominated by John Miller; Tom Bird was nominated by Joy.
o Craig was invited to speak first, and he remarked that he would not construct the roads the way that they are presently being constructed– that there are standard ways to construct a road, and we are not doing them. He was asked if he would be able to apply for grants, and what his experience was in managing a road system. He said he would not be applying for grants, and his experience was the work he had done on his driveway and that he had been using a tractor since he was a young boy.
o There were some comments from various members about how the roads are better than they ever have been – Arden explained that many years ago our roads could be used only in summer – that they were impassable during the winter – there were mud holes, slides, no pavement, and now we have year-round availability, so something is obviously being done right.
o Linda Johnson remarked that Ramble Road was no better than it was in 1982. A number of Ramble Road landowners who live on Ramble Road commented that the road is definitely better.
o Tom offered his qualifications as having written a grant on behalf of DCLI and been awarded $250,000 in grants from various government agencies; wrote for and was awarded a grant to construct the 3rd crossing bridge on Deer Creek Road; was awarded a grant from Pacific Watershed Association for an erosion assessment for the entire watershed, including recommendations for the erosion control of our roadways.
o Tom explained that DCLI has been using assessment report as our guidelines for construction projects since Spring of 2005. He added that since he has been road manager, we have completed projects on all roadways within the maintained road system; e.g., Jack’s road had previously never had any work done, nor had the upper reaches of Hartman Creek and Ramble Road. He represented DCLI at the Board of Supervisors meeting at which he gave input regarding extending the permit coordination program, which has been a boon to DCLI in obtaining permits for various projects.
o A hand vote was taken and Tom was elected.
· Manuela nominated Dave McGuire to the Board, and he was unanimously elected.
· Manuela was re-elected by default (no one else offered to do the job) – by acclamation.
· Billing algorithm: Joy presented the Board’s recommendations for changing the road assessment fee algorithm:
o Budget and charge the “845s” separately, in a separate pool. (The 845s are the ten residents at the front of the road, who don’t belong to DCLI but benefit from our roadwork on the first 1.5 miles of the road up to the yellow gate.) This would be more equitable for these residents. In most years, their bills would drop fairly significantly, though their bills would be substantially higher in years where there’s a significant project in the front. DCLI members will rise slightly (in most years) as a result of this proposed change.
o Modify the billing algorithm for the rest DCLI members.
§ DCLI members would receive separate billing line items for the front of the road (first 1.5 miles), at the same rate as the non-DCLI members are charged.
§ The rate would be calculated differently than it is today. The rate would be set at residents (and renters) paying 2x the rate per mile as nonresidents. The effect of this change would be to not change bills noticeably. The change is proposed because the current algorithm language in the JMA is flawed.
o A third proposed change, to explicitly add language to the billing algorithm to allow for allocations for special projects, was dropped from the proposal after membership pointed out that similar language existed already in the JMA (though not the algorithm).
o The presentation is available on the DCLI website.
o There was much discussion among the membership
§ There was the usual name-calling and unpleasantness by Gordon Stewart, which undermined any point he might have been trying to make.
§ Jose reiterated that he does not favor a pooled approach as in the current algorithm and the proposed changes. Instead he’d like those who use each section of the road to agree on the projects they want for the coming year.
§ In response to Jose’s suggestion, Tys pointed out that those at the end of the road would have to attend 6-8 planning meetings in order to cast a vote for projects in each section.
o Jose stated that there hasn’t been any work done on Deer Creek Road this year. Tom pointed out that based on the information from the financial report from Tys regarding the amount of money spent on each road section over the reporting period , there was over $10,200 spent on Deer Creek Road which is 50% of the total expenditures on the entire road system.
o As the hour was drawing late, Tom suggested that a committee be set up to develop recommendations to be submitted to the membership in the Spring meeting.
o Jose requested that that a separate meeting be scheduled prior to the Spring membership meeting for the purpose of discussing the committee recommendations for changes to the JMA.
Emmanuela Raquelle, Secretary
Deer Creek Landowners, Inc.