Thursday, June 19, 2008

Board Meeting June 18, 2008

Quietly and quickly, last night's board meeting was over and done in an hour. The executive session before it lasted longer. Here's the recap minus the boring stuff like adopting the minutes and financial report.

Jan, Cindy and James were present. Bill's daughter was graduating from high school and Bob had a business meeting.

1) Oso Parkway Improvements - Congrats to Cindy, Jan and all the many past board members who after 30 years(!) are finally getting some wonderful landscaping improvements on Oso Parkway. There will be $1.5 million spent for each side of Oso Parkway with emphasis on the corners at Moulton parkway and Oso Parkway and at Nellie Gail and Oso. We will see new trees, bushes, and flowers all native to the area. A new "bio-swale" will capture and restrict urban run off before it goes into the drain system to the ocean. A new wetlands will be formed by this process and will eliminate the standing stagnant water that bred mosquitoes.
Congratulations again. This is a nice send off victory for Jan and Cindy. Thank you both for all your efforts on this.


Mike Bland - Noted that he and his wife Jean and Tom Epperson are now regularly attending Laguna Hills City Council meetings. Jean is typing up the results in a recap format to share with folks. (Hmmm.... sounds familiar...) It's called the Laguna Hills Watch Dog Report and according to the latest edition here's how you can sign up: **To receive these free e-mail reports on the Laguna Hills City Council go to , and sign up with your name, e-mail address, city and the enter the words "Watch Dog" in the comments section.

Marlene Sandler - provided a great update on the General Plan update efforts. She noted that there are two areas near us that might be impacted. One is the La Paz Gateway - La Paz at the 5 freeway. The City wants to determine what should be allowed if the developers ever want to redevelop the area such as new condos, shops and the like. The consensus of the citizens attending was that whatever it is, don't increase the traffic because it's bad already. There is another area along La Paz under similar consideration. There is an area that might be designated for more playing fields (a big demand in this city) but nearby residents noted that there is no parking for the existing fields as it is. Check with Marlene for more details. (And thank you for monitoring this for us!!)


- We've fixed the lighting in the parking lot at the Tennis Center near the back.

- The HOA election ballots will be mailed out this week. (Don't forget to vote! There are three Bylaw Amendment changes and the top three vote getters will receive 2-year terms if the bylaw amendment is passed. Just because there are only five candidates doesn't mean your votes won't matter. ) And Kathy Bennett has been named as the elections inspector.

- Budget - we have a meeting on Tuesday the 24th of June at 5pm if you want to see how your money will be spent next year. The biggest concern is the Equestrian Center budget and how much of an increase in fees might be required to off set all the soaring costs in hay, shavings, manure disposal etc. This will be at the Swim and Tennis Center.

- Retirement - Sadly for us, long time staff member Shirley Charne is retiring in July. Shirley embodies institutional memory for the HOA and the office and has been an incredible asset to this community for many years. We will all miss her greatly and wish her the best. (More time for her golf passion and hitting some tennis balls with Cindy!)

(Things are going wonderfully under Maggie and her team. Everyone on the board, especially those of us retiring, are heaving major sighs of relief knowing the Association is in such terrific hands.)

- Budget is under way. (Again, if you want to have a say in the budget, be sure to contact Maggie Merante or attend the budget meeting)

- One of Manuel's staff had to leave us for family reasons. We wish him well.

- Many delayed reserve purchases, maintenance and improvements are now entering into the bidding phase. Look for some sprucing up at the center in the months to come.

- June 20th is Movie Night. Come to the Pool and Tennis center to watch National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

- There is a horse chiropractor workshop coming up. Watch the bulletin board for details.

- New camps starting for the summer. "Margarita Tennis Night for Women" starting.

- Don't forget the Open House July 5th with the In and Out Burger Truck providing free food sponsored by one of our local Realtors.

- The Tennis Court Reservation system starts in again. Book your courts in advance to avoid the heat of the day.


LERP Infestation - The eucalyptus trees in our community are being attacked by a "piercing sucking insect" (I figured there was a joke in there somewhere but I let it go...). The Board approved a bid from the only pest control company that can handle this to see if we can save some of the infected trees and prevent the spread to others. Approved 3-0

Miller Tree Removal Request - Under the "Irony" section of the agenda, our next item was a request from a resident to remove 6 healthy eucalyptus trees. We believe they want them removed as it was conveyed to them that they have to maintain them. Staff was directed to let them know the HOA will maintain them per the CC&Rs and perhaps that will assuage their need/desire to remove them. (I (jokingly) suggested they scrape some of the LERP pests off the sick trees...)

Web site - The RFP is prepared and we're getting bids to improve and redesign the web site. Cindy wanted to know when and it was noted we have to have a budget first, but we will move quickly once we have an approved budget and funding.

Trail Crossing Signage - Marlene has been working with the city to get good sign "packages" to alert motorists at horse crossings. The city is amenable, but the best options are the most expensive of course. It was noted that the city had told us we could put up mirrors for riders to see oncoming cars from the trail - GREAT! But they have to be placed well off of city property or Nellie Gail assumes the liability for any accident that happens there that is blamed on the mirrors - BAD. So, we continue to explore all the possibilities. Again, thank you Marlene for riding herd on this.

Crime in Nellie Gail - I noted that the last two months have seen several daytime break ins on Dillon Rd. Cindy suggested we get Lt. Loan and the Mayor to our next meeting to ask where is the reporting substation at the NGROA office we were promised, why we are down two officers and where are the patrols we used to have coming through. We'll be promoting this on the website and other places so watch for details.

July 4th - Celebrate the 4th with your neighbors as we honor our own military members and veterans to the sounds of WW II Big band music. This takes place in the mid day so you can still feast at another barbecue and fireworks later in the evening.

And that was it. There's only one more meeting for me to go after this. (Even if we fail to get 50% quorum I'm hoping to reschedule the 25% quorum annual meeting before the August board meeting so the new board can get going.)

If I got any of this wrong, if you have corrections or additions (such as more details on any of these events) please let me know. See you around the Ranch.


Anonymous said...

Thanks again for making this available so quickly for all of us.

Anonymous said...

JBland said...

There is another election in November for City Council. The South County Animal Shelter Coalition has created the Laguna Hills Watch Dog for those who want to know more about what their city council is actually doing. They report every city council meeting, unvarnished, and often with humor including editorial comment. Anyone can receive these e-mail reports free of charge by going to , and signing up with name, city, e-mail address and the words "Watch Dog".