keep it up, Tim! No more excuses! Thanks for your efforts.
New Director Tim Maybee hit the ground running at the CSD Security Committee. At left is Security Chief Jeff Werblun, at right is General Manager Mark Martin. (Click for larger image)
Barely 90 seconds into his first Community Services District Security Committee meeting, newly elected Director Tim Maybee delivered his bottom line on the Christmas Day traffic problems at the North Gate: “I would probably say: That never happens again. We have the ability, the staff, the technology. That does not happen again.” Among other topics covered: community security cameras and recent break-ins.
At Tuesday's meeting, Director Les Clark, the committee chair, joined Maybee in asking that Security fix the situation that created the gate backup on Christmas Day.
Security Chief Jeff Werblun said the basic problem is that guests have to pass through the visitor lane and be checked in. It’s difficult when guests haven’t been registered with the gate. When they are registered, passing through the gate is a 15-second process, he said.
And too often, an unregistered guest doesn’t know the full name of the resident they’re visiting, or the exact address, Werblun said, creating delays at the gate.
(Since late 2017, Security has offered an online way to register your guests, saving you the time of a phone call to the gate. The online service is at GateAccess.net. Instructions for using gateaccess.net are here. )
Any deviation from current policy has to come from the Rancho Murieta Association, which sets gate policy, Werblun said. He said RMA could adopt its July 4 policy for Christmas, handing out gate passes in advance, and Security could open a second lane just for those vehicles.
After asking about funding for the long-planned network of community security cameras and being told that security’s funding is limited, Maybee challenged the CSD to coordinate its camera efforts with RMA. He called the present situation “completely unacceptable.”
“I guess my frustration is, coming off the RMA for six years, all this was talked about, four and five years ago. And so, at this level, we’re having this exact same conversation all over again. At some point it’s got to stop. I’m just ready to get some direction and say we sit down, get the expectations, get the procedures in place and we move on.”
As for a security study approved by the board in 2016, at a cost of $49,350 from security impact fees, Maybee said, “It appears we did not get a whole lot of bang for our buck for $49,000.” He added, “I get where we’re at. Now, I’m done with the talking.”
Clark added that CSD geography extends south of Jackson Road, beyond RMA boundaries. Asked about the security impact fees paid by the hotel, General Manager Mark Martin said the amount hasn’t been finalized yet but the charge will be calculated on a water-consumption basis instead of square footage. He acknowledged it’s “kind of an unusual approach.”
Clark made what he called his “standing comment” about the need for more information from the Rancho Murieta Association about its handling of citations issued by CSD. “Not necessarily each one,” Clark said, “but just a number of the citations and what category they were – whether they were enforced, whether they were dismissed, et cetera, et cetera, just so that we have an idea of the effectiveness of the citations. I mention that every Security (Committee) meeting and almost every board meeting, so eventually I would like to get that information.”
Maybee, who served as an RMA director from 2011 to 2017, suggested CSD get the board presidents and general managers together. “Because you asking over and over again should come to an end,” he told Clark, who is CSD’s new board president.
“I don’t think it’s that difficult,” Maybee said. “What I see is we are on two different pages on expectations and implementation and those type of things.”
Clark said he wants to measure the effectiveness of the procedures CSD is following. Unlike some CSD directors, he said he isn’t interested in knowing how much money RMA generates through fines tied to the citations.
Martin, the general manager, said it would be valuable to see how RMA’s handling of CSD citations lines up with RMA’s handling of the citations it writes itself. “Because if we hear from the public that ‘We’re being treated differently by CSD versus RMA’ – we should get some facts to that.” Clark agreed, but he thought CSD had a stronger case for requesting information on its own citations as a first step.
Werblun, the Security chief, told the committee that he has offered the same crime-fighting advice repeatedly after the break-ins and attempted break-ins that have occurred in recent months – “from simple security cameras at home, or alarms, or just watching out for your neighbors.” Watching out for neighbors is especially true in daytime, he said, when many people are at work.
In a recent break-in, where a resident reported losing saddles to a garage burglar, Werblun said he reviewed video from two cameras, focusing mainly on one, in the two-hour time frame when it was believed the burglary occurred.
“This last thing with the saddles,” Werblun said, “I’m thinking, ‘OK, nine saddles, table saws, tack – they probably threw it in the back of a truck. My best hope is to see a pickup truck loaded with a bunch of saddles in the back leaving the gate.’ ... Unfortunately it didn’t pan out.”
He said Security does this routinely when a crime has occurred.
“Internally, when we start to see a trend,” he said, “my protocol is, I notify the entire department that we’re seeing a trend, and at that point I direct extra patrols of those neighborhoods....”
Martin repeated the value of home security cameras, especially when homeowners notify the Sheriff’s Department of the installation. When a home camera network includes a camera that shows the street, it can be useful in solving crimes at nearby homes, he said.
Later in the meeting, reacting to claims made on social media, Clark asked Werblun whether the gate cameras had been out of service for significant periods of time in the past. Werblun said no. Martin said the cameras are monitored by multiple people in the district, so if a camera goes out, the problem is spotted quickly.
keep it up, Tim! No more excuses! Thanks for your efforts.
Some year we might even have a community security plan implemented as it has been under development for nearly a half dozen years. Cameras for the Villages has been promised for at least 5 years and of course the Escuela gate is always being considered. Both RMA and CSD needs to "get with it" as the problem is not hard to solve once one wants to.