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→ Video coverage of the RMA meeting (1 hour, 40 minutes)

The Rancho Murieta Association board Tuesday night rejected a Recreation Committee member roster proposed by the committee’s co-chairs, instead expanding the roster by two people and approving that. It was the third month of challenges in getting the Recreation Committee up and running for 2019. Also at the meeting, the board approved the purchase of radar/photo trailers to address speeding on streets.

In introducing a proposed list of eight committee members, Director Larry Shelton said he and co-chair Stephanie Bianchi discussed how to get 17 applications down to a manageable number. He said Bianchi asked prospective members to write a summary of their hopes for the committee as an application.

Danny Carrillo and Martha GluntAfter Shelton read the list of eight proposed members, two people who weren’t chosen, Danny Carrillo and Martha Glunt, came to the microphone to object.

Carrillo, who made an unsuccessful run for the RMA board last fall, said he was frustrated and disappointed that the board was passing over some “some very knowledgeable people, some very dedicated people, very capable people – one of those persons being me.”

Carrillo said he plans to run again for the board, and he has accepted the suggestion that serving on a committee could make him a better candidate next time. He called it “a personal slap” to be passed over, especially since he made his interest known from the beginning.

He asked Bianchi and Shelton to reconsider their list. A dozen people in the audience applauded.

Glunt, who has served on the Recreation Committee for 16 years, said, “No clue why I wasn’t invited back.” She said she was led to believe she would be returning and added, “I think that’s partly to do with the fact that Stephanie doesn’t care much for me. I vote no on things when I think that you guys are looking to spend money that doesn’t need to be spent. And I confronted Larry about some of his choices too, one of them being – Joanne (Brandt), you had it absolutely right – he did want to eliminate the Summerfest bingo from Rec Committee.” She was applauded.

(Earlier in the session, Director Joanne Brandt had asked why the committee seemed to be changing the RMA’s approach to Summerfest.)

Stephanie Xenos, a Recreation Committee volunteer since last year, said the Summerfest discussion at the committee was not about eliminating bingo but about controlling the high cost of prizes and making the committee’s funds go as far as possible. 

Next up to the microphone was Mike Martel, president of the Country Club and a former RMA director. He founded Summerfest two decades ago.

“We’re not a charity organization. We provide charity funds to everybody,” he said, adding that Summerfest has brought nearly $800,000 in services and goods to the community. Martel listed the community organizations that have benefitted from Summerfest and said the longtime partnership with RMA means RMA employees come to Summerfest free and RMA directors come to the Summerfest wine dinner free. 

“We don’t need your charity,” Martel said. “We want your cooperation.” He returned to his seat as the audience applauded.

At one point in the meeting, Bianchi estimated bingo consumes almost 30 percent of Recreation’s annual budget, so the committee was examining how to make the spending efficient. Shelton said the committee will keep the events that are popular and there was no intention to eliminate Summerfest bingo. Later in the meeting, Bianchi said in no way did the committee want to seem ungrateful about Summerfest’s contributions.

When Bianchi explained her Rec Committee choices by saying she wanted people who are productive and positive, Director Cheryl McElhany said the proposed roster included a person who has spread “vitriol criticism of the board” on social media. She wouldn’t name the person, and Bianchi didn’t offer a defense. “It’s unbelievable the stuff I read yesterday, that this person put on, and he’s on here,” McElhany said of the committee roster.

She said she couldn’t vote for the list of committee members as it was.

When President Alex Bauer asked if Bianchi and Shelton could accept simply adding Carrillo and Glunt to the committee, Shelton answered, “Ah ... no. In one word.” He suggested the board vote on the motion, and if it’s rejected then he and Bianchi would start over. He would want to rethink the whole roster, Shelton said.

The Shelton-Bianchi motion was put to a vote and defeated 4-3, with Director Jim Crowder joining the co-chairs in voting yes. The audience applauded. “I’m not sure that’s something we need to applaud,” said Bauer, who is tasked with solving the Rec puzzle.

Director Rob Brown offered a motion that added Carrillo and Glunt to the Rec Committee roster. That was approved 5-2, with Bianchi and Shelton voting no.

The Rec Committee controversy surfaced publicly at a raucous board organization meeting in December, which dozens of people attended in support of Bianchi continuing as committee chair. The board seemed to resolve the issue at the January meeting, when Bianchi and Shelton were named co-chairs.

Board OKs purchase of radar/photo trailers

The board unanimously approved buying two radar/photo trailers from RU2 Systems, an Arizona manufacturer, for $24,621. The trailers would photograph the license plates of speeding cars on community streets. 

Staff offered the Finance Committee several other price options, including buying a couple of high-tech trailers for about $60,000, two with lesser technology for almost $41,000, or converting three of the present low-tech trailers into radar-photo trailers at a cost of about $22,000. The Finance Committee suggested the RU2 path, General Manager Greg Vorster said.

The trailers, a board priority since last year, have proven very effective at a Florida development where he saw them in use, Vorster said. They’re so effective, he said, “People really hate them.” He said they must be secured when they’re put on the streets because they’ll disappear. In addition to locking the wheels, the trailers also have GPS, so they can be tracked if they disappear, and they can be set to sound an alarm if they’re disturbed, he said.

“They said it made a dramatic difference on their streets.” Vorster said of the Florida community. “People have really slowed down for them.”

Board President Alex Bauer said there needs to be a discussion about what kind of speeding enforcement will be used. “I don’t want to play a game of gotcha,” he said. Someone in the audience asked if going 1 mph over the limit would result in a citation. Vorster said that will have to be decided by the Compliance Committee, but the committee can’t handle a flood of citations.

Director Rob Brown, who’s a CHP sergeant by profession, said trailers are a visual deterrent to speeding, which is the most effective approach. Citing is less effective, he said.

Committee assignments for 2019

Here are the committee members as approved by the board.

  • Finance Committee: Robert Hamel, Jim Moore, Chris Pilkington, Frank Pumilia
  • Architectural Review Committee: Frank Dininger, Phil Fitch, Maureen Gormley, Bill Vaughan, Doug Reed (alternate)
  • Communications Committee: Carol Anderson, Bob Lucas, Ray Matheny, Myrna Solomon
  • Compliance Committee: Judith Embree, Steve Mobley, Ken Poole, Tom Reimers, Ray Bray (alternate), Jim Moore (alternate), Bob Telford (alternate)
  • Governing Documents Committee: Scott Adams, June Koefelda, Bob Lucas, Greg Verdon
  • Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee: Betty Ferraro, Rob Schultz, Greg Pryor, John Long, David Moschetti
  • Maintenance Committee: Randy Jenco, Blaine Lamb, Virginia Macko, Frank Mann, Steve Murphy (alternate), Geri Palmer (alternate)
  • Recreation Committee: Danny Carrillo, Martha Glunt, Billy Haze, Linda Klein, David Lee, Raelyn Mobley, Randee Ross, Bonnie Shewchuk, Allyson Warr, Stephanie Xenos

In other business...

  • Casino Night, which takes place Saturday, should be a profitable enterprise, with $11,735 in revenue and about $8,000 in expenses as of Tuesday, Director Stephanie Bianchi reported. She said 123 tickets have been sold, and there are 11 sponsors. Ticket prices through Friday are $70 a person and $120 a pair. Tickets at the door Saturday night will be $75 and $130. Tickets are available at the RMA Building and online at eventbrite.com.
  • The community’s Joint Security Committee will take place 6 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Community Services District Building, across Jackson Road from the South Gate.
  • With no discussion, the board unanimously approved a special event permit for the Cosumnes Crusher bike event May 4. General Manager Greg Vorster said the 38-mile race would include about 17 miles on undeveloped land inside Rancho Murieta and a half-mile on community streets.  Some 300 to 500 racers are expected to take part, he said. The event was outlined by organizers at last month’s RMA board meeting, before the directors knew much about it. Several directors indicated Tuesday that they have been briefed fully since then.
  • Despite the general boggy conditions, staff reported work will begin this week on the new disc golf course at the Greens Park, off Jigger Court on the South.
  • Neighbor Tony Avampato suggested the RMA consider having live music, instead of a DJ, for the July 4 pre-fireworks gathering at the Gazebo. He also thanked the directors for the work they do.
  • Asked last month to determine costs for doing a professional community survey on recreation possibilities, General Manager Greg Vorster reported Tuesday that one marketing company he contacted estimated a $50,000 cost for three focus groups and a survey. He said the number lines up with what the Community Services District paid for a security survey in 2017. The board indicated it didn’t intend to spend that much money for a survey, even a professional one.
  • The RMA’s new website, at rma.nabrnetwork.com, has 587 members, staff reported.

Nellie Bloom's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 362
Post rating: 587

Rec Committee

Clearly, I am missing a lot of the backstory because none of the Rec Committee conflict and dissension makes any sense to me. I’ve lived here for over a decade and up until recently - the Rec Committee has functioned effectively, harmoniously and supported many, many happy memories. Now it appears to be the source of unrelenting community discord. The irony of it would be funny if so many neighbors weren’t negatively impacted. I don’t know why the majority left the Rec committee, and I don’t understand the motives affecting committee selection. I do recognize it as a problematic and destructive dynamic and one our neighborhood can't easily bear.  It's disheartening, confusing and frankly, does not inspire confidence. My primary expectations of our volunteer leadership and committees are that they are able to collaborate well and respect the community members they serve. I'm hoping the Rec Committee moves forward in a more positive, inclusive vein. Thank you RM dot com for filming and posting the video of the meeting, it's essential information and has been helpful for me to review. 

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