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Opening the gate on Escuela Drive, collecting community contact information and creating a map of the community’s crime incidents were discussed at last week’s Joint Security Committee meeting. The committee, which meets several times a year, has representation from the community's major governing organizations.

Opening Escuela gate on Stonehouse Road

Greg Vorster, the Rancho Murieta Association’s general manager, suggested a joint RMA-Community Services District committee to look at what kind of gate should be installed at Stonehouse Road and Escuela Drive.

The county will begin work on Stonehouse Road in July, closing the road for two weeks to lower a hill north of the Escuela gate, which will make Stonehouse safe enough for the gate to be opened.

“There’s pros and cons,” said CSD Director Mike Martel of the gate opening. He suggested either the RMA or CSD poll the community on its feelings. “There’s the money issue. Do you guard it? Are you guarding it part-time?”

Given that the CSD didn’t budget for new gate expense, Vorster repeated a suggestion he made at last month’s RMA meeting that if the community demands a staffed gate, the RMA could create a special assessment to generate the funding.

“Gates are a quarter-million dollars per year,” Martel said.

“Just because it can be opened doesn’t necessarily mean we have to rush into it,” said Jim Moore, the RMA’s board president.  “There’s no compelling reason right now to get it open as quickly as possible. ... I think it’s something we can take our time with.”

There was also conversation about a three-way stop at the gate and the possibility of gate turn lanes on Stonehouse.

Developer John Sullivan said there would be problems without a southbound turn lane on Stonehouse. He suggested the community keep the turn-lane conversation going with the county. Vorster said the county’s engineers priced this lane at $400,000 to $500,000, which would have to be funded locally.

Sullivan said he’s already talking with the county about Stonehouse impact fees the developers must pay, and he’d be happy to discuss this additional possibility.

Vorster pointed out that opening the gate, which is right next to the Stonehouse Park sports fields, would remove a lot of the outside youth baseball and soccer traffic from the community’s streets.

The conversation wrapped up with the promise that the RMA and CSD boards would discuss the matter.

Breakdown of security incidents

Remson distributed spreadsheets of 2015 incidents in the community, breaking down monthly incidents by the day, time reported and the street where the incident occurred. (You can download a PDF version of the document here.)

He also discussed mapping the community’s security incidents and making the map available online. He said the map would show approximate, not precise, incident locations.

Martel suggested Security allow people to text-message Security, which prompted Country Club representative Vern Wallace to caution that it might not offer information as useful as having telephone interaction with a reporting party. Wallace also said use of the Country Club’s “tip line,” which allows members to report incidents, has fallen off to zero.

Updating database of resident information

Security plans to update its resident information, Remson said. The information provided by all new residents goes into a database and is shared by the South Gate, Remson’s office and the officers on patrol, Remson said.

“We haven’t done a top-to-bottom upgrade check of this thing in years,” he said.  The information includes things like phone and email contacts, guest list entries, registered vehicles, pet information and emergency contacts.

He said Security will mail out a paper form, probably working street by street through the community starting in January, and ask residents to fill out the form and send it back.  If you don’t send it back, Security will disable your bar code, he said.

“That way, we can update everything,” Remson said.

Moore asked if it were possible for residents to make the changes online. Darlene Gillum, the CSD’s general manager, said that would cost about $300 a month, so it’s not in the current plans. She also questioned how many residents would do that online.

Vandalism at Country Club's 12th hole North

The group discussed an incident in the evening hours of Nov. 21 when a pickup truck drove off Murieta Parkway and onto the 12th green, tore up the green and got stuck in a bunker before damaging it while trying to get out.

Sullivan suggested Security should try “really hard” to get a photo of the pickup truck passing by the gate that night. He said the club and its members are getting tired of vandalism, which comes to $10,000 to $25,000 a year.

The Country Club reported only one incident – night fishing at one of the course lakes – after it hired extra officers for Halloween patrol.

In other business...

  • Vorster said he was trying to reach Caltrans to have safety railing installed along the South sound wall on Jackson Road. “I think that is a hazard to those houses that back up to it,” he said. (A car hit the wall on Nov. 27, the second such incident.)  Vorster said the walls were properly constructed; it’s a tension-bar wall, he said, with metal rods and steel caps that are tightened to strengthen the wall. He said the homeowners are responsible for repair of the wall behind their homes.
  • The committee discussed the CSD’s recent actions on locations for security cameras. Martel lobbied the group to support his view that there should be more cameras at more locations. “If you guys have suggestions, I think at the right time of year, you guys should all bring your ideas to the board, because sometimes the board doesn’t hear everybody’s input about how cameras could be useful,” he said. “...I think you’re a supporter of cameras in different places. I think that gets missed on some of the other (CSD) board members or the staff....”
  • RMA Director Tim Maybee said the RMA is looking at installation of temporary speed tables to control speeding by cars and golf carts. He said RMA is also looking at installing cameras in its radar trailers, which are moved to different locations around the community to alert drivers to their speed. In cooperation with the sports leagues that use our fields, these traffic controls could be used to cite drivers from outside the community, he said.

Myrna Solomon's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 427
Post rating: 745

Any fees should be paid only by The Development Group!!

The main reason that the gate on Escuela is even being talked about now is because John Sullivan wants it for his development. Because of this, IMHO, The Development Group should pay for any fees, or assessments that are required to make the gate operational. If the sports teams want to use the gate, I believe they should pay a fee as part of the fees they pay to play here. It has always been obsurd to me that our "private community" allows outsiders to come in many months of the year to watch and play sports, with zero knowledge who these people really are. There is no way to know whether these people go to the back lakes after the games are over, or whatever else they want to do once they are in our "private community". That is why I thought it was amazing when CSD and RMA told the Village that they shouldn't have bar codes anymore....considering who they let in almost every weekend. A bit of hypocrisy in my mind. We all are supporting the sports fields, because we didn't have a choice...We weren't given a chance to vote for the John Sulllivan expansion of the Treatment Plant, so I'd hope that the RMA sees fit to allow us to vote on whether we want another expensive gate for the development group.  

Myrna Solomon

Alvin Somers's picture
Joined: 08/27/2007
Posts: 51
Post rating: 79

FULLY AGREE

SINCE ONE OF THE REASONS WE MOVED HERE 10 YEARS AGO, WAS SECURITY, (EAST BAY WAS GETTING A BIT DICEY), I COULD NOT AGREE MORE. THE WATER DEAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN SUSPECT IN MY MIND, AND THE INSIDE DEALS CONTINUE TO BE NURTURED, FOR SOME STRANGE REASON, WITHOUT RESIDENT INVOLVEMENT. PROBLEM IS THAT NOT ENOUGH RESIDENTS GET INVOLVED. 

CHERYL MC AND THE SOLOS ARE THE FIRST ORGANIZED GROUP EFFORT TO REALLY GET SERIOUS (OUTSIDE OF THE GOLFERS' INTERESTS AND THE DEFEATED REC SCHEME ). WE NEED PEOPLE TO STANDUP AND BE HEARD AND BE COUNTED. I HAVE NOT BEEN A GOOD CITIZEN PREVIOUS TO THE SULLIVAN SCHEME. I WILL BE FROM NOW ON, BASED ON THE CHEEK BY JOWL HOME PLANS SUBMITTED.

THE ADDITIONAL GATE PROBLEM COULD BE ANOTHER CHINK IN DESTROYING OUR BEAUTIFUL SAFE COMMUNITY.

 

ALVIN SOMERS

Martha Glunt's picture
Joined: 07/29/2007
Posts: 192
Post rating: 421

As I recall...

Ms. Solomon, I don't recall Security Logs EVER proving your point about "not knowing where folks go after coming out here for sports."  From what I've seen, most entries in the logs are from residents and 'guests' of residents.  I think the point about the Village people using our amenities is that they don't pay for them.  At all.  The sports clubs ALL pay a use-fee for the fields.  Those costs are passed on to the families that have their kids registered in a sport.  So let's say you're a resident and has one child that plays baseball and soccer.  You pay for the field in your RMA dues, AND in your baseball registration, AND in your soccer registration.  So those folks, essentially pay three times to use the amenities.  Why shouldn't the non-RMA member Village residents pay a use fee?  We can't use their Clubhouse, with or without a fee.  Shouldn't that deal work both ways?

Mr. Somers, I've been here for 17years.  There has been talk of the Escuela gate for as long as I can remember.  At one point in time, there was another group of developers, and another group of residents for "responsible development."  Sorry.  It's all 'lather, rinse, repeat' for some of us.  Fact still remains that there is a Master Plan and the County has granted permission for our 'home' to be developed.  

I'm confident that our Boards and Staff at both RMA and CSD are doing their best to maintain that RM really is the best place in Sacramento county to live, while also making the necessary changes and upgrades to our community to keep it attractive to us and other potential residents.

Bobbi Belton's picture
Joined: 07/30/2007
Posts: 275
Post rating: 442

Escuela Gate

I've been here a looong time and have heard all the versions. Jim Moore made the most reasonable and responsible statements when he said that we have no need to build or open a gate now. . .or whenever. The Retreats, currently in the construction process, are located closer to the North Gate and residents of those residences are unlikely to use Escuela. Speaking of which, I do not believe RMS homeowners should be charged a fee if that is what RMA decides. We get minimal services for our current dues.

Bobbi Belton

Steven W King's picture
Joined: 09/16/2010
Posts: 249
Post rating: 216

Special Assessment Suggestion

I'd like to comment on RMA Director Vorster's comment, "Given that the CSD didn’t budget for new gate expense, Vorster repeated a suggestion he made at last month’s RMA meeting that if the community demands a staffed gate, the RMA could create a special assessment to generate the funding."

  1. Is the community "demanding" this gate happen right now or are a select few people with a little power "desiring" it?  I don't know of any such demand at all from residents
  2. If CSD didn't budget for an expense, the answer is to not proceed with anything that generates an expense until funding is in place. 
  3. The suggestion of a "special assessment" in lieu of necessary funding is shocking and offensive to me.  At what point did the CSD, RMA or any other "service" to the residents obtain the authority to conceive, plan, approve and execute projects without funding, but with the mindset that they can simply issue a "special assessment" to everyone?  I understand there are a good number of wealthy residents out here who have no problem producing extra cash on demand. But there are also many residents who are on a fixed/set budget and do not have the extra money to spend on gates for wealthy developers and their partners.  
  4. Didn't we JUST completely rebuild the main gate to the North to the tune of millions of dollars? And now, 6 months after completion, that isn't sufficient for the task of entering and exiting the community? I have to question the entire concept of "needing" the Escuella gate at all.
  5. How about this idea; If a select few want an extra gate, charge a TOLL for the gate. Take out a loan, build the gate and charge a useage toll for each car that passes through the gate.  Pay the loan back with the toll and if staff is to be placed there, pay the staff out of the toll receipts also. If it cannot be built and paid for by those who will benefit from it, then that should tell you all you need to know about who wants this gate.  it's NOT a community project. It's a special interest project paid for by the community.  And I vote NO on it since there is no benefit to me to have a gate on the entirely opposite side of the community.  If anything, it will end up being a negative in my life as it will likely result in delays for my own travels on Stonehouse and possibly permanent delays for a signal or stop sign where I don't have a stop sign now.  Why would I want to pay for that?

As others have said, it's about time for the residents who are being dragged along and forced to pay for someone elses projects, to stand up. Consider me now standing!

Beth Buderus's picture
Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 926
Post rating: 706

It would be nice but...

Sure a gate at Escuella would be nice "for some" but is it necessary?  If there was one, I would only use it if I had been out running errands in Folsom.  For the North folks that work in Folsom or EDH, then it would be a convenience for sure.  But putting a light at Stonehouse & Jackson might also be a convenience.  (FYI, I'm not suggesting that...just talking convenience.)

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