PSNIC Mintues 08-07-10

10 JULY 2008

Chair John Williams called the meeting to order at 8:30am.  Roxann Ploss volunteered to take minutes in Bill Post's absence.  The following were noted present or absent.

Araby Cove                                                    Movie Colony

            Patrick Jordan (Rep) - Present                         Dick Mandell (Rep) - Present

            Linda Ragin (Alt) - Absent                              Diane Ahlstrom (Alt) - Absent

Baristo                                                                        Old Las Palmas

David Carden (Rep) - Present                          John Williams (Rep) - Present

            Gary Wilson (Alt) - Absent                              Doug Donenfeld (Alt) - Present

Chino Canyon                                                 Racquet Club Estates

Dean Carlson (Rep) - Present                           Eddie Schachnow (Rep) - Absent

            Open (Alt)-                                                      Rick Vila (Alt) - Absent

Deepwell Estates                                             Racquet Club South

James Lundin (Rep) - Present                          Aileen Fields (Rep) - Present

            Diane Ross (Alt) - Present                                Rick Martin (Alt) - Absent

Desert Highlands Gateway Estates               Racquet Club West

Cora Crawford (Rep)- Absent                          Joy Smith (Rep) - Present

            Joe Ann Crawford (Alt)- Absent                                  Don Soja (Alt) - Present

Desert Vista                                                    Ruth Hardy Park

Patty Lopez (Rep)- Present                              Jim Franklin (Rep) - Present

            Gabe Lubel (Alt)- Present                                Bill Markley (Alt) - Present

El Mirador                                                      Sunmor

Roxann Ploss (Rep) - Present                          Bob Mahlowitz (Rep) - Present

            Ron Siegel (Alt) - Present                                Ernie Etheridge (Alt) - Absent

Four Seasons                                                  Sunrise Vista Chino

Gary Cooper (Rep)- Present                             Paula Auburn (Rep) - Present

            Roger Ball (Alt)- Absent                                  Thomas Van Etten (Alt) - Present

Historic Tennis Club                                      Tahquitz River Estates

            Gene Dippel (Rep) - Present                            Paul Crippan (Rep) - Absent

            Sven Holm (Alt) - Absent                                Florence Klaasen (Alt) - Present

The Mesa                                                        Vista Las Palmas

            Tom DeWitt (Rep) - Present                             Sheila Cobrin (Rep) - Present

            Rosemarie Vacano (Alt) - Absent                    Raymond Manci (Alt) - Absent

                                                                        Warm Sands

                                                                                    Bill Post (Rep) - Present

                                                                                    Robert Stone (Alt) - Present


Demuth Park  West                                        The City of Palm Springs

            Robert Stone - Absent                                      David Ready - Present

            Carol Haskell - Absent                                     Lee Husfeldt - Present

            Grilon Rodas - Present

Escena                                                             Others Present in the Audience

Daryl Zacharko - Absent                                 Armando Rancano - Deepwell Estates           
Mountain Gate                                                                        Roger Conway - Four Seasons

Richard Gieson - Absent                                  Jim Crotts - Four Seasons

                                                Stefanie Firth - The Desert Sun                      

HOA Presidents' Council                                          

Sharon Lock (Rep) - Absent                           

Vic Gainer (Alt) - Absent                               

John introduced Robert Stone, the alternate for Warm Sands and Florence Klaasen, the new alternate for Tahquitz River Estates.

1. Public Comments

Thomas Van Etten reported on the celebration of successes.  Roxann Ploss was thanked for stopping the demolition of La Serena Villas on Belardo Road.  David Carden Jr. was thanked for his efforts in the Baristo Neighborhood for halting those mobile vehicles that come into neighborhoods and clean cars in the street.  In addition, David was thanked for offering to help any other neighborhood with his advice on how to stop this activity.  Sheila Cobrin was thanked for alerting all PSNIC Neighborhoods of a group discount offered by a solar company.  Congratulations were extended to Doug Donenfeld who was recently appointed to the Planning Commission.

(At this time, Bill Post joined the group and began taking minutes.)

Gary Cooper introduced Roger Conway and Jim Crotts from his neighborhood, Four Seasons.

2. Reports from David Ready, City Manager

            -Resolution - The Palm Springs Path to a Sustainability Community ONI Signatures

The Mayor would like a representative from PSNIC to join him and help make sure the path or sustainability is implemented.  Roxann and David Carden nominated Sheila Cobrin for this position.

            -Suggestion that one Council Member be Liaison for PSNIC

This will be agendized on the 16th of July. 

            -"Defend and Hold Harmless" discussion for NORG's by the City

David Ready discussed our liability as a PSNIC member.  David said we don't hold positions that open us up to a lawsuit.  However if we are sued, the city has a policy to defend us.  This policy is not in writing but has been a "long-standing policy".

John wanted to make sure we were covered at a neighborhood meeting.  David confirmed we would be covered if the NOrg met at a city facility.  David Ready said a suit against a NOrg would most likely be baseless and then the city would stand behind the NOrg.

Several scenarios were discussed and in closing David Ready said a memo addressing this issue will come from City Attorney Doug Holland.

The Vacation Rental and Event House Ordinance were discussed.  Ron Siegel said the Code Enforcement Committee met and decided to have PSNIC support the following statement to city council (Addendum A).

There was some concern about enforcing this ordinance on Friday and Saturday night.  The fees collected due to this ordinance could be used to hire someone other than the police for enforcement.  David Ready felt the Code Enforcement Department would be best to address this because a code enforcement officer would respond like a police officer.  A suggestion was made to use the fee to have a Code Enforcement Officer work on Friday and Saturday night.  David Ready will review several methods of enforcement for PSNIC before the council meeting.

John showed the group two pictures of garbage at an event house near his residence.  He says the trash has been there all week.  There will be a request that the vacation rental must pick up the "walk-in service" to address this.

David R. confirmed that everything related to the Vacation Rental and Event House Ordinance is public information. 

Ron said PSNIC is in agreement that we would like to see these ordinances passed now.  His committee is in favor of including monitoring and accountability.

David said the first reading would be on July 30th.  John encouraged every neighborhood leader to turn up on the 30th and speak about this issue. 

Ron confirmed that there would be another Code Enforcement Committee meeting before the council meeting on the 30th.

There was a brief discussion about the blade signs.  This idea will be discussed at a future council meeting.  At least three NOrgs are ready for blade signs.

David Ready would like feedback from the residents about the new single stream recycling program.

3. Approval of June Minutes

Sheila made and Patrick Jordan made a motion to approve the minutes from our June 12, 2008 meeting.  There were 18 yeas, no nays and 1 abstention.

4. Financial Report and Financial Committee Report - David

            -Budget for 2008 - 2009

David Carden reported a balance remaining of $1,409.16 from last fiscal year.  This would be used to fund future printing projects.

Our 2008-09 budget is $8,000, down from our original request for $18,000.

David confirmed the non-profit status of PSNIC.  PSNIC is under the city's 501(c) 3.  All checks made out to the City of Palm Springs with a by line designating PSNIC or a NOrg will be tax deductible.  Separate accounts will be created.  Each NOrg may request fund distribution.  Monthly accounting will be available and year-end tax forms acknowledging donations will be provided by the city.

The August Finance Committee meeting will address budget allocation for 2008-09.  The committee requests each sub committee propose any funding projections. 

David also discussed the possibility of decreasing the NOrg allocation from $250 to $150 per year.  He also suggested an "adopt a sign" fundraiser for the blade signs to address the possible decrease.

Office Depot and Office Max discounts are in place.  If you do not have an Office Max card then contact David Carden for information.

David's three page report is Addendum B.

The next Finance Committee meeting is schedule for Wednesday, August 13th at 3pm in the Large Conference Room at City Hall.

            -Web Site expenses for 2008 - 2009

At the last Finance Committee meeting, Bill made two requests.  One was to fund $296 for website hosting and 2 domain names.  The other was for $630 for the web master to create an application to allow volunteers and Lee Husfeldt to update the web site.  Bill made and Patrick seconded a motion to approve the expenses for the web site recommended by the Finance Committee.  There was no vote, instead there was some discussion about whether to become a resident on the city's site or go alone.

The original assumption was that the PSNIC web site would not look like it does today however that might not be the case.  PSNIC volunteers and Lee would remain tasked with updating the site. David Ready did say if PSNIC was resident on the city site there might be a "wall" to say, "You are now leaving the City of Palm Springs web site." 

The consensus was that we needed more information about the city's site.  We thought we would be more limited under the city.

Bill withdrew his previous motion.  Roxann made and Patrick seconded a motion to table this issue until more information was available.  The vote was unanimous.

5. Lee Husfeldt Report

            -New and forming NORGs

Lee reported we are now 21 organizations strong and our 22nd; Demuth Park West is soon to join us.  Demuth Park West has recently passed their revised bylaws.  The proposed boundary of Demuth Park West was shared with the group (Addendum C).  Grillon Rodas, alternate for Demuth Park West introduced himself to the group.  He has been a resident for 36 years and said the original name of Demuth Park West was Veterans Tract.  Roxann made and Sheila seconded a motion to accept the boundaries of Demuth Park West. The vote was unanimous.

Lee also reported PSNIC joined NeighorhoodsUSA.  There will be a conference in Washington State next May and she is planning to attend.  They have a newsletter and could be a good source of information.  Their web site is

6. Procedural Committee Report - Officers

            -Bylaw changes to reflect change in committees - approval 

Proposed PSNIC bylaws were distributed (Addendum D).  This version of the bylaws would give each Vice Chair and the Treasurer a standing committee.  In addition, the responsibility of running the meeting, in the event the other four officers were absent, was removed from the position of PSNIC Secretary.  

Jim Lundin made and Sheila seconded a motion to accept the bylaws. The vote was unanimous

7. Review of 2008 Goals and Objectives

Added Goal - Path to a Sustainability Community  

2008 goals for PSNIC were distributed (Addendum E).

To be involved in the city's budget process - We were not involved in the process this year.  David Carden said Council member Ginny Foat would be our representative and would become more involved with us after September. 

To have each neighborhood identify its two worst streets in need of repair - Each neighborhood submitted their two streets in need of repair. 

To be briefed on the city's plan and schedule for repairing streets and then have the two worst streets be given priority where possible - We received the street repair plan on DVD.  We need to verify that the two worst streets in each neighborhood were addressed.  Roxann took this opportunity to give,  "many kudos to this City Council" for street repair. Contact Lee if you haven't reported your two worst streets.

To have neighborhood blade signs in half of our neighborhoods by the end of 2008 - This idea is on the City Council agenda.  Three NOrgs are ready.

To require a notice be posted on a property whose owner is submitting development plans before the plans go to Planning Commission - The Communications Committee is working on this.

To support the installation of the Sunmor monument sign by the end of the year - This could possibly go before council on July 13th.

To have recommendations by the Outreach and Education committee for better communication between the developer and neighborhoods - We have made progress on this.

To have a speaker's bureau - The Communications Committee is working on this.

To have sidewalks on the south side of East Ramon between Palm Canyon and Warm Sands Drive - This $123,900 project has been funded.  $92,900 will come from Riverside County Transportation Commission grant and the City of Palm Springs will provide the balance.

To have every representative and alternate on at least one subcommittee - Roxann reported a lot of people attend the neighborhood charter meeting.  She sees new faces all the time.  Bob encouraged all to become leaders.  Paula said the Communications Committee has been discussing integrating the newer members into the group.  One idea is to have 15 minutes at the end of the meeting for general announcements.  This would require a new meeting place.  Ron Siegel said sub committee involvement usually involves only giving your opinion.  Email Lee if you would like to be on a PSNIC sub committee.

To support the revitalization of downtown and uptown - John said we had Tammy speak to us at a previous PSNIC meeting to address this issue.  He also discussed discounts with residents of NOrgs and nearby businesses.  Roxann discussed the idea of little day trips one could take downtown where you park your car and then visit several businesses and sites in the area.  

David Carden discussed the Wessman development.  He would like to be a liaison with the city for PSNIC to ensure we have a position on the project.  He volunteered to continue to report on the project.

To have pieces of art installed in at least two neighborhoods as Warm Sands has done - John introduced Robert Stone, Public Art Commissioner and Warm Sands PSNIC alternate.  Robert said the commission is open to having art in other neighborhoods.  Public art is dependent upon developer revenues and we are not getting the amount of money we used to get.  If a NOrg would like a piece of art location is critical for visibility and it should be on city property.  The Warm Sands sculpture met all the criteria.

To have the new Police Chief give us a report of crimes in 2007 (property, car thefts, assaults, etc.) and set a goal of reducing property crimes by at least 5% in 2008 - Jim Lundin felt the Police Chief has some new ideas which might result in a reduction in crime.  Visiting parolees was mentioned.

To have the Vacation Ordinance enacted by July 1st - This is scheduled for the July 30th council meeting.

To focus on graffiti removal and support doubling this department's budget - Jim Lundin reports Citizens On Patrol (COP) will start logging graffiti.  We may see a big increase in our vandalism statistics because of this. 

To explore securing grant money for neighborhood projects - In progress.  This worked in Warm Sands with city staff doing all the grant writing.   Ron said he has attended meetings about grant writing. 

To have a commitment by Trader Joes by 2009 - It was acknowledged a Trader Joes would not be coming to Palm Springs.  David Carden discussed a Fresh and Easy store coming to the Jensen's Market location at Tahquitz Canyon and Sunrise Way.  He feels PSNIC should support this new business.  David also said he learned the Fresh and Easy Company will donate $1,000 to a local charity at their grand opening.  He will work toward applying for the money on behalf of PSNIC. 

To have two Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trained members in each neighborhood - In progress.  Ernie Etheridge is working to map CERT members by neighborhood.

To expand to 22 Neighborhood Organizations by 2009 - We are at 21 NOrgs.  Demuth Park West recently passed their bylaws and will likely be our 22nd NOrg.

We did add a goal to support the Mayor in his path to sustainability.  Ecology Committee will continue to address this.

8. Neighborhood Support Committee Report - Jim and Gene

The committee is continuing to meet.  They will have a report at the next PSNIC meeting

9. Outreach Committee Report - Bob

Bob Mahlowitz will email the committee when a meeting is scheduled. 

10. Communications Committee Report - Bill

Bill reported the committee would begin working on a Palm Springs important phone number card.  We would like to see this in a refrigerator magnet and a laminated wallet size card.  The committee may seek Office Max or Office Depot funding to make this happen.

The tri-fold brochure is almost ready for printing.  April Hildner will update the brochure will more recent pictures.  We will also add the address of City Hall and then seek officers' approval before printing.

-Developer Dialogue Sub-committee report and handout

Paula discussed the Weekly Submittal of New Cases that PSNIC members will receive.  A four page packet was distributed (Addendum F).  Members may receive this report on a weekly basis and will be able to identify new projects within or near their neighborhoods.  It is suggested that we call the developer directly if we have a question. If we run into a problem then call the city planner that is working on that project. 

Paula also discussed the proposed Project Under Consideration (PUC) sign.  Every vacant piece of property with planned development will have a sign once this is approved.  It will include information like: what is the project, what is the size, density, and height.  Contact information will also be included.  Lee has submitted the specifications for the sign to Director of Planning Services, Craig Ewing.  The developer will pay for the sign and will have 14 days to install. 

Paula thanked Craig Ewing and Nick Chicola for their help on this project.

11. Ecology Committee - Sheila

            -Environmental Healthy Home Certification - Pete Torres

Sheila passed out the minutes of their last meeting for the record. (Addendum G)  The committee talked about the Mayor's sustainability plan and will move forward.

12. Code Enforcement Committee Report - Ron

            -VRO and EHO Ordinances

This issue was discussed earlier in the meeting.

            -Foreclosure Ordinance - should we have one? Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin said, the biggest complaint in his neighborhood is foreclosure property.  The Code Compliance Department says Vector Control will come out to take care of the pool but nothing else.  Jim reports some cities in the valley have an ordinance.  Desert Hot Springs has an ordinance in place.  Foreclosed properties must be registered.  The 6 page registration packet was distributed (Addendum H).  Jim went to foreclosed houses in Desert Hot Springs and they were being maintained.  Jim asked if the committee wanted to take a position on this.

Roxann moved and Sheila seconded a motion for there to be a foreclosure ordinance for the City of Palm Springs adopted as quickly as possible.  Jim Franklin on behalf of PSNIC will present the issue to City Council.  The vote was unanimous.

13. Crime and Safety Committee - Sven

Jim Lundin reported in Sven's absence that the next meeting would be 4pm at the Police Training Center on July 15th.

Dick Mandell reported on the two public forums presented by the Chief of Police.  Dick says the Chief is going to get as much technology as he can.  He also emphasized that information into and out of the department is important.  He noted the seconded forum was well attended by residents.

Regarding public safety, Roxann felt Fire Chief Blake Goetz did a "great job" in securing grants and donations for state of the art cameras.

14. Neighborhood Character Committee Report - Roxann

            -Speed Limit Signs - confusion with speed signs changes from 35 to 25 or back. 

The committee is looking to find some kind of consistency with speed signs.

            -Blade Signs

This should be on the city council agenda by July 30th

Minutes from the last meeting are included for the record (Addendum I).  There was a discussion about overlay and historic zones.  The next neighborhood character meeting will focus on the differences.  It was also reported Leslie Munger from Deepwell Estates will write the language of the overlay ordinance.

Jim Franklin will discuss the homeless task force at the next meeting.

John Williams showed us a draft of PSNIC stationary to be presented at the next meeting.  John also said the Blood Bank would like to meet with us to discuss donations.

Meeting adjourned at 10:29am

All Committee Members

Review Vacation Rental and Event House Ordinance for July 30th City Council meeting.

All Sub-Committee Chairs

Consider making funding requests at the next Finance Committee meeting, August 13 at 3pm in the large conference room.

Next meeting will be Thursday, August 12, 2008 at 8:30am in the Large Conference Room, City Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

William Post