PALM SPRINGS NEIGHBORHOOD INVOLVEMENT
14 FEBRUARY 2008
Chair John Williams called the meeting to order at 8:30am. The following were noted present or absent.
Baristo Old Las Palmas
David Carden (Rep) - Present John Williams (Rep) - Present
Gary Wilson (Alt) - Absent Doug Donenfeld (Alt) - Absent
Chino Canyon Racquet Club West
Dean Carlson (Rep) - Present Joy Smith (Rep) - Present
Open (Alt)- Don Soja (Alt) - Present
Deepwell Estates Ruth Hardy Park
James Lundin (Rep) - Present Jim Franklin (Rep) - Present
Nick Chicola (Alt) - Present Bill Markley (Alt) - Present
Desert Highlands Estates Sunmor
Angie Patrick (Rep)- Absent Bob Mahlowitz (Rep) - Present
Open (Alt)- Ernie Etheridge (Alt) - Present
Desert Park Estates Sunrise Vista Chino
Dave Shelep (Rep)- Absent Paula Auburn (Rep) - Present
Dana Stewart (Alt)- Absent Thomas Van Etten (Alt) - Present
El Mirador Tahquitz River Estates
Ron Siegel (Rep) - Present Paul Crippan (Rep) - Present
Roxann Ploss (Alt) - Present Jay Gustafson (Alt) - Absent
Historic Tennis Club Vista Las Palmas
Gene Dippel (Rep)- Present Sheila Cobrin (Rep) - Present
Sven Holm (Alt)- Present Mike Marler (Alt) - Absent
Movie Colony Warm Sands
Dick Mandell (Rep) - Present Catherine Marcy (Rep) - Present
Arlene Battishill (Alt) - Absent Bill Post (Alt) - Present
Arby Cove The City of Palm Springs
Patrick Jordan (Rep) - Present David Ready - Present
Open (Alt) - Lee Husfeldt - Present
Escena Cindy Uken - Present
Daryl Zacharko (Rep) - Absent Others Present in the Audience
Cora Crawford - Desert Highlands
HOA Presidents' Council Joe Ann Crawford - Desert Highlands
Sharon Lock - (Rep) - Absent Raymond Manci - Vista Las Palmas
Vic Gainer - (Alt) - Present Manny Montoya - Racquet Club West
Mesa G.P. Gerber - Racquet Club West
Tom DeWitt - (Rep) - Absent April Hildner - Warm Sands
Open (Alt) -
1. Welcome and comments by Police Chief David G. Dominguez
John welcomed our new Police Chief David G Dominguez. Chief Dominguez said he is extremely excited about being the Palm Springs Chief of Police. He comes from a law enforcement background. He has worked 15 years in San Bernardino and the last 12 years in the Riverside Police Department.
In Riverside, Chief Dominguez had 26 active neighborhoods. He understands that each neighborhood is unique. He said, "What works in one neighborhood may not work in another."
Chief Dominguez will implement a Neighborhood Watch Academy. He felt this would give neighborhoods more tools to engage with the city, the department and residents. He will take a program that has been successful in other cities and apply it here.
A website will be developed to enable neighborhoods to better communicate. This program will involve participant training. He shared a success story of this program involving the recovery of a vanload of dynamite. The van color and three digits of the license plate were given to members in the program. Recovery of the dynamite and arrests occurred within two days.
He spoke about accountability and said, "Everyone will be treated with dignity and respect. That is very important to me."
There was a question from the audience about graffiti. David Carden said the budget for graffiti control is $60,000 and may run out soon. The Chief said he would take an aggressive approach to graffiti because it leads to other problems. He cited the "broken windows theory."
Another question was asked about burglaries and early release. Chief Dominguez said 20,000 inmates are about to be released and this is a big concern for all law enforcement.
Several police officer associations are also concerned with this idea of early release and are working with our state legislatures. "Burglary is a serious crime," he said. He has been a victim of burglary and understands its impact.
Getting real time crime statistics will be important to the Chief. It will take some time to get the process in place. He would like the neighborhood organizations to be a part of that process.
2. Parks and Rec Director Sharon Heider
-Proposal to have concerts at Palm Springs Stadium
The Parks and Recreation Commission has been asked to move forward on youth activities in the city. An idea has been proposed to have youth concerts at the Palm Springs stadium to end at 8pm. The city owns the stadium and concerts are currently prohibited unless they are associated with a sporting event. Seating capacity is about 4,000 according to Sharon.
Roxann was against general admission seating citing a 1969 "riot" involving this type of seating. An audience member felt assigning seats would be too difficult.
David Carden said that this would impact the Baristo Neighborhood and that it was important to keep the 8pm ending time. David also asked for more detail of the plan.
Sharon stated, "The proposal is for a specific ending time of 8pm." She also said, "We don't have more detail because it is just in the planning stage right now."
David was also concerned about spill over of parking along Baristo and down Hermosa (entrance to Rose Garden).
As far as age groups she said, different age groups would have different concerts. One concert would target a 10-13 age group, and another would target a 14-16 age group.
Sharon felt 17-18 year olds would not be interested. A Harry Potter concert was given as an example.
Sharon said Council wanted NIC to vet the concerns and report back.
In summary, the main concerns of NIC were overflow parking, noise, trash and litter. It was also important to have a trial period for 6 months. John asked for a show of hands.
The majority was in support of this idea with one hand raised against.
3. Report from Lee Husfeldt
-Expansion of Sunrise-Vista Chino boundaries
Lee is waiting for the paperwork to process the expansion of Sunrise-Vista Chino to include the Colony of El Mirador.
Lee reported that she and John Williams attended the Desert Highland Gateway Estates Community Action Association meeting the other night. The group has been working on bylaws.
The Polarmo HOA is interested in joining. Joy Smith will assist Lee with including other HOAs such as Polarmo.
Desert Park Estates is looking to expand their boundaries.
The Mesa will have a meeting on February 29th.
Bel Desierto is now El Mirador Neighborhood Organization.
Lee is working with Racquet Club Estates.
Racquet Club South will have a formation meeting on February 24. Their mailing is out and they have proposed bylaws.
Lee distributed the map of Araby Cove (Addendum A). There are 67 residents in Araby Cove. The committee approved of the boundaries.
Vic Gainer suggested that Lee to come to the next HOA Presidents' meeting. Vic reported 88 associations in the group.
The city is doing a newsletter and an advertisement in The Palm Springs Sun. Lee would like assistance from the HOAs with getting the newsletter to their members.
Lee introduced Cindy Uken, Palm Springs Communications Director, who has been making press releases about norg issues and events. She just finished an article about the NIC Retreat.
-Requested items from each neighborhood
Lee will send out an email about items outstanding. She is looking for norg roosters, annual meeting dates, minutes from the 2007 annual meeting and bylaws.
4. Review of Saturday retreat
John felt we had a good retreat and was pleased with the list of 2007 accomplishments and 2008 goals and objectives (Addendum B).
-Adoption of PSNIC Mission Statement
We reviewed the proposed Mission Statement (Addendum C). John made and Jim seconded a motion to accept the Mission Statement. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
Members at the retreat also recommended the committee change the name to Palm Springs Neighborhood Involvement Committee. John made and Jim seconded a motion to change this committee's name to the Palm Springs Neighborhood Involvement Committee. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
-Discussion/Action on second Vice Chair Position
We all concur that a 2nd Vice-Chair position is needed. The Outreach & Education Committee will be tasked with making a recommendation to PSNIC.
Bob Mahlowitz proposed that the Outreach & Education Committee be changed to the Communications Committee. The Secretary would Chair this committee and be responsible for website, newsletters and any other communications and media needs of PSNIC. Then a new committee would be formed which would be called the Neighborhood Development and Support Committee. This committee would be cochaired by the Vice-Chairs.
Paula suggested that the Outreach & Education Committee start working with the proposed by law changes that were passed out at our December meeting (Addendum B, from our December 13, 2007 meeting).
It was confirmed that the Ecology/Green Committee has been established. The first meeting will be Monday, February 18th.
A Sustainability Task Force was formed at the retreat. Gene Dippel will chair the first meeting on Tuesday, February 19th in the West Conference Room at City Hall at 10am.
5. Code Enforcement Committee Report - Ron Siegel
-Final presentation of Vacation Rental Ordinance
The nine page proposed Vacation Rental Ordinance (Addendum D) was distributed. Ron needed more time to review since this was the first time he's seen this version. He did pointed out that there wasn't rental agency accountability. There were also more judgments needed before any action was taken.
David Ready, Palm Springs City Manager, joined us to talk about changes to the proposed ordinance. David Ready said he had the same questions and brought them to the Doug Holland, Palm Springs City Attorney. The City Attorney said some penalties were already in other enacted ordinances. This is the main reason they are not in the proposed Vacation Rental Ordinance.
Registration requirements in 5.78.060 (5) were discussed and how this provision could apply to rental agencies. 5.78.060 (6) was also discussed.
Initially members did not approve of four violations within a 24-month period. It was then pointed out that it is easier to get 4 violations in 2 years than in a 1 year period.
David Ready recommended the committee use the decibel test rather than an officer's judgment to determine noise level.
David also said the rental companies agreed to things that they did not do in the past. For example, the ordinance would specify rental companies have a phone number for residents to call to quiet a party. In addition, the dismantling of the party cannot occur until the next day.
It was also noted that violators will have a reinstatement process. Ron's committee will meet on Monday February 18, 1pm at Ron's house.
-Ruth Hardy Park night lighting/control/reduction
The lights at Ruth Hardy Park go on at 5pm and go off at 10pm according to Dick Mandell. Dick was looking for a way to control the lights when it is raining or when the courts are not in use. This issue was recommended to the Green/Ecology Committee.
-Charitable non-Palm Springs solicitations
This became an issue after a carjacking that occurred in Palm Springs. A charitable collector's cash box was stolen and he, in turn, carjacked someone. Roxann said the resulting trial showed the collector received a majority of the donation and the rest went to a charity outside Palm Springs. In this case the collector was reported to have received 80% of the donation. It was pointed out that payment of 60% or above is considered fraud.
Paula felt if more citizens were aware the majority of the money goes to the collector then they may stop giving and the collectors may stop coming.
-Graffiti/homeless/parolees around Frey Building, actions
We covered this issue extensively at the retreat.
6. Outreach & Education Committee - Catherine and Bob
-PSNIC Picnic - discussion of date, budget, plans
Bob said the Picnic is tentatively set for May 10th. He wanted to raise the possibility that this could cost us about $3,000 for food, music, table, chairs, power, etc. The committee has been trying for donations.
The animal shelter will "chip" your pet for $15.00 at the picnic.
General consensus was to hold the picnic. Funds for the picnic will have to be requested through the Finance Committee.
-Website development and changes
Website will be reorganized to make it easier to find the committees. If you have archives for your sub committee please send to Bob, Catherine or Bill.
Bob discussed the Google mail system. Each member will have a name specific email like: your.name@PSNIC.com. Emails sent to that address would then go to your personal email. Most liked this idea.
Anyone can go into their neighborhood page on www.palmspringsneighborhoods.com and change it. You can also update the calendar. Contact Bob or Catherine if you're having problems with these features.
7. Neighborhood Character Committee - Roxann
-Neighborhood blade signs
Neighborhoods will choose the color of the lettering, and background color of the blade sign. We were cautioned to avoid yellow on orange because it will not be seen.
Roxann showed us a sample of the El Mirador sign. Their sign will have the city seal in the center and their logo, the El Mirador Tower, next to their neighborhood name. El Mirador could be the first neighborhood since they are ready with their design.
The approval process would include Lee making a proposal to City Council. Proposals should include color of background, color of lettering, the cost, and where you want them.
Next meeting will be held at Roxann's house on Wednesday the 20th at noon. Bring a map of your neighborhood.
8. Crime and Safety Committee - Sven and Jim
Sven stated that crime has doubled in the city. According to Lt. Booth it's because of early release. There are 167 parolees living in Palm Springs. The committee's opinion is we need more jails.
Nick Chicola will be at the next meeting to review the Deepwell crime survey The committee is trying to get an assessment of who is CERT trained in our neighborhoods. It would also be helpful to know how many retired Police, Fire and Emergency workers reside in your neighborhood. Email information to Sven or bring to the next committee meeting.
The committee is also looking for your three major traffic issues in your neighborhood.
Email to Sven or bring to the next meeting.
The committee discussed homeless and shopping carts. Two Police Officers collect 160 shopping carts per month. A suggestion was made to adopt a new ordinance to require new shopping centers have carts with locking wheels. Existing stores would have a period of time to upgrade.
The committee will also be taking about graffiti at the next meeting. Jim would like to see better methods of removing graffiti rather than painting over it.
9. Financial Committee Report - Jim
Jim wanted to remind members that you couldn't spend money until the finance committee approves it. If the expense is $250 or less then Jim can approve it. If the expense is over $250 then it has be come to the PSNIC meeting for approval. If approved, it will then go to David Ready for final approval.
10. Other Items
-Trader Joe's petition drive - David - not discussed in the interest of time.
-DWA desert landscaping proposal - Sheila, Vic, Bob
Vic Gainer stated that this is an opportunity to save water and money for residents and HOA's. We are asking Desert Water Authority to agree to a partial subsidy when a resident converts to desert-scape. Vic reported Mayor Pougnet is supportive of this proposal.
Roxann asked General Manager David Luker to send us information about water controllers. These turn off your landscaping water when it rains. Some controllers change watering times depending on heat or other factors.
11. Dates for your calendar
-March 23rd - Vista Las Palmas Garden Walk
-March 29th - Deepwell "Behind the Walls" walk
-April 12th - ONIC Garden Walk
-May10th - ONIC Picnic at Ruth Hardy Park (tentative)
A motion made by Sheila and seconded by John to approve the minutes from the January 10th meeting. There were 14 yeas, no nays or abstentions.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30am.
Summary of Action Items
Email norgs about outstanding items.
Assist Lee with HOAs like Polarmo
All PSNIC members
Email Sven the top three traffic issues in your neighborhood.
Email Sven CERT trained members as well as retired Police, Fire and Emergency workers in your neighborhood.
Assist Lee in getting PSNIC newsletter to HOAs.
Contact Bob if you know of a company willing to donate to the PSNIC Picnic.
Next meeting will be Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 8:30am in the Large Conference
Room at City Hall.