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(apologies for the delay - notes from our two prior meetings!)

FRN Meeting Notes  
March 30, 2013

  • FRN Board in attendance except Marsee (excused absence)
  • Two seats are up for renewal (Jennifer & Dave's seats this year, the other three seats next year, John, Marsee and Kim); Dave is not running again
  • $3500 in the bank
  • Sheriff has been tagging vehicles to help clean up County property; Efren and PRMD haven't yet addressed the non-vehicle blight on County property in Rio Nido
  • Landlords should be contacted if blight issues surface with their tenants; a member shared a procedure based on his experience with addressing such an issue in his rea
  • FRN Board are meeting with some frequency with Sergeant Rob and CSO Charity about various crime issues in Rio Nido; if we want a change, we need a culture shift to report issues observed with greater frequency; in the meantime, consider motion-detector lighting
  • Huge thanks to Elena and Matt for their pothole reporting campaign, that triggered the ripple effect of many of our Rio Nido potholes getting fixed; call 565-5100 to report new potholes
  • Radar signs are getting installed shortly, thanks to support from the Dept of Public Works; we hope to also ask them to refresh the road markings painted to indicate intersections/yields/etc. before the next rainy season
  • The annual cleanup will be June 8th; we discussed with a RNHOA (Rio Nido Homeowner's Association) board member, Domenic, about working together on the cleanup, and for the RNHOA to allow use of their property if FRN splits donations 50% with them; members voted in support of this; safety will be a focus to try to reduce risks observed in prior years
  • Additional dog curbing signs were handed out; doggie bag dispensers are on the list to purchase as well
  • Investigations continue to get quotes for repairing/refurbishing the old Rio Nido sign; one was for $800 to do the neon (too many changes would be required to convert it to LED), and another was for $6880 for the neon, painting and repair of the sign; many thanks for the assistance being provided by Alex, Steve and Jennifer!  Discussion was on where to post the sign; generally it seems near the Roadhouse sign and tunnel to the River (along River Rd)
  • RNHOA is having a Flea Market on June 23rd; FRN needs volunteers to work the FRN rummage table and collect items for it
  • Plans to re-canvass the neighborhood with FRN information in the next few months
  • Russian River Rec & Park (RRR&P) District -- discussion on whether the small dogs should have an allocated time at the dog park (to avoid small vs. big dog issues), collecting feedback on alternative uses for the tennis court (several support a bocce ball court)
  • The Streetlight Committee is on hold until the PUC (public utilities commission) settles the particulars from their end

FRN Meeting Notes
February 16, 2013 

  1. FRN Board all in attendance
  2. Thank you to Dennis for hosting the meeting at the Lodge; >80 people in attendance
  3. County reps joined to discuss drug concerns in Rio Nido -- Efren Carillo (County Supervisor), Jill Ravitch (District Attorney), Sheriff's Captain Rob Giordano, Mike Kennedy (Director of Drug & Alcohol Abuse Division) and Rita Scardaci (Director of Health Services).
  4. Minutes from prior meeting were approved
  5. Efren discussed decline in County resources (from 4200 to 3600 employees, and $100m less) and the need for County groups; Meth is an issue across the County
  6. Rob discussed the nature of enforcement authority held by the Sheriff's office, within a specific focus; he iterated the need to work within the community, the importance of being specific when reporting crime issues, and the advantage we can give the Sheriff if we act as their eyes and ears (even through anonymous tips); though arrests can help with the quality of life in a particular area, they don't cure drug issues (which is where the community comes in)
  7. Jill discussed her department's handling of a case when it comes in, to determine what charges can be filed; she committed to executing search warrants for possessions, use, abuse and manufacture of illicit drugs; she referenced us to an informative website on the criminal justice system; people on meth are sometimes unaware of their actions, and can be aggressive in their approach; there is a program for drug therapy and diversion with regular testing that is available to those ready to break away from addiction
  8. Mike discussed the Health Department and the approaches undertaken there related to drug issues -- prevention (e.g. at the Santa Rosa JC, Analy High School, etc.), mental health and addiction services, and in-custody treatment (e.g. in jails) and detox programs; Mike and Rita's department deals with the health and human services end of things
  9. Efren discussed funding that is being applied to systems integration and development (e.g. to integrate the addressing of the drug and behavioral issues) but what is often missing is community-based organizations for the County to partner with; this can be very helpful to raising awareness and helping identify priorities
  10. A member (Matt) spoke about how we need to make sure drug dealers don't feel comfortable here, we need to avoid blight, confront landlords who have disregard for their property, and ideally use noise ordinances to improve the quality of life
  11. A member (Dennis) talked about acquiring his property in '09 and cleaning it up, and wonders what our community can do to solve the problems we're seeing
  12. A member (Dave) talked about the problems related to the drum beat of petty crime and how to avoid this, particularly during wintertime when less people are around; and wanting to make sure that people follow up with the Sheriff's office if there are any concerns about how a reported issue is addressed
  13. The group discussed how to avoid fear of retribution in reporting suspicious activity; anonymous reporting is still very useful, but most importantly, call it into dispatch at 565-2121
  14. A member (Fred) spoke about how he got blight cleaned up with his neighbors through using the standard processes with Environmental Health, though clear protocol is needed since the procedures are not straightforward
  15. Jill spoke about the County's ability to enforce a noise ordinance, though losing one's anonymity is a necessity to really get a noise issue addressed; an Environmental Prosecutor is available, contact Jill's office if polluting of the land is occurring
  16. Rob discussed the importance of reporting suspicious activities; for the Sheriff's office to take on cases, they need witnesses and details on activities; reporting through 565-2121 is preferred (since all of these calls get logged); information on how to report crime is online per a prior FRN email; Rob also mentioned COPS (community oriented policing services) as a program that can help Rio Nidans reduce crime, and how fear of retribution can be addressed by neighbors working together on a problem
  17. Discussion ensued on whether/how we could get officers on foot in Rio Nido, and the significant impact it has to have officers on foot (in helping ease fear of reporting, and improve an officer's engagement in the community); private contractors are available for this work (e.g. that FRN could hire); but could it be possible for us to get at least one Sheriff on foot every six months for one hour? Efren thought this should be possible
  18. What can FRN do to get the Drug Task Force to come to Rio Nido?  The Task Force is actually undercover, and is already working throughout the County; it is not setup to have direct contact, but instead takes actions through reports that are made
  19. Discussion turned to dog attacks in Rio Nido, and Rita spoke about the role of Animal Control; she will send a couple of Animal Countrol representatives to a future FRN meeting
  20. Mike offered to designate staff to support our health services needs in Rio Nido
  21. It was suggested having Neighborhood Watch Coordinators can help facilitate reporting 
  22. Changing topics...
  23. Discussion on whether a security camera should be installed near the RN Post Office or at the Fire Station building
  24. Due to FRN Board (Dave) engagement with PG&E, PG&E has agreed to work on vegetation management and upgrading the remaining lines for "tree wire" (which are less susceptible to arcing if a branch falls on them); kudos to Dave!
  25. Other Board updates -- $3500 in the bank, some additions were made to the website, 267 people are on the FRN member list (220 of which are voting members), we're behind on sending out notes from Board meetings (though trust that topics discussed get rolled into FRN member meetings) but they will be published at some point soon, John and Marsee took photos of the culverts to send to the Dept of Public Works (to get our culverts cleaned out!)
  26. The Beautification Committee is considering cleaning the signs again, washing the fire hydrants and doing touch-up paint; if you want to join the committee, contact Jennifer  
Feel free to email the FRN Board or leave a message at (707) 200-FRN1 if you have questions on Board discussions or would like to join a committee.

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