Thirteen measures to address drug use in the community's public places were considered by committees of the Rancho Murieta Association and the Community Services District in the last week, with little to show for the effort.
"I'm feeling like it's a ping-pong game," said resident Joanne Macomber about efforts to get the RMA and the CSD to respond to the proposals that came out of a drug forum another resident, Jerry Smith, organized in August. Smith presented the proposals at both board meetings and they were referred to committees for review.
When Macomber and Carrie Zenker appeared at the CSD Security Committee meeting Sept. 27, the committee went through the list item by item.
The first item is an ordinance covering drug use and underage drinking. Security Chief Greg Remson said there is a district ordinance for underage drinking and he was working with a deputy district attorney to review other ordinances.
The second and third pertain to peace officer status for the CSD Security Department.
"We would have to implement our latent power for police authority," said General Manager Ed Crouse, adding that it would be an expensive and time-consuming process. It's not going to happen, said Director Bobbi Belton. She said an alternative is to get more sheriff patrols for the area.
Macomber said she'd noticed the Problem Oriented Policing sheriff's deputy at the Gazebo when buses dropped off high school students. "I think some of the actions have already been taken and they're working," she commented.
Two measures deal with strict enforcement of curfew and trespassing ordinances, with fines for the parents of children who violate the ordinances.
While a district ordinance establishes curfew as 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for children under 18, an RMA rule would be easier to enforce within the gated community, Remson said. Macomber said she would suggest adding a curfew rule to the RMA Compliance Committee.
However, she was not able to attend Monday's meeting of the Compliance Committee. The group didn't consider a curfew rule or the measures that were identified as being under the RMA's jurisdiction, such as installing cameras and signage at the parks, and increasing lighting at the Gazebo.
Instead, committee members speculated about the number of children under 18 in the community and the extent of the drug problem, and asked Sgt. Jim Bieg, the Security representative attending the meeting, about CSD Security enforcement of the curfew ordinance.
Jared Huntsinger, the youth pastor for the Rancho Murieta Community Church who attended the meeting for Macomber, attempted to focus attention on the suggested measures, saying there were some good ideas there.
If anything, the lack of coordination between the RMA and CSD approaches underscored the final measure -- a suggestion that the two organizations hold a joint meeting.