| Filed under

Community fines, curfew and skateboarding were addressed at the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Joint Security Committee Monday. 

It was attended by representatives of the Community Services District, Rancho Murieta Association, Murieta Village, the Country Club and Murieta Townhouses Inc. The session was held at the CSD Building.

The purpose of the committee is to provide input about the community's security needs and how to meet them.

Here are notes from the meeting:

  • Chair: CSD Director Bobbi Belton was selected to replace Chris Pedersen as the committee chair. Pedersen resigned from the RMA board last month.
  • New RMA rules: RMA President Dick Cox described RMA non-architectural rules as tools for CSD Security, and said he is concerned about protecting private property. "I don't think we've got a real large group of kids creating the problems we've got but the property damage is adding up. ... I do not know how we're going to get a handle on this. We have proposed curfew. ... Probably most of this stuff happens after 10 o'clock at night and it's extremely difficult ... to definitively prove who did what. But if the kid's out after curfew and he's in the area where the vandalism took place, it's sure not hard to prove he was out after curfew." Cox said the RMA Compliance Committee is considering new rules to recommend to the board but "They didn't want one on skateboarding, they didn't want one on curfew and that's kind of where we stand."

Bobbi Belton

CSD Director Bobbi Belton was named chair of the committee.

  • Fines: Cox said he supports imposing a fine of $250 for a first curfew offense. "My whole idea on this was to strike at the parents of the children who are causing the problem in the pocketbook and that usually gets someone's attention." Cox said the agenda for the August RMA meeting will include a proposal to eliminate a warning for the first violation of an RMA rule. The present practice is to issue a fine of $100 for the second violation if it occurs within a 12-month period. The fines are imposed by the Compliance Committee, and Cox criticized what he called a "good neighbor policy" in recent years that didn't uphold fines.
  • Skateboarding complaints: MTI Director Ted Ryon said skateboarders pose safety and liability concerns for the townhouse association by skateboarding on townhouse driveways. Dick Garlinghouse said he was challenged by a group of about five kids who were skateboarding without permission in Murieta Village, an age-restricted community.
  • Golf carts running stop signs and violating safety rules: Golf carts are covered by current RMA rules for motor vehicles on the private streets. Security Chief Greg Remson said there have been incidents involving golf carts where injuries occurred. One incident appears in last month's security logs.
  • Community input: The committee asked Remson to develop a form for residents to use for reporting problems. The form will be based on one used by the Sheriff's Department. Remson suggested a one-page information sheet could be given to residents when they get a barcode for their vehicles.
  • Enforcement: Off-duty deputies have full law-enforcement powers when they work in the community but cannot write "real" traffic tickets for speeding or running stop signs because RMA rules apply on the private streets of the community. The RMA board would have to petition the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to allow law enforcement agencies to enforce the vehicle code on the community's private streets and issue tickets. This would augment but not replace current CSD and RMA speeding and stop sign enforcement, which results in fines levied by the RMA.  Remson said the master-planned community of Serrano is an example of how enforcement of the vehicle code on private streets can work. The community hires California Highway Patrol for enforcement.    

RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27726
Post rating: 1387

Meeting notes -- a new approach

Readers: This story tries a new way of bringing you the news from a meeting.  It's basically an edited version of my notes. 

This approach -- for occasional use -- should make it easier to gather up odds and ends of small news from the many meetings that take place in the community.  The regular story form would continue to be used for most coverage.

What are your thoughts?  Does this give you the information you need?

Doug Lewis's picture
Joined: 08/08/2007
Posts: 165
Post rating: 322


All this talk about no warnings, and levying fines on the first offense certainly will lead to stronger and tighter enforcement.  What it does not provide for is using discretion in enforcement.  Law enforcement without discretion has the potential to become very police state.  Discretion in law enforcement is an important tool.  If officers were given a rule that they have to cite for every violation it rules out  mediating the  situation, or solving a problem without a fine.  There are neighbors out there who are good neighbors.  To take the attitude to just fine everyone and we will sort it out later seems a bit too much.   I know that if you allow some people too much slack they will take advantage of the lack of enforcement.  But this "get everyone and get them the first time" needs to be approached with caution.  Would everyone who has memorized all the CCRs please raise their hands.

The suggestion of curfews also needs to be looked at carefully.  Curfews have the ability to restrict the good youth that don't need to be restricted along with the bad who don't care and wont follow the curfew anyway.  If they are out breaking thousands of dollars of windows at night I don't think they are worried about mommy and daddy getting a 250.00 fine.  I know it takes a village to raise a child but it also takes parents knowing where their kids are and what they are up to. It also places the youth in a guilty until proven otherwise situation.  What time was proposed.  10:00pm?  Maybe the curfew should be on the parents to be home by 10:00pm to spend time with their kids.  

We should all applaud any attempts to keep this community clean and crime free.  But how we do it needs to be approached with discretion as well as practicality. 

Doug Lewis


Doug Lewis

Wilbur Haines's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 474
Post rating: 470

Yeah, what Doug said

It's appropriate to try to address by Rule some problems which can't be dealt with under the laws because our officers have been denied law enforcement powers. But let's not overdo it. We should have seriously escalating penalties for chronic offenders who act as if they don't care what the rules are and didn't get the message after the first fine. But other than for the most egregious violations like double the speed limit, the one time warning system has served us well for decades, and that educational/counseling tool (sometimes it's how people learn about a rule!) is NOT the problem regarding the handful of offenders that has everybody all excited. And I don't understand why the penalty for a kid walking home from a friend's house, otherwise innocent, should exceed that for speeding or blowing a stop sign, as appears to be proposed.

Mike Burnett's picture
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 183
Post rating: 0

Henny Penny Syndrome

Before everyone starts going off half cocked raising fines and establishing rules without thinking thru the cause and effect, let’s make sure we quantify what we are talking about.  When the CSD hosted the meeting on Security with the Sacramento County Sherriff and Fire Department representatives it was almost comical.  They were providing numbers that were so miniscule, it clearly made our community look like a bunch of “Henny Penny’s”


We do not have a security problem that requires this type of knee jerk reaction!  Reading thru the security logs to find people that call in a home invasion only to realize that they had fallen asleep and were actually dreaming tells me they need to stop watching the police shows on TV.


You can’t say that even one occurrence is too many or try pulling zero tolerance out of your back pocket to say we need more police or security.  No matter what is decided, we will continue to have our very infrequent acts of vandalism and mischief in RMA.  I believe the incidents are so small that you couldn’t even benchmark them against another community in the US. 


Take a deep breath and relax.

Lisa Taylor's picture
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 365
Post rating: 30

Absolutely spot on

Doug and Wilbur,

Great posts, absolutely spot on. We do have a fairly consistent element in the community, but let's address it with careful consideration.


Ryan Fogleman's picture
Joined: 07/30/2007
Posts: 125
Post rating: 0

Thank you Mike !

Thank you Mike! In this world where people are programmed to live in fear, blindly believe everything their evening AP newsfeed tells them, and over-react to even the slighest deviation from a sterile norm, we need MUCH more rational commentary like yours.


Thanks a million. We now return you to your regularly scheduled witch hunt Tongue out

Your comments