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Security meeting

RMA President Alex Bauer helps gather community comments about the Security operation.

It may not have been the kind of meeting some audience members expected, but last week's session on Security improvements gave the Rancho Murieta Association and Community Services District a long list of community suggestions they say will be addressed in upcoming meetings.

“The purpose is for us to get your feedback,” RMA President Alex Bauer said in Wednesday night's opening comments at the RMA Building. He said the goal was to extend the CSD Security survey conducted early in 2017 and released in April. The meeting featured directors and staff from both organizations.

Bauer added, “What we would like, ideally, to do is to take your feedback and input and continue these meetings into the future and define common ground between CSD, RMA and all the constituent groups out there in terms of how we can improve security. ... This is just the beginning. We’ve got more coming.”

At the end of the meeting, neighbor Linda Klein asked if residents could be an active part of the ongoing effort to improve Security, but she didn't get a direct answer. Bauer said the Joint Security Committee meetings will be open to the community. In response to a question, he said the committee participants will be the RMA, CSD and other stakeholders, like Murieta Village and commercial properties. CSD Director Les Clark, another meeting leader, repeated his belief that Joint Security should engage with the issues only at a high level. In the past, he has said that prior incarnations of Joint Security worked at too low a level and didn't get much done. Past versions of Joint Security have included neighbors.

Bauer invited written feedback on security concerns, which should be emailed by Nov. 7 to Security Chief Jeff Werblun at jwerblun@rmcsd.com or dropped off at the CSD Building, across from the South Gate. (At the meeting, Werblun suggested that every Murietan register for notifications at the county's emergency notification line as well as the CSD's CodeRED emergency system. The county line would handle evacuation orders, he said, while the CSD would be limited to issues involving the district's services.)

There were four easels around the room covering general topics. Each easel had a representative from the RMA or CSD to gather the audience's feedback, and the crowd of three dozen Murietans was invited to work its way around the room in 15-minute increments and share thoughts at each stop. After that tour was complete, the room came back together, and the easel monitors shared their findings.

Here's how it went:

GROUP 1 EASEL COMMENTS

Evacuation plan

  • Is there an evacuation plan?  If not, we need one.
  • How does Escuela Gate and Deer Creek Hills figure into an evacuation plan?
  • How would we be notified of a need to evacuation?  Very important.  Possibility – Greenfield 
  • Should be an evacuation planning committee that includes RMA residents, Sac Metro Fire and Sac Sheriff Department
  • What triggers an evacuation?
  • Should include all of CSD’s sphere of influence.
  • How does the intersection of Highway 16 and Murieta Parkway get handled when everyone is trying to use it at the same time?
  • Need to have everyone’s phone numbers and email addresses (bar codes)
  • Divide into zones – See Betty Ferraro’s notes
  • Would drones be of use?

Front gate procedures

  • Bar code vs. key pad
  • Gate officers need to watch for people turning left on Lago, but can’t because of the backup of cars going through the front gate.
  • Visibility of gate arm (increase)
  • A more formal process for checking in guests.  ID (driver’s license) when guests come in.  (X2)
  • RMCC needs to give the gate a list of names coming into play tournaments, then do driver’s license check at gate.
  • Seen known vendors who violate rules chronically.
  • How does gate get notified when groups have events or meetings?
  • Who has authority to open gates without checking people in or in an emergency?
  • Every resident should have a bar code.
  • Gate officers need to give residents/guests 24 hour unauthorized gate pass.
  • All residents should be asked for and give their pin code when coming in a vehicle without a bar code.

Escuela Gate

  • Need revised survey about passive vs. manned gate with illustrations and costs.  Weekends vs. weekdays.
  • Bar code vs. key pad
  • Events at Stonehouse Park only
  • Who is paying for building it and staffing it?

Bauer, who headed this conversation, offered few comments beyond the suggestions captured on the easel. He did wonder about evacuation notifications and say he thought the Fire Department needed to be involved in any evacuation planning. Neighbor Betty Ferraro, who has championed the need for an evacuation plan, submitted two pages of suggestions for such a plan, which officials said will be integrated into planning on this subject. Later in the meeting, Bauer said the evacuation plan is a top priority.

GROUP 2 EASEL COMMENTS

Traffic enforcement

  • Lack of consequence in enforcement (lenient)
  • Add Compliance Officer to enforcement
  • Golf cart enforcement
  • RMA controlled vs. tandem enforcement
  • 5 MPH rigid? +5?  Dead even, bottom of hill
  • Not every street 25 mph
  • Speed bumps – yes/no – needs public input

Cameras

  • Cameras not working? Where? Gazebo?
  • Rotating cameras vs. fixed?
  • Betty Ferraro’s list – cameras where?
  • Drones? Technology
  • Are we getting more cameras?

CSD Director John Merchant, who headed this group, expanded the list with these comments: There were questions about the process of enforcing violations and penalties. ... Two organizations – RMA and CSD – are involved in enforcement. ... Some of the community's streets are distinctly different: Does 25 mph speed limit fit all? ... Are there cameras that are not working? ... "The Village indicated that they'd had an exit camera promised to them, I dunno, perhaps 30 years ago? And when could they expect that?" ... "The general concern that there are no cameras outside the gate." ... There are ongoing questions about cameras – will we get more, who would administer them, who would administer the data? ... Do cameras give us increased security?

GROUP 3 EASEL COMMENTS

Back lakes

  • Litter at back lakes is a problem
  • People shooting guns at back lakes
  • Vehicles doing donuts at back lakes
  • People fishing are not releasing fish
  • Non-residents are fishing would the residents
  • Not enough security presence
  • Non-resident boats are coming in front gate without residents (X2)
  • Boat passes are not being issued (x2)
  • Gates not enforcing boat passes (X2)
  • Security not enforcing boat and fishing rules
  • Gate office should receive more training on these issues
  • Does CSD have a plan to divert water for fires?
  • Who is responsible for clearing brush around the lakes and structures?
  • There are no gates at back lakes (X2)
  • Education regarding wildlife and plants, and treatment of trails
  • Use of drones with cameras to assist with security?
  • Contractors enter the community to do work for a resident, then end up fishing without permission.

Neighborhood Watch

  • Need to identify the residents who may need assistance during an evacuation by developing a CSD list with names and volunteers
  • Neighbors can volunteer to check in to see if closest neighbor needs help to exit community in an emergency
  • Hold “National Night Out” event in August
  • Follow up on starting Neighborhood Watch program, possibly with Lisa Costello

RMA Director Jim Crowder listed the comments from his group: Both residents and non-residents are guilty of not releasing fish that are caught. ... The question of boat passes is "just coordination between RMA and the CSD." ... Gates would keep the lakes from being accessed at all hours.

GROUP 4 EASEL COMMENTS

General comments

  • Who does one call? Need public education
  • Will there be a need for more security?  Maybe from outside influences?
  • “Can’t do” perception – change it to “Can do” 
    • CSD
    • RMA
  • What does Security do/can for the Village? Security locks up clubhouse.  One patrol at night.
  • The Village would like more interaction with security.
  • Airport would like more CSD patrols? Cost?
  • Issues with dogs.
  • Garage doors left open should get fines
  • Contract security – HOA vs. CSD
  • Enforcement follow up – no fines or consequences
  • County Animal Control services – poor response
  • Rattlesnakes – info about antivenom at fire station
  • Need more enforcement of CC&Rs and curfew rules

Clark, the CSD director, reported out from this easel: The group's feeling seemed to be that yes, we need more help from the sheriff. ... "There was generally a comment about a 'can't-do' perception from RMA and CSD about what we cannot do." More public education would help the community see what we can do – and why we can do it. ... "Most of this comes down to the issue of funding constraints and public education." ... "There was a recognition that this was one of the very few CSDs that actually has a Security department." ... "No fines or consequences leads to basic disregard of the community's CC&Rs and the general rules."

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