The Community Services District will continue its participation in the Joint Security Committee even though the Rancho Murieta Association voted last month to quit the committee. Friday's CSD Security Committee also heard reports on thefts from unlocked cars in the North and vandalism at the Murieta Equestrian Center.
“It was sort of a shock,” CSD Director Betty Ferraro said of the RMA's vote to step out of the Joint Security meetings. “... What we were trying to convey was that this was a community effort, doing this all together for discussion.”
RMA directors criticized the quarterly meetings with representatives of the CSD, Country Club, Murieta Village and Murieta Plaza as redundant and lacking a security-issue focus. The board voted 4-2 to end RMA participation.
“I think it’s valuable that we have this,” said Director Steve Mobley, who serves on the CSD Security Committee with Ferraro.
Country Club Vice President Dennis Martel, who represents the club on the Joint Security Committee, attended the CSD Security Committee meeting because he wanted to know what was happening with Joint Security. He said the information he brings back from Joint Security Committee meetings is helpful to Country Club committees and “we’re more than willing to continue to participate.”
District Secretary Suzanne Lindenfeld said other participants have indicated they wanted to continue the meetings, although that was before RMA took its action. The RMA hasn’t notified the CSD of its intention to quit the committee, which is scheduled to meet again July 7 at the Country Club.
General Manager Ed Crouse summed up Friday's brief discussion: “The consensus, at least from the CSD and everyone else, is to continue moving forward and go ahead, schedule it and invite RMA, and if they want to come, they’re welcome to come. We’d like their participation.”
This isn’t the first time the RMA has shown its dissatisfaction with Joint Security. In 2005, RMA officials suggested restructuring the committee, complaining that it addressed issues that were already being handled by CSD Security and RMA Compliance committees. It was thought that changing the membership of the committee to three RMA directors, two CSD directors and the general managers of both organizations would open up a dialogue between the two organizations on "burning issues" such as which agency operates the gate and gate policy issues. The restructured committee would meet quarterly or more often, depending on the urgency of the issues, according to a proposal by the RMA.
Joint Security went from holding monthly meetings that, for better or worse, attracted community participation, to a quarterly meeting of RMA and CSD directors that was supposed to address "global issues" affecting the two entities. After a proposal to close the meetings was voted down by the CSD board, the meetings remained open to residents to attend.
The reconstituted committee suffered from an ongoing identity crisis that caused members to ponder what its purpose was and whether topics on the agenda were sufficiently global. Sniping about which organization was better able to provide security continued, and in 2007, the RMA board voted to disband the committee.
In 2008, the committee was revitalized and expanded in response to the legal opinion the CSD presented in May of that year about limitations on the CSD Security Department.
Crouse said the district's reason for participating in the committee was to get input on what the community wants in the way of security services and "what issues are important to them so that we can go back and reconfigure the Security Department to meet the needs of the community.” RMA eventually adopted non-architectural rules for curfew, graffiti, and skateboarding that could be enforced by Security and RMA Compliance in place of CSD ordinances, which no longer applied.
At Friday’s meeting, Security Chief Greg Remson reported to the Security Committee on the following:
- He reminded residents to remove valuables and lock their vehicles to prevent thefts. “Over the past probably three or four weeks, there’ve been four cars at the upper end of the North area that have had property removed ... It’s another reminder to keep your cars locked and don’t leave valuables inside them.”
- Speeding led RMA rule violations citations issued in April with 56 citations. Driveway parking followed with 54 citations. There was one citation for an unlicensed driver.
- A hay barn at Murieta Equestrian Center was “pretty substantially vandalized” with windows and lights broken overnight April 26-27. The vandals came back the next night and were caught by a stable employee, Remson said. “They admitted to doing the vandalism, the Sheriff’s Department was called, and an agreement has been made between the parents of the juveniles and the stable’s owners for restitution.”