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24850 Birch Street, Willits, CA 95490

Saturday - March 11, 2006

The Board of Directors of Brooktrails Township Community Services District met in regular session Saturday, March 11, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. at the Brooktrails Community Center.



Roll call showed the following Directors present: Ziady, Orth, Horrick and Skezas. Also present were General Manager Chapman and District Counsel Neary. Director Williams arrived at 9:08.



Don Morris asked if this was a public meeting and Director Orth confirmed it was.


President Skezas asked that agenda item #2 be addressed first.

2. Annual Review of Board Policies, Procedures and Relationships (Ord. No. 93). The discussion revolved around Robert's Rules of Order and Board procedures; primarily motions were discussed. District Counsel Neary clarified that although the general procedure is to have a motion made, and then opened for public comment, you can also take comments first, before a motion is formulated. The question of occasionally limiting time for each public speaker was also discussed.

1. Review of Brown Act. General Manager Chapman reviewed the Brown Act summary line by line. An hour-plus discussion followed, with an emphasis on the Brown Act's restrictions and intentions. Conflict of interest was also covered.

Discussion ensued about minutes of meetings. Director Orth said the Board might discuss whether the recording equipment needed to be updated for better audio quality. Director Williams moved that the recordings of Board meetings be destroyed or erased after one year. Director Horrick seconded. President Skezas said he agreed 98% with that but said that we should make an exception for contentious issues, as it was good to be able to go back and review. Director Williams asked District Counsel Neary if there were any legal benefit to the District of keeping or not keeping the tapes beyond one year. Counsel Neary said certainly, as for example, a claim could be made that the written minutes were prepared in a self-serving manner. Director Orth said a good example is when someone comes to the podium and puts down a legal challenge, and it might be important to have that on tape. Director Williams summed up that President Skezas was amending the motion to say that, at the time of approval of minutes, a direction would be made if they were to be kept indefinitely, and he said he accepted that amendment. Director Horrick did so as well. The motion carried unanimously. Televised minutes, as done by Willits, were discussed by Counsel Neary, with a drawback being that not everyone has cable. Director Orth said that the County's franchise agreement with the cable company covers this telecasting and Brooktrails could express an interest in this for the next franchise agreement. He suggested that in a future agenda item the Board could write a letter about this.

The discussion then turned to the potential Prop. 218 election. Director Williams asked what the Board's legal responsibility was to the undeveloped lot owners (when it is the resident owners who have elected the Board). After a round of discussion, District Counsel Neary said that the District as a water district had a duty to provide water service, and if we don't have that capacity, then we're obligated to seek it. He said that even if more than 50% of the registered voters were to instruct the Board not to hold a 218 election -- you would have to weigh that against the obligation to provide water service. If the reason to not conduct an election were to keep a moratorium in place, we could have some legal consequence. President Skezas said we don't have that choice. Director Orth said that holding a 218 election can be the end point -- if the election fails, you've met your obligation. Director Williams summarized by saying that it was our duty to provide water to all of the Township, as quickly as possible.

3. Review of Goals and Objectives. Comments are listed by category below.

GENERAL: General Manager Chapman said he met with Supervisor Wagenet about every six months to discuss topics of interest. Chair Ziady suggested eliminating some listed actions and maintaining contact with relevant department heads. As to Board of Supervisors meetings, she suggested staff check their agenda so the General Manager can attend relevant meetings. Director Williams asked what percentage Brooktrails bears to the unincorporated area of the County. General Manager Chapman said it was around 12%. Don Morris asked if it were feasible for the District to incorporate. Director Orth said it was not feasible because of the need for a police power and our having no tax base to support it. General Manager Chapman said participating in County budget hearings was impractical for him; consensus was to strike that item. Director Ziady asked about the status of the MCOG subcommittee; Director Orth said it hasn't gone that far. The role of MCOG was explained to Director Williams. They are a joint power authority formed between the cities, the County, CalTrans and others, and are the liaison between CalTrans and our DOT. Director Orth said that since with a grant through MCOG, County DOT would still be our lead agency, we need to formalize a relationship with DOT, such as having project meetings when we develop projects. He said we should first present projects to DOT and have them adopt it instead of going straight to MCOG. General Manager Chapman said they were well aware of our walkway project on the west side of Birch Street, from Clover to the Par Course.

WATER SYSTEM: General Manager Chapman said it turns out we do not have to revise the water rights application for the rubber spillway, although we will have to do it for raising the dam 15'. The bypass valve has been installed. The rubber spillway process has been begun and should continue. Discussion followed about assigning specific dates for objectives as impractical. Director Ziady asked whether the goals should include a reference to the need to set aside funds to replace aging infrastructure. Director Horrick said we do have reserves for that. General Manager Chapman handed out a five-year list of capital projects. Director Ziady said she was still concerned that we would have enough money in case of an infrastructure crisis. Mr. Chapman said we have at least $257,000 set aside right now for these expenses.

Director Orth commented on erosion and recent slides. He felt the most erosive lots were open and without trees, and had solar potential. He wanted the District to think about allowing such lots to be used for solar installations for income generation, if the hydrologic issues were addressed. He related this to the need for backup power as well. Mr. Chapman noted that he included a major $100,000 generator on the five-year project list. Don Morris asked if there was any effort being made to reduce water use by homes. Director Ziady said the tier rate was a conservation measure.

SEWER: Smoke-testing should be listed as ongoing. The Redwood Tree demonstration project was characterized as essentially "undoable" in a large scale fashion by Mr. Chapman, and he described the concept as routing sewer effluent through adjacent redwood tree groves, where redwood roots are fed untreated effluent through large plastic 4" - 8"tubes. Director Ziady said we should eliminate this project.

RECREATION/GREENBELT: Director Ziady reviewed the Committee's input sheet.
She said the invasive plant information would continue to be put in the BPOA book, but not in the District newsletter. She said she would like to return to one annual Committee report to the Board. Director Orth said if Board members receive committee minutes that would keep them on track; Director Horrick agreed. It was clarified this should be after the minutes are approved. She reported that the 160-acre parcel had been walked by the subcommittee so this item could be deleted.

MAINTENANCE/FACILITIES: Mr. Chapman said a facilities tour would be given this summer after the clearwell is completed and parking lot paved. He said there has been some vandalism at the dams, including a valve handle, and this will be replaced by a lift-off handle that can only be turned by someone with a key. Lake Emily dam was defaced by paint. Security issues at the water plant were discussed; Director Ziady said we are the guardian of a public water supply. General Manager Chapman said we do have a fence, and he did not know about funds for a sensor system. Director Orth said they weren't talking about exterior, but interior, and that chlorine gas on-site was a real concern. Mr. Chapman was directed to look more into the issue of a building security system.

FIRE: Director Ziady asked if the Fire Chief had provided input. Mr. Chapman said he will provide more input in his annual report. Director Orth commented on the "conduct evacuation drill" item, saying that while you get repeated requests from the public for an evacuation drill, the professionals say this should not be done for the community, but for the professionals. Director Ziady said if there was one put on by the Fire Safe Council and multiple agencies, that we should participate, but not conduct it. Director Orth suggested that one of the tabletop drills should actually be an evacuation drill. The CERT item should be changed to "support." EMT training should be ongoing.

PLANNING: Private water tanks have been done. "Participate in County budget process" should be removed. Specific Plan Committee input was reviewed. Director Orth agreed with the item "discuss toilet replacement program"; he said many districts are buying low-flush toilets and offering free installation of them. Regarding the hillside ordinance, he said Bob Axt has consistently said we needed one. President Skezas asked if this would be in addition to a County hillside ordinance. Director Orth said we needed to tell the County that their ordinance should encompass Brooktrails.
General Manager Chapman said he did not like the term "growth reduction" and did not think it should be listed because it might be misconstrued. Director Ziady said she did not know the legalities of this. Director Orth said the Specific Plan was a growth reduction guideline, so this has already been accomplished. Director Williams asked whether they were talking "growth reduction" or "growth control"; President Skezas said his sense was that it referred to the Specific Plan program under the guise of "lot reduction." Director Orth suggested saying "density reduction."

Changing subjects, Director Orth said he did not agree with a blight ordinance being considered and said he would try to redirect the committee into projects like the second access road and the hillside ordinance, as opposed to a parking ordinance where we do not have authority. Director Ziady asked Tony if the committee had actually reviewed the goals and objectives, and further clarified that she was not really comfortable with the process of dictating from the chair down. Director Orth said he was not the chair. He said the Specific Plan committee had been tasked by the Board, where her committee has not been, and it was supposed to make recommendations to the Board. But, he said, he sees the committee spending a lot of time on trying to get the District to take over powers that the County has. Mr. Morris asked if the committee was working on a lighting ordinance; Director Orth said, yes and no. He thought there had been a separation between the issue of PG&E street lights and other lighting. Director Williams asked about wood stove standards; Director Orth said the County is in the public comment process now on such regulations, and this is not a District task. Blight also should be struck.

OTHER: Director Ziady suggested all current entries here be deleted.

4. Review Powers of the District and other limitations. District Counsel Neary said he had a problem with the LAFCO reiteration of powers as it deviated from Section 61000. President Skezas asked if there had been a response to our submission to LAFCO. District Counsel Neary said he had received a copy of a letter recently on one issue only. Director Orth said the LAFCO action was to transfer that authority over to the chief executive officer by December 31, 2005. District Counsel Neary said the LAFCO changes were news to him and cited #1 and #10 as a purpose for which the District was not established. He said we should go back to LAFCO. President Skezas asked if this was LAFCO's response. Mr. Chapman said he would check. Mr. Neary said it must be. Consensus was that the matter should be returned to the Board. Mr. Neary said a letter from LAFCO had challenged their position on planning powers. Director Orth said they were challenged under BRID (Brooktrails Resort Improvement District), but not under current law which has superseded the BRID powers. Counsel Neary said Mr. McMichael was inferring that LAFCO had the power to overturn the District's powers. He said that he believed that the state delegated limited police power to resort improvement districts, and that that power was transferred when the community services district was created. He said SB 135 was essentially a housekeeping issue, and that the planning power will be very handy from a legal standpoint at some point in the future. The comprehensive planning power created an argument that this Board may want to move on something and this exact power will provide arguable basis for the Board's actions to do so. President Skezas said he would like to get the letter we submitted, the LAFCO response, and the newest response, and have it as an agenda item. Director Orth said there was a pre-step, which would be an in-office discussion; he reminded the Board that the whole process had had to be done within 30 or 60 days. Director Ziady said an extension was granted; Director Orth said the reference to municipalities is to help special districts.


Mr. Morris said it had been a very informational meeting.

Director Horrick moved to adjourn and President Skezas declared the meeting of
March 11, 2006 closed at 12:20 p.m.


Secretary to the Board of Directors

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