Yosemite West Property &
Homeowners, Inc.

YWPHI Board of Directors' Meeting - January 14, 2006

The meeting was held on Saturday, January 14, 2006 during a snow storm, at the home of Carol Ruiz. The meeting was called to order by President Grace Bartel at 10:10 a.m. and the agenda was distributed.

Directors Present

Jim Andrews, Grace Bartel, Debby Hagan, Kim O'Neil, Kay Pitts, and Carol Ruiz

Directors Absent

Tom Lambert

Committee Chairs Present

Linda Andrews (Treasurer/Membership)

The minutes from the October 15, 2005 YWPHI Board of Directors meeting by Grace Bartel were approved.

The Treasurer's report was presented by Linda Andrews (Treasurer). The balance in YWPHI's bank accounts on December 31, 2005 was $12,856. Income during the last 3 months was $350 from membership dues and $6 from interest. Expenditures totaled $16 for bank service charges and a returned check fee. The Treasurer's report was approved by the Board.

The Membership report was presented by Linda (Membership Chair); there are currently 87 members in YWPHI. This is 31 fewer members than at the end of August 2005.

Committee Reports

Newsletter (Kim O'Neil)

The last newsletter was distributed in November 2005, and the next issue is planned by May 2006. Anyone in the community who wants to contribute content should contact Kim or Tom. Board members need to bring all content suggestions and articles for inclusion to the next Board meeting on 25 March.

Fire Safety (John Mock, Chair)

Kim O'Neil reported that the funds expected from approval of last year's fire safety grant proposals (approximately $56,000), have not been received yet. These funds come from the federal budget and will be used for the Yosemite West Community Wildfire Protection Plan and Fire Safe Program and creating the a shaded fuel break around Yosemite West. Work on this project cannot begin until funding is received.

The Board requested that the grant proposal which was rejected for funding last year, be resubmitted, since the filing deadline is in February. The remaining unfunded project focuses upon fire safety primarily within the community (Yosemite West Defensible Space Program). Since this proposal had a large monetary commitment (on the order of $95, 000), the possibility of dividing it into two pieces for submission was discussed. Preparation of the grant proposal, for all or half of this original request, was left to the discretion of the Fire Safety Chair.

John Mock and Kim O'Neil have had contact with a group that has expressed interest in using our community for an academic fire study. This organization is the Center for Fire Research, College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley (see www.yosemitewest.org/firesafe.htm for link). The Board had no objections to encouraging their interest and opening discussions about possible studies. Since fire is the greatest danger to Yosemite West, a cooperative relationship with any interested group could be beneficial to our community.

A Spring chipping program was discussed. Last year the Mariposa Fire Safe Council provided a chipper and crew for Yosemite West. This program helped to reduce the amount of debris transported to our burn pile, aided residents in creating defensible space, and promoted erosion control. Unfortunately, the free chipper and crew will not be available this year. It could cost around $1000/day for YWPHI to provide this service to the community. The Board expressed interest in pursuing cost estimates from reputable and insured chipper crews. The Board would be willing to fund $2500 towards this project, provided that those using the service cover the rest. This will require advance registration for the chipper, and more organization than last year.

Website (Kim O'Neil)

With assistance from Rand Lindsly, a secure section of the website was created for members only, in order to access the most recent YWPHI newsletters. Members who want e-newsletters will receive an email notice with instructions and the password to use to download the newsletter. Other items may be added to this secure section later. Statistics for downloads of e-newsletters and Board of Directors' minutes were distributed. Monthly hits for the website for last year ranged between 2500 and 3900.

Nominating (Carol Ruiz and Tom Lambert)

No activity to report.

Hospitality (Carol Ruiz and Jim Andrews)

See Holiday Home Tour

Old Business

Sewer Upgrade Progress-Yosemite West Maintenance Committee Meeting Report

The sewer upgrades have been completed. Sampling for effectiveness is in progress with no problems reported so far. The County Public Works Department has stated the possibility that the Board of Supervisors may be able to lift the Yosemite West building moratorium in the Spring, if testing continues to be positive.

Emergency Telephone Tree Update (Kay Pitts)

No progress to report.

Tax Exempt Status for YWPHI

YWPHI is classified as a non-profit organization, and can not attain tax exempt status because of the nature of our organization. We must continue to use the help of tax exempt groups to handle fire safety grant money. Without this help, taxes would be due for these funds.

Report on Holiday Home Tour

$65 was collected in donations from the Holiday Home Tour. The Board voted to donate this money to the Wawona Library. It was decided to set the date for the next Tour early in the year to increase notification time and (hopefully) attendance.

Mailbox Security

Last year a federal crime was committed in Yosemite West when the locked mailboxes were pried open, the unlocked mailboxes were opened, and mail was stolen from both sources. In response to this illegal activity, the Board asked Ken Wall for suggestions to make the mailbox shed more theft resistant. Ken has provided the Board with two remodeling plans and cost estimates to accomplish this goal. Board members will review these proposals and discuss them at the next Board meeting in March.

The mailbox shed has now been damaged by graffiti on the bulletin board inside, and the backside of the mailboxes. Grace volunteered to contact the Mariposa County Sheriff's office to report the vandalism and ask if they recognized the tag. Pictures should be taken before the graffiti is removed.

The box which holds information sheets for rental units within Yosemite West is missing. This box was attached to the large map structure next to the mailbox shed. Grace may have a suitable replacement.

Database Management Update

The Membership, Nominating, Newsletter, and Website Chairs have a need for database management software in order to more effectively communicate with our members. The Board has already approved a maximum of $350 for use in purchasing an appropriate software package. The purchase is to be made online as soon as the Treasurer receives the YWPHI credit card.

Yosemite West CPAC Update

On March 4, 2006, the Mariposa County Planning Commission will hold their final hearing on the draft Yosemite West Special Plan, Zoning Amendment, and negative declaration. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Mariposa County Government Center, 5100 Bullion Street, Mariposa.

New Business

Priorities for 2006

Grace requested suggestions from the Board and membership which will be discussed in the future.

Pacific Forest Trust

Grace contacted John Remucal of Pacific Forest Trust concerning their plans to harvest trees on property adjacent to Yosemite West. At the annual YWPHI meeting last September, many members expressed concern that the logging equipment would damage our roads. Since our roads provide the only access to the harvesting property, they will be subject to heavy use for this purpose. Yosemite West property owners pay for all road maintenance, and will be responsible for fixing any damage caused by the logging vehicles. Grace is seeking a written agreement with Pacific Forest Trust which requires them to repair our roads after the logging is completed. As of the date of the meeting, no positive response has been received from Grace's request.

DSL Demand

Lee Stetson (District 1 Supervisor) has contacted the Board requesting information on interest in DSL service for Yosemite West. All those interested in this service are encouraged to fill out Lee's survey. The cost of this service is unknown currently, but it is possible that some grant money may be available to support the program in rural areas such as ours. The Board is in favor of establishing DSL service in Yosemite West; in addition to the full-time residents, both part-time residents and tourists bring laptops to Yosemite West and want high speed internet access. Kay Pitts volunteered to send an e-mail to Lee Stetson expressing support for this project from YWPHI. Linda Andrews needs to forward the e-mail addresses for our membership to Kim O'Neil so that notification of the survey can be sent out.

Sale of Remaining Mailboxes

The Board passed a motion to sell the remaining locked mailboxes in the shed on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone wishing to purchase a box must contact Grace Bartel with remittance. The Board also decided to postpone discussion of expansion of the mailbox shed until a need arises.

The next Board meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2006. The location will be determined later.

The meeting was adjourned by President Bartel at approximately 12 noon.

Respectfully submitted,
Deborah O. Hagan, YWPHI Secretary

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