MAA Minutes 6.1.21 approved

June 1, 2021 - 19:00:00

Present:  Acting President Debbie Tutt, Secretary Darlene Aiello, Treasurer David Tutt, Area Reps Angelo Aiello, Tom Chinchiolo, Lola Malet

Not Present: Ryan Gresham, Nicole Solari

Guests: Fire Chief Eric Walder, Deputy Sheriff Greg Dupriest, Scott Byous, Battalion Chief; Mike Harper, Engineer; Scott Smithhart, Captain

Debbie Tutt opened the meeting at 7:04 pm.

Angelo Aiello leads the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Darlene Aiello stated the May 4 minutes were emailed to all Board members. No changes were addressed, minutes were approved by all and will be filed.

David Tutt gave an accounting of the treasury. For the month of May 2021, we received $2,375 for 25 memberships and $220 in advertising fees. There were no material expenses paid in May. As of today, there are no outstanding debts.

He stated we are currently working through the process of removing Donna Augustin (Past President) from the Check Signing Authority and adding Debbie Tutt, the new Acting President.

Debbie Tutt gave an update on MAA memberships. During the month of May, we had 18 renewals and 4 new memberships; total members as of May 31 are 93 vs 123 members this time in 2020.

District Reps in attendance were Angelo Aiello, Lola Malet and Tom Chinchiolo, all reported things have been quiet in their areas, with no news to report.

Darlene Aiello stated we had two applicants for the MAA Scholarship who met all requirements. Both students (Emilio Franco of St. Mary’s High School and Joseph Barnhardt of Tokay High School) have been awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Their Scholarship Certificates were delivered to their schools for presentation at the Awards Night.

Chief Walder introduced himself to the group in attendance, then gave an activity update on types of calls, showing a total response by unit, and stated calls have been steady and busy as the weather warms up and more people are able to get out. He said Station 2 is now open and operating, thanks to Morada’s efforts to pass Measure N.  There were 313 calls in May (most ever out of 2 stations). Response times have been more efficient and quicker; an additional firefighter has been added to help with the workload.

There were 99 stat calls in May (these mean a second call for service is received when the first engine is out. This has shown there was a definite need for a second station, otherwise the stat calls would have been diverted to outlying stations. This would have resulted in longer response times.

He also said the homeless community has been a big issue. There were 96 homeless related calls from nuisance fires on diverting canal (from encampment living, cooking, fires that get out of control).

Station 2 is still a work in progress. Concrete work has been completed; however, they are seeking a bid for an apparatus engine 2-bay room, an additional office and laundry room, and a restroom that will be ADA compliant. Due to Covid related issues, it is more expensive to build right now, so waiting on bids or solutions for their needs. He said the firefighters have been doing a lot of work on their own. Station 1 is also being looked at to remodel crew’s quarters. Currently they are open, and since the Covid issues, there has been a need for separate sleeping quarters. Plans are to turn the 6 bed areas into 5 bed areas and an office.

The stations are fully staffed now; a grant application has been submitted for 3 additional firefighters to help between both stations. They are actively training on wild land, auto accidents, medical, structure fires, etc.  There were 4 fatalities in and around our area and the hwy 88 corridor, due to speed and/or distractions.

Dave Stanley asked if the WMFD still owned the property at the corner of 99 NE Frontage Road and Morada. Chief Walder said there had been a couple offers, none plausible, WMFD decided to hold onto the property for now. It is still for sale.

Tom Chinchiolo had a question about Weed Abatement. It was regarding PG&E lines that run between the backyard and the easement, who is responsible for that area. Chief will ask Fire Marshall for more clarification and let know.

Deputy Sheriff Greg Dupriest spoke to the group regarding Morada’s community car now back. He said calls within Morada for service dropped dramatically due to Covid restrictions, therefore the car service had been pulled and put on patrol where there was more need with homeless issues.

Theft issues did increase due to Covid (finance and living struggles). The Sheriff’s office also worked an undercover program on package theft with “bait” packages. This program was not successful due to people not reporting package thefts as often. A theft needs to be documented by reporting to Sheriff Office and obtaining a DRN, or Document Report Number. Then a call can be made or texted with person’s name, contact number and DRN. This will help the undercover Sheriff to follow up, and most likely arrest the offender. Deputy Dupriest also said we should be posting all thefts on Nextdoor, which is used by the Department and has been a big help in making arrests.

Deputy Dupriest also mentioned the Abandoned and Suspicious Vehicle reports. Again, people need to call or text him with the info on the vehicle, house where car is, what type of vehicle, model, why you feel it is suspicious, timeframe vehicle has driven by, etc.

He also stated their office has encountered staffing issues. Most Deputies are new (under two years) need to keep and maintain experienced officers which takes patience, getting to know community and the areas. We are getting 20 new deputies in the next two months.

Pastor Steve asked if our county is still running into the issue of training officers, then they transfer to higher paying cities and/or counties, like Manteca. We lost 8 SWAT senior members to Manteca per Deputy Sheriff Dupriest.

Deputy Dupriest also explained that installing an LPR (License Plate Reader) system at the East Frontage & Morada Lane area could help with catching repeat offenders driving into our area stealing packages, items from residents’ yards and cars, etc. He is currently looking at getting a grant to be able to cover the cost of this system and will keep us posted.

Another issue Deputy Dupriest discussed was the homeless. Our County now has a dedicated Homeless Community Response Unit who work full time on this. Deputies Crusinberry and Hoover have taken on this challenge. One of the problems they run into regarding homeless encampments and problems is they are aware of and use the Boise Decision (a law passed that says homeless people cannot be removed out of the area if there is no place to go). They are using this law to file civil litigations; however, they are using it incorrectly. The law states if the county resources are completely full and there is no place to move the encampment, then they can’t be moved. The Gospel Center Rescue Mission in Stockton has never been over capacity, and it is the biggest and best shelter available for women, people with dogs, and all homeless persons. They even can foster the pets until people can get on their feet, they offer job assistance programs, are clean and offer meals.

Chief Walder announced there will be a control burn on the diverting canals and Calaveras River between Hwy 26 and Wilson Way near SR 99, taking place on 6/14, 6/16 and 6/18. The goal of the Vegetation Management Program is to reduce the chance of large, damaging, labor intensive vegetation fires by reducing fire hazards. He also said the Weed Abatement Team will be mowing the tall, dead weeds, starting down south and working up north. The timeframe to get up to Mosher Slough will not be until July.

Traci Lowery asked about fireworks again this year, as we are supposedly in a zero-tolerance area, yet once fireworks stands set up, it sounds like a war zone. Deputy Dupriest will be working undercover with the Fireworks Enforcement Team on the Safe & Sane initiative. Even though fireworks of any kind are illegal due to our drought season, he did state it is virtually impossible to locate persons setting off fireworks to enforce this law.

Angelo Aiello asked how bad the marijuana situation is in Morada. Deputy Dupriest said people can have up to 6 plants growing inside their home or enclosed area. The county does have a large problem with people growing numerous plants and selling the product. We have the Metro Unit that is strictly a Drug Enforcement Agency.

Dave Stanley asked if the county still has a Shot Spotter. This was used in the past to determine where gunshots were coming from so officers could locate a problem. Deputy Dupriest said this is no longer used due to so many shots going off all over and it proved to be too difficult to locate and prove who shot a gun. He said the officers encountered people who were not willing to talk.

Debbie Tutt discussed New Business: first event since our county can open will be the 6/10 Outside Concert at Heritage Dining, offering pizza and no host bar from 6:00pm-8:00pm. This event will be held in the Pavilion Area behind the Bocce Ball courts by the RV area.

We are also working on a Morada Movie Night sometime in September. Chris Buckley of Morada Little League will be leaving, but Nicole Solari will be checking with the Little League managers to see if we can still use their fields and snack shack.

Debbie also announced the Morada Appreciation Dinner & Nomination will be held at the Berea Baptist Church on 10/5. She said Nicole Solari will check into the Taco Truck we used two years ago for cost and availability.

She also asked the Fire Department if they were still interested in sponsoring the Morada Trunk or Treat, and if so, we would be interested in co-sponsoring with them. Chief Walder will check with his personnel and let us know at the July meeting. Also brought up was the WMFD Open House/BBQ sometime in September. Again, the Chief will let us know in July.

Andrea Galindo asked about the golf carts that seem to be riding around busy streets. They are not street safe, and have kids driving them. Several residents commented they have also had an accident with them darting out of side streets onto busy streets. A suggestion was made to put an article in the next Monitor regarding the safety of our streets and how dangerous these carts can be.

Shirley Stanley also stated schools will be starting up in August again, and need for speed control is still an issue on Morada Lane and Alhambra & Ashley. Although we cannot have speed bumps due to hazards with the fire department, suggestion was brought up for radar on these roads. We will discuss further with the Sheriff’s Office, and in the meantime, post articles in the Monitor and on Nextdoor.

Gordon Rupp of the San Joaquin County Emergency Services, read an article about a “simulated disaster” that could happen anywhere at any time, to bring awareness to how prepared people should be in order to help their families, neighbors, community. He asked if getting a team together to work on training and information to the entire Morada community would be something of interest to our residents. Several people showed interest and we will be getting more information from him on setting up meetings and training. An article will be submitted for the next Monitor.

One last item brought up by Debbie Tutt was that Raley’s has contracted with UPS to bring back their services to Morada. This will start to take place around end of June. There will also be a mailbox for outgoing mail located inside the store.

Meeting adjourned at 8:31pm. Next meeting will be held at the WMFD on Foppiano Road on Tuesday, July 6 at 7:00pm. This meeting will be for residents interested in taking over MAA Board positions.