By Karen Brainard
District 2 County Supervisor Dianne Jacob told the small group attending her Ramona revitalization meeting on Friday, Oct. 28, that she would like them to reach out to other community groups for their participation in the meetings.
The whole idea for her twice-yearly revitalization meeting, she said, was to have representatives from every organization or agency in Ramona. Some attending suggested representation from the Ramona Municipal Water District, the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association, and the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.
Jacob said those were great ideas. “Any organization that you think would be good to have at the table,” she said.
The meetings follow a matrix with reports from chairs of five subcommittees: parks and recreation, economic development, health and human services, infrastructure and transportation, and public safety and law enforcement. Jacob gives updates on what is happening at the county level on issues that affect Ramona.
Ramona Community Planning Group Secretary Kristi Mansolf gave a report on a Ramona evacuation tabletop workshop, held on Sept. 19 at the Ramona sheriff’s substation (see article and photos, page 13), and said there is talk of creating an emergency operations center in Ramona. The workshop included representatives from various agencies and organizations in Ramona.
“Just having the water district there and the school district working with everyone was an amazing thing,” said Mansolf.
California Highway Patrol Officer Amado Macias said the sheriff’s substation had a meeting recently with the water and school districts on evacuation as the Sept. 8 massive power outage was a different type of emergency.
Jacob said the power outage was a wake-up call.
“In the beginning we did not know what was going on at the county,” she said, adding that it took an hour and 17 minutes to get in contact with someone at SDG&E.
“That needs to get fixed. All the agencies at the tabletop need to be accessible,” she said.
According to Jacob, the county is working with the Air Pollution Control District regarding regulations that portable generators over 50 horsepower cannot be stored on the same site it is meant to serve in the event of a power outage, a situation that has affected the water district. Jacob said it doesn’t make sense to have to transport a portable generator during an emergency, especially if there were a fire.
“It’s got to be onsite somewhere,” she said.
In other topics, Nancy Roy, speaking for health and human services, said the ARRIBBA teen center at the former Ramona Community School on Montecito Road is struggling financially and does not have enough volunteers.
“We’re just having a hard time getting support from the community,” she said. Roy said the operating budget is about $5,000 to $6,000 a year and those involved will decide at the beginning of next year if they can continue to keep the teen center open.
Roy also said that the Palomar Pomerado Health Committee on Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs is applying for a grant to provide substance abuse prevention programs in rural areas, including Ramona.
Reporting on transportation, LaVonna Connelly said North County Transit District’s new FLEX service in Ramona is not attracting enough riders because of increased prices. The service will be evaluated in three months, she said.
John Degenfelder gave a report on several projects he is involved in — Santa Maria Greenway, Old Survey 97 and renovating a former rodeo arena (See related article, page ???) Degenfelder said Ramona Disposal has offered to furnish a dumpster for the removal of the arena’s concrete posts and will dispose of them free of charge.
Richard Tomlinson, chair of the parks and recreation subcommittee, said improvements to an existing park at Ramona Community School on Hanson Lane will go before the county board of supervisors on Nov. 9. He passed out a site plan and said the proposed improvements will include fitness stations.