AVMAC discusses county supervisors’ meeting, RCAC workshops

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Rick Beauchamp reads the Riverside County supervisors’ report at the Anza Valley Municipal Advisory Council meeting Wednesday, Jan. 8. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

The Anza Valley Municipal Advisory Council conducted their bimonthly meeting at the Anza Community Hall Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Laura Dubin, rural development specialist of Rural Community Assistance Corporation, was the guest speaker.

AVMAC board members Sharon Evans, Birdie Kopp and Rick Beauchamp were in attendance, and a quorum was met.

Megan Haley, Allison Renick and Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington’s legislative assistant Opal Hellweg were unable to attend.

After the Pledge of Allegiance, Kopp recited the minutes from the November meeting, which were approved as read.

Beauchamp read the report from the Jan. 8 Riverside County board of supervisors’ meeting.

“Supervisor Perez was voted in as chairman with Supervisor Spiegel as vice chairwoman,” he said, reading the report. “Supervisor Perez spoke about his vision for the next year and he wants to focus on the issues surrounding homelessness and addiction. He wants to further create a culture of respect and promote a ‘Yes, we can’ attitude with the residents and staff.

“The Economic Development Agency presented three agenda items (3.4, 3.5 and 3.6) to collaborate with different partners to build low income housing (apartments) in Riverside and Palm Springs. Most of the funding for these projects comes from HUD and nonprofit organizations.

“Palm Springs – the Monarch Apartment Homes – 60-unit complex. Riverside – the Saint Michaels Apartment complex – 50 units. Riverside – the Entrada Apartment complex – 65 units.

“The Department of Animal Services has determined that updates to the fees are necessary to fully recover operational costs. Animal Services has worked with county counsel and the auditor controller’s Office to review and prepare the fee schedule. All fees are in accordance with local and state law.

“Agenda item 3.23, Increased Flexibility in Project Management and Contracting for Sheriff’s Department recommended motion: That the Riverside County Board of Supervisors’ grant increased flexibility in project management and contracting to the Sheriff’s Department – this item was continued to the Jan. 28, 2020, board of supervisors’ meeting,” Beauchamp said, reading from the county supervisor’s report.

Hellweg said in her report, “It is my understanding that the sheriff’s department is trying to reduce costs and become more efficient with tax dollars. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department uses a model that the new sheriff, Chad Bianco, wants to use to save tax dollars.”

In upcoming county events, The Jim Venable Exchange Club Park held a grand opening, Saturday, Jan. 11; rhe Riverside County Homeless Point in Time Count will be conducted Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Riverside County Civil grand jury is looking for new members. The job is four days a week from Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Riverside. Participants receive a $25 stipend per day and gas mileage reimbursement, and their holiday schedule is the same as county employees. The application deadline is March 3.

The acceptance process requires a background check and an interview with the presiding judge.

Evans said that progress with the Project 371 has stalled, but said that, “I will get something by the next meeting.”

The “Welcome to Anza” sign has seen a lack of volunteers to begin construction, which has prevented the sign building from starting.

Kopp said that she will investigate the matter.

“I’ll find out why the project has been stalled, Kopp said.

Also, while all positions on the AVMAC board have been filled, the duties of each board member have not yet been determined.

Dubin handed out materials about the upcoming RCAC workshops and gave a short talk explaining the three-year program.

“It’s free; we provide all materials,” Dubin said. “We hope everybody comes out and joins us.”

Everyone is encouraged to attend, she said.

The purpose of the workshops is to select a community project to work on, Dubin said. Her program will take a project, such as community beautification, utilizing public spaces or working on the water issues – from conception and implementation to funding. The workshop classes will end with a “graduation” and “sales pitch” for the project.

The RCAC will connect financiers with the students to launch the chosen project.

RCAC is a nonprofit organization founded in 1978 that provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy to enable rural communities to achieve their community goals. The RCAC focuses on low-income rural communities that are often overlooked because they lack the resources, training or social network that larger communities enjoy. The organization includes Tribes and Native American communities in all program areas.

According to the RCAC website, “RCAC works with a local sponsoring organization to identify economic opportunities in the community and the leaders/entrepreneurs with the passion to take advantage of those opportunities. RCAC helps this local team analyze current economic conditions that need improving and prioritize action on the most realistic opportunities.”

Workshop dates are slated for Jan. 23, Feb. 20, March 29 and April 23.

Up to 25 people will be accepted to the program. All classes are planned to be 6-9 p.m. at Yilberto’s Mexican Restaurant in Anza.

Registration inquiries may be sent to Laura Dubin at ldubin@rcac.org.

For more information on attending the classes, email Laura Dubin at ldubin@rcac.org or call her at (505) 819-8511.

To learn more about RCAC, visit www.rcac.org.

Annika Knoppel advised the board of her series of free business workshops held at the Marketplace Cooperative in Anza.

It was announced that the Anza Country Car Show would be held April 18 in Minor Park.

The next AVMAC meeting will be held Wednesday, March 11.

The AVMAC meeting is held every other month and the council seeks input from the community on subjects that they believe need to be addressed by local government officials. If you have a subject you would like addressed, contact the AVMAC at http://avmac.000webhostapp.com.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at dsieker@reedermedia.com.