The Voice of Rancho Bernardo
Whether it’s education, recreation, or renovation, the Rancho Bernardo Community Council (RBCC) is dedicated to promoting and preserving community. This group of local residents is passionate about making a difference in their neighborhoods and yours. Since its founding in 1971, the council has grown and evolved to meet the community’s changing needs. We learn more about the council’s tremendous impact by talking with RBCC President Robin Kaufman.
Q&A with Robin Kaufman
What is the RBCC’s mission?
The Rancho Bernardo Community Council shall provide comfort, protection, civic service, and representation for the community. We interface with government agencies, utilities, and other influencing factors on local issues. We preserve and enhance our unique quality of life. We are ‘Your Voice in the Community.’
Can you tell us a bit about the history of the RBCC?
The RBCC was established in 1971 as the Rancho Bernardo Town Council to give the community a voice in the city and to bring attention to any issues in the community. It was established as a nonprofit entity in 1973. The name of the organization was changed to the Rancho Bernardo Community Council in 1981. Since Rancho Bernardo is a community in the City of San Diego as opposed to a town, the members at that time felt the word ‘community’ better reflected Rancho Bernardo.
At-A-Glance | President
Name: Robin Kaufman
Community: Rancho Bernardo
Education: Masters degree
Hobbies and Interests: Hiking with my standard poodles, standard poodle rescue work, doing pet therapy visits with my pet certified standard poodles, going to plays, giving back to my community
What programs or services does the RB Community Council provide?
We offer a wide range of programs and services for the community. Much of our work is done behind the scenes in order to keep Rancho Bernardo looking the way it does and maintaining the quality of life we have become accustomed to.
As for programs, a few that we offer include: CPR training, stranger danger presentations, Coping with Coyotes, scam education programs, cyber bullying presentations, how to keep yourself and your household safe, an annual Safety Fair, and an annual Earth Day Fair.
As for services, we handle code compliance issues, graffiti issues, and removal of homeless encampments. We act as the liaison between our various government representatives and our community, and as the liaison between work projects taking place in our community by keeping everyone apprised of the projects, any progress with the projects, when they will be completed, etc. We act as the sounding board for residents when it comes to any concerns they may have and then we do our best to help resolve the issue. It can be anything from replacing a sign or getting a curb painted red to reporting abandoned vehicles. In the latter aspect, we encourage the residents to utilize the City’s new Get It Done app. Unfortunately, not all residents are able to utilize computers or app programs, so we continue to support them by handling the issues for them.
What do you consider to be some of the council’s biggest accomplishments?
As mentioned earlier, there are so many things the council does on a daily basis to help preserve the quality of life in this community behind the scenes. In front of the scenes, I would have to say the Fire Station 33 Renovation Committee is one of the accomplishments of the council. This was originally started by the council after members took a tour of the station and saw the dismal condition of the station. The council brought this attention to the community and to the City and decided to form a partnership with the City to raise funds and renovate the station. Eventually, the renovation committee became so large that it became its own entity, separate from the council. However, those on the committee wound up being council members.
I would also have to say, the council has worked very hard through its Maintenance Assessment District to beautify the community utilizing water conservation efforts. Our medians are slowly reflecting this in different areas of the community.
At-A-Glance | Rancho Bernardo Community Council
We also hold an annual hot cocoa with Santa event where we ask people to bring one new, unwrapped toy. We bring these toys to the Polinsky Children’s Center. We recently began collecting new or gently used children’s sporting equipment/clothing which is being donated to communities where children cannot necessarily afford the equipment necessary to participate in sports activities. We also place flags on the Rancho Bernardo median to recognize various holidays such as Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, President’s Day, Independence Day, etc.
Another accomplishment that few people know of is that a number of organizations in the community were originally part of the Rancho Bernardo Community Council. They became so large that they became their own entities. They include the Spirit of the Fourth organization, the Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation, Concerts on the Greens, and even Neighborhood Watch. The Friends of the RB Library also originated from the RBCC. It was originally an ad hoc committee formed in the very early 1970s in order to obtain a library in RB, which would replace the small bookmobile we had for the community. We were able make that happen with a small, official City library branch being opened on Poblado Rd. (in Westwood) where the AVCO developer’s office was located. The ad hoc became so big, it took on its own life, becoming what we now know as the Friends of the RB Library.
What roles do individual committees play in the community?
The council has four major subcommittees, each of which focuses on specific topics. We have the Public Safety Committee, which works closely with the police and fire departments as well as the City’s traffic engineering department. It deals with a variety of safety issues from parking to traffic lights/stop signs, reflectors on the streets, V-calm signs, etc. The committee holds various presentations and is also responsible for putting on our annual Safety Fair.
Our Government Relations/Utilities Committee works closely with our various government representatives. This year alone, the committee has worked on the water authority rate increase, veterinary care for military K-9s, increased regulations on drones, voting via mail-in ballots only, graffiti policies, issues with short term rentals, prescription drug drop-off areas, battery drop-off areas, Palomar College issue, SDG&E pipeline down Pomerado Rd., and more. This committee is also responsible for any forums we hold during an election year.
The PR Committee focuses on any of the community-wide events we host or participate in each year, such as Chalk It Up, the watermelon eating contest, the holiday cocoa event, RB Alive, July 4th events, and the patriotic pet contest.
Finally, we have the Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) Committee. This committee deals with all the issues pertaining to our medians and right of ways.
The council periodically forms ad hoc committees.
When and where does the council meet?
The council’s full board meetings are held the first Thursday of the month, 6:30 p.m., in the large meeting room on the second floor of the Rancho Bernardo library. All meetings associated with the council are open to the public.
How did you personally get involved in the council? What is your current role?
I became involved back in 1999. I was just starting on the Recreation Council and the annual elections were taking place. At that time, the Recreation Council, Community Council, and Planning Board all worked together and had their elections at the same time. During the process of being the representative of the Recreation Council on the election committee, I became educated on what the other two organization’s roles were in the community and decided to become involved. I am presently the president of the Rancho Bernardo Community Council, and I also chair the Public Safety Committee.
Rancho Bernardo Community Council
Leslie J. LaManna
Walter de Lorrell
Residents at Large
What are the most rewarding parts of working with the council?
In a nutshell, I thoroughly enjoy giving back to the community.
How can people learn more about the council?
We encourage everyone to visit our Facebook page as we post various information on a daily basis. For those not on Facebook, they can visit our website. We also post information on www.nextdoor.com.
How can community members get more involved?
We offer several opportunities for people to become involved with the council. If someone feels they cannot commit to being a member but they are interested in one of our subcommittees, they can become a resident member of the subcommittee. They need to abide by the rules of the committee and have an equal say and vote on any issues related to the committee. We also encourage people to volunteer during any of our community-based events as we can always use the help.
Does the council have any short-term or long-term goals?
One of the long-term goals of the council is converting more turf medians to drought-tolerant plant medians. We will also be adding three new welcome signs in the community, which should be installed by the end of the summer. Ultimately, our goals are always to do the best that we can to help serve the community and keep the quality of life that we have become accustomed to in Rancho Bernardo.
Is there anything you’d like to share that the general public might not know?
Rancho Bernardo looks the way it does due to over four decades of dedication of many volunteers on the council. The council is comprised of your friends, your neighbors, your family members. Their children go to the same schools as your children. They may belong to the same congregation as you. They or their children may play in the same sports league as you. They may even work at the same place you work. Each member is volunteering their time and energy to the council due to their concerns and commitment to the community. If you feel the council is not doing something you approve of, attend the meetings, get involved, help resolve an issue. Become a member.