A few Rolando Park neighbors recognized a need for a regularly scheduled community gathering. They began the process of organizing a community council.
On May 20, 2004 the Rolando Park Community Council (RPCC) was incorporated with the California Secretary of State as a 501(c)(3).
The founding board members included:
Jean-Paul LaMontagne, Lee Rittiner, René McMillen, Giovanni Posillico, Hillary Posillico, James Budlove, Cheryl Evans and Patricia Mosteller.
The original RPCC bylaws were adopted on July 17, 2004. They were modified in May of 2014 and again in June of 2015. These modifications were minor.
Per the by laws, the objectives of the Council are: To promote the welfare of the community and the citizens within; to secure adequate representation before any legislative body dealing with the education, security and well being of our community; and to serve as a channel of communications between public and private bodies and the community.
Lee Rittiner worked to prevent the closure of Rolando Park Elementary School.
Lynn Rine worked with People for Trees and Cool Communities to plant 40 new trees in Rolando Park on February 19, 2005.
The Council worked with elected officials to put Rolando Park high on the list for utility undergrounding.
The Council donated $50 toward the hoped for establishment of an University Avenue Business Improvement District.
The Council began a dialogue with the City to get a traffic light installed at the westbound College Avenue Frwy 94 exit.
In June of 2005 the articles of incorporation were amended by the board to change the status of the RPCC to a 501(c)(4).
RPCC priorities selected in 2006 were speeding and traffic flow, business improvement, graffiti removal, undergrounding, and rental and property management improvements.
The hoped for traffic signal at College Avenue and Freeway 94 was funded.
In April RPCC received an award from Rolando Community Council for helping out at the Rolando Street Fair.
The RPCC pursued ways of improving the declining business district on University Avenue.
RPCC was approached by a business owner about establishing a Neighborhood Watch.
A multi-community University Avenue Clean Up was held on October 21.
The Council began communicating with the City and elected officials to get the yield sign at Racine Drive and Vista Grande Drive replaced by a stop sign.
The installation of a traffic light on the westbound College Avenue exit off Freeway 94 was completed.
A College Avenue Clean Up was held with Redwood Village.
The Council worked again to prevent the threatened closure of Rolando Park Elementary School.
Priorities selected by the membership in 2010 were graffiti abatement, the need for a 3 way stop at Racine and Vista Grande, strengthening relationships with Rolando Park Elementary, supporting sidewalks on College Avenue between University Avenue and Frwy 94, and enhancing community involvement in neighborhood safety and well being.
At the suggestion of Kim Meng, then principal of Rolando Park Elementary School, and with the vote of the membership at the January 2011 RPCC planning meeting, Betty White, Lee Rittiner and Kim Burch began negotiations with the City and San Diego Unified School District to create a joint use park at Rolando Park Elementary School.
The need for sidewalks on Racine and College Grove was brought to the attention of the City.
Betty White and Lee Rittiner participated in the University Avenue Mobility Study, a project to enhance the pedestrian experience on University Avenue, which was later tabled when redevelopment funds were no longer available.
Priorities selected by the membership in 2012 were weed and debris abatement on College Avenue, increased membership for the RPCC, facilitating community service projects by and for neighbors, reaching out to the San Diego gay community to encourage them to consider Rolando Park when making their home purchase, sidewalk repair on Billman, addressing the overgrowth in the Chollas Creek flood control channel, and connecting with other neighborhood foundations and councils.
RPCC Board Member Jessica Young spearheaded a project to collect unused citrus fruits for donation to the Food Bank.
Board President Betty White began to represent Rolando Park on the College Neighborhoods Foundation Board.
Lee Rittiner and Betty White surveyed Rolando Park neighbors for SDPD to facilitate the separation of Rolando Park from Redwood Village for crime reporting purposes.
Priorities chosen by the membership in 2014 included increasing the membership in RPCC, raising additional funds beyond dues for RPCC, and continuing with physical meetings and production and delivery of a paper newsletter.
Rolando Park was recognized as a separate beat (841) by the San Diego Police Department in April of 2014.
Rolando Park was selected by the San Diego Police Department to hold the first Law Enforcement Community Walk in the Mid-City Division in May of 2014.
RPCC received a grant award from The San Diego Foundation in June of 2014 for a project entitled Building Strength and Community in Rolando Park. Grant funds were deposited to the account of The College Neighborhoods Foundation, serving as our fiscal sponsor since RPCC did not have 501(c)(3) status.
In July of 2014 the University Avenue Improvement Group, a working committee of the RPCC, held its first meeting. Jim Schneider,Executive Director of the College Area BID, provided expertise as we began our quest to improve the Rolando Park business district.
Sidewalks were installed on Racine and College Grove Drive in August of 2014.
After several years of board debate about the non-profit status of the RPCC in September of 2014 the board and membership voted to begin the process of changing the status of RPCC back to a 501(c)(3).
In October of 2014 new informational banners promoting the RPCC, paid for with grant funds, were ready for display.
RPCC was selected by the Office of the Mayor to host the Meet the Mayor event on November 13, 2014 which included six surrounding neighborhoods.
In December of 2014 an anonymous neighbor donated the funds to cover the costs of the RPCC transition from a 501(c)(4) to a 501(c)(3). This donation was deposited with our fiscal sponsor The College Neighborhoods Foundation as RPCC did not have 501(c)(3) status.
In December of 2014, the California Secretary of State approved the Certificate of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation to return RPCC to its original 501(c)(3) status.
Priorities chosen by the membership in 2015 included: addressing the issue of problem homes, increasing Rolando Park visibility through outreach to enable fund raising, supporting the work of the University Avenue Improvement Group to bring exciting new businesses to Rolando Park and supporting neighborhood clean ups.
In January of 2015, the RPCC received its letter of determination as a 501(c)(3), allowing donations to RPCC to be tax deductible and enabling the Council to apply directly for grants.
A planning study for the joint use park at Rolando Park Elementary school was funded by Councilmember Myrtle Cole’s office.
New Rolando Park specific Neighborhood Watch signs were purchased and installed by donors and volunteers throughout the neighborhood in 2015.
Four new four way stops which addressed neighbor’s traffic concerns were installed in 2015.
Decorative fencing, with financial support from the office of our City Council person Myrtle Cole, was installed along the opening to Zena Canyon in June of 2015.
RPCC debuted its new website on July 19, 2015. The expenses associated with the site were paid for by the Ariel W. Coggeshall Discretionary Fund of The San Diego Foundation. Thanks to website committee members, Gerrie Flaven, Heather Erwin, Kathryn Kern, Laura Sechrist Molenda and Betty White. Special thanks to Brad Molenda for technical assistance.
RPCC co-sponsored a Mini-Community Cleanup and Recycling event with the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department on August 19, 2015. The cleanup event resulted in the removal of 11.02 tons of waste from Rolando Park consisting of 9.29 tons of non-recyclable waste and 1.73 tons of recyclables.
On December 5, 2015 the Rolando Park Little Free Library was officially dedicated. Thanks to the neighbors who made this possible with cash donations and book donations. Extra thanks to the neighbors who used their time and talent to create the Library, Steve Roche and son for the construction, Bonny Camren for painting the library, and Dave Castro for installing the library. Audrey Ledesma has volunteered to be our library steward.
On January 11, 2016 Rolando Park neighbors selected the following RPCC focuses which are listed in order of priority:
- Organize a neighborhood block party
- Traffic control on Zena Drive
- Setting up a SMILE account on Amazon.com
- Street trees
- Engage new owner of Park Grove Apartments
- Stencils for Storm Drains
- Transitions Streets
- No Dumping Signs and Enforcement in various trouble spots
- Neighborhood Watch surveillance cameras
- Close relationship with Rolando Park Elementary School
On January 12, 2016 City crews showed up and began clearing the Chollas Creek Drainage Channel east of Rolando Blvd. Thanks to RPCC and neighbor Audrey Ledesma as well as other concerned neighbors for urging the City to address this issue.
On January 21st, Paige Livingston-Coatney made arrangements with I Love a Clean San Diego to stencil Rolando Park storm drains in April. Paige and a group of neighborhood volunteers stenciled the Rolando Park storm drains on April 16.
Heather Erwin and Kathryn Kern organized Rolando Park’s Transitions Streets Group. Transition Streets is a neighborhood carbon reduction program that provides a curriculum for neighbors to come together over the course of 7 meetings to learn and take action in five areas (food, energy, water, transportation, and waste). The focus of the curriculum is on low-cost (or no-cost) actions that result in lowering both expenses and carbon footprint, while maintaining a high quality style of living. Many neighbors have already made significant changes to their homes: planting gardens, composting, installing solar power, rain barrels, grey water systems and more. The goal of this group will be to learn from the program, and each other and to increase disaster preparedness