Memorandum of Understanding 

March 6, 2020

WHEREAS, the community of Borrego Springs, California is the primary gateway for visitors to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP, the Park), which surrounds the community on all sides;

WHEREAS, ABDSP, a National Natural Landmark and an International Biosphere Reserve, is the largest desert State Park in the nation (640,000 acres) and one of the largest protected areas in the West;

WHEREAS, the Park and the community, together, drive national and international visitation exceeding ~ 500,000 tourists each year. (Visitors to the ABDSP account for over $40 million in annual revenue to the region.);

WHEREAS, Borrego Springs encompasses a thriving community with 3,400 permanent residents, 5,000 seasonal residents, golf  courses, lodging establishments, a university research center, airports, electric vehicle-charging stations, and a community medical center; 

WHEREAS, Borrego Springs is California’s first International Dark Sky Community and is home to numerous art, architecture, music, environment, sport, and recreation events and experiences;

WHEREAS, the community of Borrego Springs has a diversity of active, effective, and engaged volunteer organizations, State,
Federal, and County agencies, and thriving local businesses;

WHEREAS, there is a strong desire to build, maintain, and preserve a sense of place, community identity, and pride, stressing the authentic and unique attributes of the town and region;

WHEREAS, there is a need for a council to link community organizations, focus resources, prioritize activities, engage publics, orient the community toward an economically vibrant and sustainable future, define attainable goals, and identify policies of government agencies that foster effective stewarding of the town and region;

THE UNDERSIGNED parties to this Memorandum of Understanding commit to support the following Mission and Objectives:

MISSION

To celebrate, promote, and protect the unique character, irreplaceable resources, and economic vitality of the Borrego Springs Community and the Anza Borrego Desert State Park for residents, businesses, visitors, and future generations.

OBJECTIVES

  • Advocate long-term economic vitality, social equity, and well-managed growth for the community and Park by facilitating and supporting the integration of planning, natural and cultural resource management, land use, and economic development

  • Identify and facilitate a shared vision for community and region with an emphasis on sustainable tourism and destination management

  • Promote inclusiveness through a commitment to citizen involvement, diverse membership, outreach, partnerships, and collaboration  

  • Serve as a forum for discussion, input, and community action on topical issues, opportunities, and challenges related to the mission

SCOPE OF CONCERN

BVSC will confine its deliberations to issues and strategic actions related to Sustainable Tourism, Natural and Cultural Resource Management, Land Use, and Economic Development.

MEMBERSHIP 

The Council consists of (1) one Member from each of the signatory organizations, institutions, and businesses. There is no limit to the number of organizations, institutions, and businesses that may join the Council. The Council may create and utilize an advisory group representing public and private stakeholders.

MEETING GOVERNANCE & PROCEDURES

The Council will convene at least once per year and more frequently as needed.

Council meetings will be governed by Roberts Rules of Order.

As a collaborative body, the Council will strive to make decisions using a consensus process. If the Council is not able to arrive at a decision to which all members consent, a member may call to decide by majority vote.

A meeting quorum will consist of a majority of Council Members.

Each Member will have one vote. No proxy votes will be allowed.

Individuals and representatives of non-member organizations may attend, bring forth issues, and testify at Council meetings.

LEADERSHIP TEAM

The Members of the Council will elect a 5-person Leadership Team from the signatories.

Ideally, the individuals elected to the Leadership Team should represent a broad spectrum of the community.

The members of the Leadership Team will serve one-year terms and may be re-elected to additional terms. 

The Leadership Team will meet at least once per quarter or as needed.  A meeting quorum will consist of 3 members of the Leadership Team.   

The Leadership Team’s responsibilities will include but not be limited to the following

  • Schedule, plan, provide notice, and preside at Council Meetings

  • Implement the Councils goals and support the Council’s activities

  • Make time-sensitive decisions necessary for the functioning of initiatives undertaken by the council

  • Other responsibilities as agreed to by the council

AMENDMENTS

This Memorandum of Understanding can only be amended by a majority of Council members at any regular or special meeting, provided the notice for the meeting includes written proposals for the amendments at least 10 days in advance of the meeting at which they are to be acted upon.