Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club requests delay on Association’s approval of resolution

The Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club Board of Governors was taken by surprise when members received the RSF Association’s agenda list last week and saw an update on the board’s resolution regarding the club, according to RSF Golf Club President Steve Dunn.

The Association board said it believed that the revisions to the resolution were minor clarifications but Dunn said that a number of issues in the relationship between the club and the Association need to be discussed.

He requested that a meeting be held between the two boards before the Association’s approval of the resolution, which formalizes an agreement that the Association manager is allowed to attend board of governor’s meetings and that the club’s general manager reports to the Association manager.

“While the Association believes these are just clarifications and modifications, we feel there are some inconsistencies with our mutual bylaws, especially as it relates to our general manager,” Dunn said.

RSF Golf Club General Manager Al Castro said the Association’s passing of the resolution would immediately trigger a conflict to the club’s bylaws that state that the GM reports to “the board of governors, period.”

“I don’t feel like in the spirit of our relationship that this has been handled properly,” Dunn said.

Dunn said the board of governors two months ago requested a meeting with the Association at the end of January to review the latest financial information, and to help the Association understand where some of their challenges have been and where they are headed as a club.

RSF Association President Ann Boon said the Association board had not forgotten about the request to meet in January and was looking forward to doing so. After much discussion, the board decided to wait until after the joint meeting and vote on the resolution in February.

The new Association manager, Bill Overton (visiting the meeting and not officially joining the staff until Jan. 28), agreed with the board’s decision, noting that nothing would be lost by waiting 30 days and that the delay was a demonstration in diplomacy.

A resolution has been in place between the golf club and the Association since 1987, and it is reviewed every 10 years. It was last looked at in 2007 and will be reviewed again in 2017. Several amendments have been made, such as one in 2013 to let condominium owners join the club.

The resolution discussion at the meeting was heightened when Dunn said that the golf club board had already fought and “lost” on the points of having their general manager report to the Association and to have the Association’s general manager attend their meetings.

Dunn said the club has moved past the points that they lost on and said he thinks there is a lot of difference between words on paper and the actual relationship between the club and the Association. He said the club has been independent since 1987 and while they know they can’t have full independence, they want the Association to understand their vision and where they’re headed, and to get everyone on the same page.

“We believe we’re moving forward in a very positive way that very well may modify significantly this resolution,” Dunn said, indicating more would be revealed in their meeting at the end of January.

RSF Association Directors Rochelle Putnam and Kim Eggleston remarked that they didn’t understand the perceived conflict and the “trepidation” with having the GM report to both boards.

Putnam said the fact that Dunn believed the modifications to be subject to debate crystallized in her mind the need to move forward with the resolution. She doesn’t believe that the GM’s reporting the Association or the manager attending club board meetings is up for debate.

“I don’t think the desire is to micromanage the golf club, I think it just formalizes a natural relationship,” Eggleston said. “We’re all in this together.”

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