Opinion/Letters to the Editor December 2021/January 2022

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Dec. 2 issue:

Story highlights importance of equestrian community to RSF

I am happy to be a subscriber/supporter of the Review, with wonderful writers like Karen Billing who covers the Rancho Santa Fe community so well. Her cover story Nov. 23 featuring my daughter Caroline included everything I knew about her success in the national riding arena, and highlights how important the equestrian community is to our community. The trainers at Osuna are truly world-class, nationally- recognized as the best in America (the arena at the Los Angeles horse show is named after local trainer Hap Hansen, indicating how the American horse community respects him).

John Ingalls

Rancho Santa Fe

Dec. 9 issue:

‘Safety Notification’

Cell phones have become are large part of our everyday life but if your current cell phone operates on the 3G network, you may need to upgrade your cell phone before your mobile provider shuts down its 3G network, to avoid losing service including the ability to activate 9-1-1 in an emergency. Our “Safety Notification” to all from the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District is to please take the valuable time and contact your mobile provider directly to get their plan for the 3G retirement and how you can prepare.

As early as January 1, 2022, mobile carriers are shutting down their 3G networks, which rely on older technology, to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G. As a result, many older cell phones will be unable to make or receive calls and texts, including calls to 9-1-1 emergency calls, or use data services. Again, please contact your cell phone carrier directly for additional information specific to their plan and time line.

Dave McQuead

Deputy Chief, Rancho Santa Fe Fire

Dec. 16 issue:

Why have RSF Association regulations?

The Art Jury (“AJ”) is the central function of the RSF Association, and the appointment of new art jurors is the most important decision a president can make. The process is governed by the Protective Covenant (”PC”) and a board resolution used for decades. When both are not followed, as in 2017, turmoil, inconsistency and a loss of rural ambiance follows.

This year the president deviated from the specified process without board authorization by including others in the process who have a definite conflict of interest. The president skipped over the required step of the board giving the list of nominees to the president, and instead the president appointed an unqualified modern “spec builder” to the Art Jury (??). That erroneous appointment has been withdrawn.

The failure to follow procedures and the obvious lack of due diligence should alarm members. When an Art Jury volunteer’s application receives six hearings in five months at the conceptual level, it shows a wasteful inefficient AJ process, and an applicant with excessive non-conforming aspects. It also shows an applicant who does not understand or is not sympathetic to the requirements for AJ approval and our community character. It also shows someone who will not represent member interests and the PC.

The PC is a mutual covenant to be uniformly applied and consistently enforced in order to retain our architectural controls, and appointments to the AJ must have that mindset. Deviation from the established processes and regs is rarely a good idea. When allowed to happen by the board, it is inexcusable.

When important matters are decided by a 4-3 vote by the board instead of following regulations, why have the regulations?

Bill Strong, member since 1985 and trying to improve the AJ process since 1998.

January 13 issue:

Protect our community by keeping our right of ways safe and open to the public

Our residential roadways in Rancho Santa Fe need to have dedicated right of ways for walkers, bicycle and other pedestrian uses. There is an eight-foot shoulder on each side of the road for these uses. On trash days this is where you should put your trash containers for pick-up. However, what we see along many of restricted right of ways are rocks, huge vegetation, boulders, etc. that in most cases prohibit walking and bike riding within the eight-foot right of way required by the county for those uses.

The net effect of this misuse of the shoulders in our community creates a very hodgepodge look to our roadways. Instead of a seamless open walking or bike riding area, we are forcing these activities to use the roads and then compete with the cars — a dangerous activity.

The eight feet on each side of the residential roadways should be used for allowing safe passage for our neighbors and friends who want to walk or ride on the county right of way provided on each side of the road. Sometimes this apron area can be used temporarily for visitor parking or delivery vehicles. The area next to the roadway is best used when covered with wood chips, gravel, or low plantings. This is the entry to your property through the right of way and it should be kept open for others to use.

According to the County of San Diego Public Road Standards, our residential roadways are generally classified as Collector Series with no improvements which means it provides for two 12-foot travel lanes and two 8-foot shoulders.

Please take a good hard look at our public roadways, especially now that schools are open and children are walking or riding their bikes on our roadways again. Help protect our community by keeping our right of ways safe and open to the public.

Marion Dodson

Rancho Santa Fe

An Open Letter to the Rancho Santa Fe Board of Trustees

Having served our school district as a trustee for 12 years and presided over it three times, I understand that the board must make difficult decisions in order to benefit the community of which it serves. Observing the governor’s mandate to vaccinate children over the age of 5 should be seen as such a benefit to our district which includes children, teachers, parents, grandparents, senior citizens and our immune-compromised.

Today In California, 38 percent of hospitals are in crisis, and 43 percent expect a crisis this week.

The school board’s unanimous decision to message the governor that requiring vaccinations for students is “ill-advised and in opposition to the educational, social, and emotional goals of the district” is reckless. Its thinking is convoluted. The number one issue here is protecting the health of the district, its students and teachers from Covid and should be the school board’s goal. If some parents do not want to vaccinate their children, they should have the option for at-home schooling, and our district can certainly provide and fund that alternative.

One of our trustees said he believes in vaccinations but “lets his own children choose whether they wish to be vaccinated”. Since when do 6 or even 13 year- olds have the experience and knowledge to make decisions about their health and the health of an entire community? What kind of message is being sent here?

The school board must make decisions based on the best medical science.

Marie Addario

Former Rancho Santa Fe School board president

January 20 issue:

We abide by the Protective Covenant

In a December 16, 2021 Letter to the Editor, the writer alleged that the RSF Association board by a 4-3 vote failed to abide by the Protective Covenant. That allegation is false and misleading. The decision to extend the search process for candidates for the Art Jury does not in any way abrogate the provisions of the Protective Covenant, a fact that was confirmed by our counsel in that public meeting.

Bill Weber

President, Rancho Santa Fe Association