By Ann Boon, Rancho Santa Fe Association President
In the past, I have offered my thanks to the many Covenant members who have volunteered their valuable time to serve on both our standing and ad hoc committees as well as our Association board. Our staff members deserve our thanks, too, and I have often extended my appreciation to them as well. Sometimes, however, when a member of our staff goes “above and beyond the call of duty,” I feel special recognition is in order.
Our Acting Manager Ivan Holler is one such staff member. Since last March, when he added the job of Acting Manager to his already busy position of Assistant Manager, he has worked tirelessly to achieve the goals that our Association board has set, as well as to meet the ongoing needs of our members.
Ivan has been leading or coordinating efforts for us as we pursue improvements in wireless and broadband; as we analyze the feasibility of a health club and pool; as we attempt to increase voter registration; as we improve transparency and openness in conducting Association business; as we update our human resources policies; and as we investigate alternative futures for the Osuna Ranch property.
As Ivan took on responsibilities for financial, legal and personnel issues, he learned quickly and kept us all out of harm’s way. His understanding of the Davis-Stirling Act (the California law that covers HOAs) and his experience in working with San Diego County have been invaluable to our board in every instance, on every issue. Moreover, Ivan’s skill in these areas will undoubtedly be an invaluable asset to the new manager as they work together going forward.
On Jan. 28, when our new manager, Bill Overton, officially assumes his position, Ivan will move back to being “just” our Assistant Manager. Ivan will be able to focus his considerable skills on what we need him to do most right now: be our Project Manager for the wireless, broadband and health club projects. Of course, as if those assignments weren’t enough, Ivan will still be weighing in on the many questions related to land-use issues that come up around here.
So if you see him in a committee meeting or around the Association office, I hope you will take the time to let him know how much his efforts over the past year are appreciated.
I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge one other staff member, Daria Quay. As many of you will recall, about a year ago our board discovered that only about 65 percent of our Covenant members were registered to vote. We decided as a board that we wanted to increase that percentage.
We sent out numerous pleas to members to encourage them to register: we ran ads in this paper; we discussed in board meetings the importance of registering; we sent letters to unregistered members; and, as we have for years, we continued to provide registration forms to new members along with their other closing documents.
We had some success and were able to get registration up to about 72 percent. Nevertheless, our rate of increase seemed to be slowing until Daria came up with some creative solutions and decided to get personally involved in the effort.
First, Daria developed the “Welcome Basket,” a delightful collection of Covenant-related gifts for all new members. The key is that, in order to collect the basket, new members must come to the office to collect it in person. While they are in the office, they can also register to vote!
Next, Daria began to welcome new members with personal phone calls and notes rather than form letters. For November and December 2014, the first full months for which we have data, Daria’s success rate is running nearly 100 percent. Let’s hope that that rate will continue! Many thanks, Daria, for your creativity and persistence in this very important effort.
Both the Association board and the staff have a busy month ahead. All the project teams are in high gear. In addition, the Nominating Committee to find candidates interested in running for the Association board this spring will convene in this month. I will be chairing the committee, whose members include Vice President Craig McAllister and former board members Ken Bien, Larry Spitcaufsky and Bill Beckman. Please let us know if you are interested in running. There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of this Association’s Board of Directors!