Candidates seek election to three Rancho Santa Fe special district boards


By Joe Tash

Seats on the boards of directors of three special districts that provide such services as water, fire protection, sewage treatment and landscape maintenance are on the ballot in the Nov. 4 election.

The three special districts are the Santa Fe Irrigation District, the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District and the Rancho Santa Fe Community Services District.

This fall, three seats came up for election for the Santa Fe Irrigation District, which provides water service to residents of Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach and part of Fairbanks Ranch.

Two of the seats were uncontested. Board president Michael Hogan and former water board member Augustus Daddi will serve four year terms.

Two candidates qualified for the ballot for the Div. 3 seat, which represents Rancho Santa Fe — incumbent John Ingalls and challenger Marlene King. However, Ingalls resigned from the board in September and endorsed King, saying he did not want to be re-elected.

King is president of the Fairbanks Ranch Homeowners Association and a retired teacher and school administrator. While Ingalls has said he doesn’t intend to accept another term on the Santa Fe board, his name remains on the ballot, and King must receive the most votes in order to be elected.

Among the issues that motivated King to run, she said, was talk about a possible merger with the Olivenhain Municipal Water District or another neighboring agency. Over the past couple of years, some members of the Santa Fe board, including Ingalls, have expressed interest in a possible merger as a way of saving overhead costs. Others, however, including King, have questioned such a move, noting that Santa Fe owns rights to water in Lake Hodges, which other districts such as Olivenhain don’t possess.

Another reason she would be against a merger, said King, is that Olivenhain’s rates are higher than Santa Fe’s. Currently, Fairbanks Ranch is split between the two water districts.

King said she would be open to cost-sharing and other partnership opportunities with neighboring districts including Olivenhain.

As for why voters should support her, she said, “They will have someone represent them who will do their homework.” Her focus would be, “Is our water safe, will we have enough, will it be at the lowest possible price?”

In the race for the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District board, three candidates are running for two seats on the board.

Incumbents Tucker S. Stine and John Tanner are seeking new four-year terms, and there is one challenger, businessman Scott M. Union.

According to his candidate statement, Stine is a businessman and CEO who lives in Rancho Santa Fe and owns a consulting business that works with developers and homebuilders to create healthy, sustainable communities. He has served on homeowners association boards, as well as the San Diego YMCA Board of Directors, he is communications chair for the Urban Land Institute of San Diego/Tijuana and marketing director for TEDx San Diego.

Tanner is running to retain his seats on both the fire protection and community service district boards. In his statement for the fire board election, he said, “The well managed district is financially solvent and debt free, while incorporating the best equipment and people in the profession.”

Note: Scott Union did not respond to an email requesting biographical information by presstime for this newspaper.

Four candidates are running for three open seats on the board of the community services district, which provides wastewater treatment for Rancho Santa Fe and nearby communities, and also contracts with the Rancho Santa Fe Association to maintain landscaping along the public right-of-way within the covenant.

Seeking four-year terms are incumbents Tanner and Dale Nelson, appointed incumbent Bill Hinchy and challenger Laurel Lemarie.

Lemarie is a member of the San Dieguito Planning Group and a computer systems analyst. According to her candidate statement, if elected, she would support undergrounding projects for power, cable and high-speed Internet.

Hinchy is a retired attorney and 38-year resident of Rancho Santa Fe, who has served as president of the Rancho Santa Fe Association and tennis club, and as president of Las Ancianos. He is also a managing member of two real estate limited liability companies that own and operate commercial and residential property in San Diego.

Nelson is a 48-year resident of Rancho Santa Fe and has served as president and as a member of the community services district board for many years. He is an elder of the RSF Village Church, a two-time president of the RSF Rotary Club and was president of the RSF Garden Club. He recently flew on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. for World War II veterans.