By Philip Wilkinson, Rancho Santa Fe Association President
The recent RSF Association board election saw a great turnout with 1,544 members casting ballots, which represents 75 percent of registered voters. Congratulations to Ann Boon and Kim Eggleston for each winning a board seat for a three-year term, and thank you to Susan Callahan and Dominick Addario for their willingness to volunteer and serve their community.
Outgoing board member, treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee Larry Spitcaufsky, deserves our gratitude and appreciation for his service to the community as does retiring Finance Committee member Jim Putnam for his service and valuable input over the past three years. Many thanks to these community leaders.
As we close out this board term, I wanted to take this opportunity share the past year’s accomplishments of the RSF Association board and the Association’s dedicated staff:
•Upgraded the entire Association’s IT software and accounting system.
•Approved Golf Club membership rights for all condominium owners.
•Launched a new RSF Association web site.
•Approved a trial Farmers Market
•Obtained approval for outside funding for one more RSF Association Patrol officer
•Brought awareness to the issue of low percentage of registered voters, and through the outreach efforts of many individuals, voter registration increased from 62 percent to 77 percent in the three short months prior to the election.
•Established a committee to review how to simplify the voter registration process.
•Settled a significant lawsuit with no out-of-pocket cost to the RSF Association.
•Approved Golf Club tree management and turf reduction plans.
•Completed new trail and entrance to the sports field and the La Bajada entrance to the Covenant.
•Replaced over 7,000 feet of trail fencing around the golf course.
•Worked to bring expenditures in under budget this year and hold down costs in the upcoming fiscal year 2014/2015 budget. Grew reserve funding to $6 million and Community Enhancement Funds to $6 million.
•Established a permanent Compensation Committee that has already:
- Revised the employee vacation accrual policy (capping an employee’s maximum vacation accrued, or unused vacation, at two times their annual benefit) saving an estimated $1 million dollars over the next five years.
- Changed the employee sick leave policy to be consistent across all operating divisions.
- Engaged a new healthcare insurance broker and negotiated lower healthcare cost
- Implemented a new Employee Healthcare Premium contribution policy saving an estimated $173,000 annually.
•Establishing a new employee performance evaluation procedure and other best business practices to maintain employee accountability and EEOC compliance.
•We have recently eliminated Executive Committee meetings and have limited discussion in executive session, to only sensitive employee and legal matters in order to provide additional transparency.
Let’s continue to work together on solving the issues and challenges we face as a community, such as high-speed internet, controlling costs (which we have made great strides in doing so this past year) and providing those amenities that the membership wants. We need to continue to recruit qualified volunteers for these projects and keep the ideas, solutions, and recommendations flowing. There will always be ripples in this small pond, but if we didn’t have any ripples things would be stagnant and we wouldn’t be moving forward, would we?