Letters to the Editor: Dec. 3 issue

New Rancho Santa Fe Association normal is a constant state of flux

One of the problems with the obvious “clean sweep” mentality of our current board and its president as evidenced by the systematic and aggressive firing of all our key people: manager, CFO, attorneys, insurance providers and auditors (all long-term, knowledgeable advisors or employees) is that the new normal is a constant state of flux.

Recently, our only planner with experience at the county of San Diego left abruptly, and the board is scurrying to find yet another newbie. In this climate, the board is trying to make changes to our bylaws, it has activated a new Association web site with serious member privacy issues, it is being sued by our own members and it has succeeded to alienate many members of our tennis and golf clubs.

Within this chaos, we have witnessed the hiring of multiple consultants and mounting attorney fees. It is increasingly obvious that this board is not going to be able to operate within their budget, and it will be interesting to see from which pot they will try to take funds to make up for the shortfall.

Marie Addario, Past President of the RSF Association Board

Anne Feighner McCarthy, Past Vice President of the RSF Association Board

Bill Hinchy, Past President of the RSF Association Board

The Golf Club does not need saving

Supporters of the Covenant Club say that we need to build this extravagant new facility in order to “save” the Golf Club. They cite declining membership trends and financial pressures at the club.

What they fail to mention is that, at nearly 500 members, RSF Golf Club (RSFGC) has substantially more members than any other private club in the area. (Even though, unlike other golf clubs, RSFGC can only draw from a limited universe.)

What they also fail to mention is that, with dues of $730 per month, RSFGC club members are paying only about half of what members of other private golf clubs in the area are paying. (And only about 60 percent when you include debt service payments.) In other words, there is ample room to raise dues, if necessary, to meet increasing costs in the future.

What they also fail to mention is that, even with those low dues, RSFGC generally breaks even on an operating basis, with no financial assistance from the Association. Enrollment fees fund the club’s reserves and pay for capital expenditures. And the RSFGC long-range plan projects financial stability over the next 10 years, even assuming modest declines in membership.

What they also fail to mention is that RSFGC currently has approximately $4.5 million in cash reserves that can be used for future capital expenditures, all contributed by Golf Club members.

And, finally, what they fail to mention is that the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club is a highly-coveted and highly-respected private club. As just the latest example, the Golf Club recently received the distinguished “Emerald Club of the World” award given by Board Room Magazine.

The idea that we have to invest $10 to $15 million in a pool/fitness center in order to “save” the most successful golf club in the area is, quite frankly, preposterous.

Bill Johnson,

Rancho Santa Fe

Possible location for Rancho Santa Fe Association to build grocery store

The following letter was sent to RSF Association Manager Bill Overton and to this newspaper for publication.

My name is Jim Zolin and I have been a longtime resident of the Covenant. I noticed that the three parcels directly behind the flower shop is for sale. Since the recent closing of the Village Market has put a burden on many of the residents, I’m wondering if the Association would consider purchasing the property and building a grocery store with perhaps some retail space above the market on the second floor.

I realize that the parking would be an issue since the three parcels combined total out at 11,644 sq. feet. There would have to be subterranean parking. It would be a somewhat costly venture, but would solve to some degree the declining appeal of the village which now houses too many real estate offices and banks.

I’m sure that you, along with the other Association members, are aware of the declining appeal of the village. We need to do something about it, and quickly. I would be in favor of a minimal rise in the Association property taxes to subsidize the high rent costs which prohibits retail stores from doing business in the Covenant. I have been a resident for over 40 years and have noticed the continual decline in the previous Village’s atmosphere.

Returning the Village to its former status is far more important then spending money on the proposed Covenant Club. As the Village appeal declines, so will property values. Thank you.

Jim Zolin