Rancho Santa Fe community encouraged to register to vote

By Karen Billing

Voter registration continues to be a hot topic at the Rancho Santa Fe Association on the verge of two big upcoming community votes — one on the Association’s $2.4 million purchase of the RSF Garden Club and the other vote to elect two new directors to the RSF Association board. The winning candidates will take their seats on the RSF Association board in July. Currently, of the potential of 3,200 voters in the RSF Covenant, about 1,800 are registered to vote.

“The fact that only half of the community is registered to vote is a big concern of ours,” RSF Association Board President Philip Wilkinson said.

On Feb. 27, the RSF Association received a petition signed by the number of people necessary to trigger a vote on the RSF Garden Club purchase.

A vote in April 2013 resulted in 667 of 785 votes in favor of the Garden Club purchase, but the petition signees believed that the deal had changed enough during the last several months of negotiations to warrant another vote.

The last day to register to vote on the RSF Garden Club purchase item is March 24. The language for the RSF Garden Club vote will be approved by the RSF Association board at its March 20 meeting and mailed April 4. The deadline to return ballots will be May 5.

At its March 6 meeting, the RSF Association board appointed Bruce Bishop as an election inspector for the vote. The board will also appoint two members to assist Bishop in the ballot count. The count will be held in an open meeting where any member is allowed to attend and observe the process.

RSF resident Lisa Bartlett requested that pros and cons comments be included in the ballot mailing, as well as a listing of potential other uses of the Community Enhancement Fund money.

RSF Association Director Larry Spitcaufsky said it’s not the board’s job to weigh pros and cons, but simply to state clear bullet points on what the deal is without any filters.

The last day to register to vote for the election of the new RSF Association board members is April 25. There are currently seven candidates for two seats: (alphabetical order) Dominick Addario, Ann Boon, Daniel Bunn, Susan Callahan, Kim Eggleston, Alex Kaiser and Steven Sansone.

Ballots will be mailed on May 8 after the RSF Association’s Annual Meeting and the election will close June 9.

Wilkinson did note that voter registration is making a move in the positive. He said in the last week, about 30 members had come in to register to vote.

“We’d like to see that continue,” Wilkinson said.