By Karen Billing
In a close vote, the Rancho Santa Fe Association membership voted against the Rancho Santa Fe Association’s $2.4 million purchase of the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club. The official results are 638 votes in favor of the purchase, and 659 votes against the purchase.
According to the RSF Association, 1,859 ballots were sent to members and 1,297 votes were returned.
While the voter turnout was high, it was slightly short of the highest ballot return on record, which was 1,314 votes.
In April 2013, the community voted 85 percent in favor of the sale, with 667 people voting in favor of the purchase out of 786 ballots returned.
“We will cancel the escrow and the Association won’t be purchasing the Garden Club building,” said RSF Association Acting Manager Ivan Holler.
Helen DiZio, Garden Club president, said they have no comment at this time.
The votes were counted on May 6 by election inspector Bruce Bishop and his assistant, as well as appointed election assistants from the community, Rob Schaefer and David Moon.
Several community members were present to observe.
At the RSF Association’s Annual Meeting on May 8, President Philip Wilkinson said there are now 2,089 registered voters, representing 77 percent of the community. Since February, the RSF Association worked hard to increase voter registration, which was at about 62 percent registered, according to the Association.
“We had a tremendous turnout on the Garden Club vote, it was a good example of democracy at work,” Wilkinson said. “We will continue to target non-registered voters until we get everyone registered.”