By Philip Wilkinson, Rancho Santa Fe Association President
Recent campaigns in the Ranch have been filled with mudslinging, misinformation, confusion, door-to-door campaigning, campaign signs in front yards, high
paidcampaign consultants, FedEx deliveries, costly web sites and more; all of which are unprecedented in the Ranch ... our peaceful 11-square-mile community with 1,750 homes and 5,000 residents...that little pond with the (recently) big ripples.
All this big money being spent to advance agendas, but really it is dividing the members and it’s having a negative impact on our community.
So what changes are this big money being spent for?
Transparency? No, this is the most transparent board in history, and absent confidential employee matters or legal matters covered under the Davis Stirling Act, members get all the information.
Fiscal Responsibility? No, this board, the Compensation Committee and the Finance Committee have done (and will continue to do) the most in depth operating expense analysis and implementation of cost-control measures in recent history. We have already advanced best practices and policies that will result in significant annual savings.
Broadband? Maybe, we all want faster, more reliable internet service, and we need to focus on working with the various providers to make this happen. The solutions aren’t cheap but it should be a priority.
Health Club Facility Approval? Maybe, some voters were confused that by giving a “yes” vote for the Garden Club purchase would mean a “no” vote on a potential fitness facility. That simply wasn’t the case. Maybe the Garden Club property could be a potential location for a health club facility?
Voter Registration Reform? Maybe, the current board has made this a priority. We’ve grown from 62 percent registered voters to 77 percent in 10 weeks but we need to find a way to improve and or simplify the process. To that end, a committee has been established to provide guidance on how we should, in fact, reform the process. Interestingly, while this has been a hot topic in recent campaigns the actual interest level from the membership to participate in this committee has been disappointingly low.
Covenant Design Review Committee (formerly Art Jury) Reform?
Bingo!Some members are unhappy with the CDRC process and would like to see some significant changes made to the process, maybe even eliminate it. The Design Review process, which was put into place nearly 90 years ago, is to insure that the protective Covenant maintains its historic rural character. While I agree that the process can always be improved upon and simplified I cannot imagine what the Covenant of Rancho Santa Fe would look like without a design review process. In my opinion that would be a reckless outcome.
Let’s put down the checkbooks and stop all the nonsense. This is a small pond and, regardless of who gets elected on June 9, we need to work together in a respectful manner on all the issues and put your community first.
Enough is enough...especially when it negatively impacts our Ranch community.