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RSF Garden Club purchase: Transparency is the way to conduct community business

I recently attended the RSF Association board meeting that focused on the purchase of the RSF Garden Club.  Prior to speaking,we were advised that comments were to be limited to three minutes.  This I complied with, but more time was needed to present more information, so these are the salient points that should have been made.

At the March 2013 board meeting, the purchase of the RSF Garden Club was presented to the community; a question was posed, “Has the finance committee reviewed and voted on this purchase”?  The Association manager responded “it was too early for them to be involved.”  How could it be that the finance committee wouldnot review this purchase before it was presented to the community? This is not the way orderly business is conducted.

Having observed the finance committee in several sessions, I can attest to the quality of those members.  They are a group of highly skilled people who are very thorough and inquisitive of all details on such matters of importance to our community. I am equally confident that this committee would have reviewed, from all parties, every detail of this purchase before a presentation was made to the community. This examination would not just include the financial aspects of the purchase, but also look at all of the conditions of ownership.  While the chairman of this committee reviewed this purchase from the start, he was only one voice, whereas all members should have provided judgments.  If this process were followed the community would have voted on a purchase where all the facts were provided.

At the last board meeting I learned that the board first learned of the details that the Garden Club expected to keep their office space in perpetuity, and that all seven board members were surprised to learn of this “in perpetuity” part of the deal, and they all agreed then, that they could not buy a building that was encumbered in that way. To me, it is like buying a home, then later finding that the upstairs bedroom is occupied by someone not part of the family.

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Some members of the Association board argued that nothing in the deal had changed since the April vote by the Association membership.  It looks like a change to me, and I, like the seven Association board members, most certainly was not aware of this “in perpetuity” arrangement with the Garden Club when I voted.  I am sure many of you were not aware of it either.  If I had been aware of this part of the deal, I would not have voted for it, which I have to assume could be the case with many of you.

Finally, I commend RSF Association President Ann Boon and her supporters for their efforts to open all the windows and doors of the Garden Club, to let sunshine in the dark corners, so that all the information can be purified.  That is the transparent way to do business.

More open sessions on matters such as this will be helpful.

Sam Ursini

Member of the RSF Association and RSF Garden Club


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