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Time for a Rancho Santa Fe Association board progress report

Ann Boon
Ann Boon

By Ann Boon, President,

Rancho Santa Fe Association Board

We are now fully one third into this fiscal year and the projects that the RSF Association board has undertaken are moving along rapidly.  Some are even at the finish line.

Let’s start with our Number One priority: building our technology infrastructure.  As I have mentioned before, we have all hands on deck for this big and somewhat complicated priority.  We are working with existing cell and WiFi providers to find ways that they can offer improved service throughout the Covenant. We have asked all the big players (AT&T, Cox, Time Warner, Verizon) to develop competitive proposals for us and we should be receiving those in the next month or so.

At a minimum, these proposals should offer short-term, immediate improvements to services currently available.  In addition, we are talking to a variety of companies with the ability to provide updated technology so that we can develop longer-term strategies for significant improvement. Not only have staff and board members provided ideas and time on this priority, but also many Covenant residents with telecommunications experience are jumping in to help us.  Thanks to all of them.

Starting July 1, 2014, we have initiated ways and means to streamline the Covenant Design Review Committee’s procedures. We believe that opening CDRC meetings and eliminating some redundant steps for the applicants has had immediate benefits for all involved.  We have implemented a tracking system to monitor the time an application takes to wind its way through the system.

The CDRC is a vital component of our community effort to maintain the Covenant aesthetic. The goal of the board is to reduce the time and the cost to applicants, thereby making the CDRC process even more user-friendly while still remaining true to the rural nature of our beautiful community.

Your voice and your vote are important to us. The board is committed to increasing voter registration and voter participation.  This effort will involve streamlining and reviewing our registration rules with the help of our counsel. We have committed staff time to all these initiatives and will be reporting on these efforts in detail at upcoming board meetings.

Another important priority of this board is to run the Association more like a business.  Every Association function is being examined to find ways to increase efficiency and to reduce cost.  We intend to achieve these goals while maintaining the high level of service on which our community has learned to depend.

With input from our staff, several projects have already been undertaken with these goals in mind:  (1) We have outsourced the payroll function to free up staff time for other functions; (2) We are reviewing all vendors and service providers and seeking bids where none have been obtained for years; (3) We are having experts review all of our insurance coverage to make sure we have the proper coverage at the most appropriate cost. A great deal of effort on the part of individual board members, as well as staff, is going into these projects.  I am very grateful to all of them.

As you probably know, we are in the midst of a search to fill the position of Manager of the Association. The search firm that we hired will be bringing candidates for us to interview over the next two weeks.  We will keep you posted on that process.

Finally, a word about the very important vote that is before you, asking for $350,000 to fund the study for a proposed Health Club.  Your board members agree that a study is necessary and appropriate to examine scale, engineering and funding for the proposed project.  And, even though a community vote is not required by the Association’s bylaws, in the spirit of transparency and inclusiveness, the board determined in this instance to ask for a community-wide vote.  We hope that the community will support us in this so that we can proceed with the study which will in turn lead to a vote on the project itself in 2015.

Communication to and from your board is vital for the health of our community.  I sincerely appreciate hearing your ideas, concerns and suggestions every week.  Ann.boon@me.com


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