Shift the Focus And I’ll Bet the Ranch


We all know the score. New year, new you. Right? In January you’re gunning for sainthood. Dressing-free troughs of squeaky ruffage, vats of juice cleanses resembling raw sewage, a spot of faux yoga perhaps, niet vodka, ixnay on the bread, and zero fun. Hello February and you’re back to your fat, drunk, Netflix-binging self.

I write this as a reminder of that adage we mortals know all too well: old habits die hard. Real hard. We are indeed creatures of habit, and once we age into that old dog, we growl at new tricks, strangers and our own reflection. I myself am a self-confessed master of the comf zone. Event cancelled? Oh no! (Hell yes!) New member coffee klatch? Can’t wait! (Forever isn’t long enough).

But then again, if I’m going to lead by example (as I try but epically fail to do with my daughter), I know that switching it up and trying new things is how we progress in life.

I know this Board has the brain power and the experience to achieve great things for our community, but a little introspection about the culture and focus it fosters might help.

This is what the Board’s New Year’s resolutions should be:

  1. Learn from Bob’s “retirement”: Stop micromanaging staff members and let newly appointed Christy Whalen do her job — NOT as an administrator, but as the RSFA Manager. You pay a CEO to run the day to day business, and that’s just what she needs to do. Constant mole hill mini-dramas and reformatting financial statements on a weekly basis are a waste of her time.

  2. Focus on long-term strategic goals rather than overzealous regulations like that recent rental draft lifted from a Fawlty Towers script. First of all, all Board members should review such proposals before such a public unveiling. Every member of the Board was elected/appointed too and may have some insight that, gasp, another doesn’t. But even though it went down like a plutonium balloon, it’s comforting that the Board listened to the chorus of dissenters and went back to the drawing board. That said, it would have helped if initially certain Board members didn’t think they were the smartest people in the room.

  3. Build your legacy by keeping your eye on the prize. The gold medal is, of course, FIBER. The RSFA for years did not have a regular working dialogue with San Diego County. Bob Hall made effective inroads in this area but is no longer a part of the project. The baton has been passed to Christy and I know she can run with it. The County has not given final approval for RSF Connect, but it’s clear from the County’s attendance at the last town hall meeting on the subject and its continued exchanges that they want this to happen, especially with the majority Covenant member support. Let’s keep the momentum chugging along.

  4. It’s the economy, stupid. Always was and always will be. How the heck else does red China’s authoritarian regime keep its people in check. It ain’t just bulldozers and gulags. It’s a smokin’ economy that allows the political elite to keep a lid on a bubbling pot of unrest. I never said it was right, but it’s the truth. I have a hunch that most people in the Ranch want their home values to rise. But here we are in our Kafkaesque Habitrail, endlessly huffing along on some wheel of hell with no finishing line. Build a better fiber network, and they will come. Build a better village life, and they will come. Build a better golf club environment with wider appeal, and they will come. Build a better water rate strategy, and they will come. And when more people want to come here because it’s more desirable, Guess what? Our homes’ worth may not always lag behind a Moroccan goat herder’s in the Atlas mountains.

I know there are balanced, reasonable and very smart people on this current Board who are listening. Shift the focus and build a legacy not only for yourselves, but for all of us in the Ranch. Let’s learn from our mistakes, say goodbye to the past, and stick to our new resolutions. I’ll bet the Ranch on you.


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