Who I am and Why I’m Running for RSFA Board

By Lorraine Kent

May 8, 2021

My name is Lorraine Kent, and I’m running for RSF Association Board of Directors.

As a 25-year Covenant homeowner and a native San Diegan, I know how precious our community guards its privacy, peacefulness, and unique trail system. We are dramatically different from neighboring large Estate communities who build imposing large walls surrounding their homes, staffed with guards at the gatehouse to keep people out. Some say we are open and rural with good reason,

Rancho Santa Fe is unusually attractive and valuable as a high-class place of residence because of the rare quality of its landscape, trees, and shrubs and the fine architecture and other improvements established by its property owners,” and “most desirous of preserving, continuing and maintaining this character of the community and rare landscape features and of upholding the quality of all future architecture and improvements.”

(taken from the RSF Protective Covenant). It takes time to understand the beauty and appreciate how unique our community is and how valuable it will become in the future. Our biggest threat is density from within and outside of our community. As the neighboring communities build more homes along our borders, we will continue to see an increase in traffic congestion, pressure to amend our covenant bylaws, thus impacting our community character and costing us more for our infrastructure and resources.

My Background

I worked from the age of 16 until my second child was born. I graduated from SDSU with a BS degree in Health Science. After college, I worked for a start-up Demographics and Marketing Research company that EQUIFAX later acquired, where I was a National Sales Director. I moved here in my 30’s, married my husband in our backyard, and celebrated our wedding reception in the RSF Golf Club Restaurant. Golf was the rage back then, and we joined the RSF Golf Club conveniently located down the street from where we live. We were members for years until after our 3rd child was born. So, I have a keen understanding of what it was like to be a member of our golf club because, during our membership, we voted to build a new Players’ Clubhouse and remodel the restaurant. I supported both projects.

Putting our golf membership on hold was difficult, but it allowed us the needed time to spend on our children’s school and sports programs. For the next 18 years, we coached, watched, and supported our three children’s sports and activities: golf, flag football, Little League, Pee Wee soccer, Jr Dunkers basketball, lacrosse, surfing, volleyball, tennis, Community Center sock hop dances, Cotillions at the Garden Club, equestrian riding lessons, and shows at Show Park. Most local sports programs took place on local school fields, RSF Fields, or RSF Golf & Tennis clubs. And every winter, ranch families would head up to Mammoth for ski week over the President’s holiday. In October, the school carnival highlighted a small school parade around our village, and in the evening, kids went to Whispering Palms for Halloween trick or treating. The 4th of July parades were always a hit with accompanying our kids on bikes riding through town. The opportunities given to our children in this community are outstanding given the highly rated K-8 school located in the village and easy access to a wide variety of activities, and the open space for children to play and explore. Very few communities offer this type of atmosphere. I have served on many community committees over the years, both school and RSF Association related.

Why It’s Important To Have Lived Here Before 2015

Our village market “Stumps” left in 2015, so it’s hard to imagine anyone moving here after 2015 understanding what “Village Revitalization” means to long-time residents. Maybe this is why it has not been a board priority. I am passionate about providing the community all the options and ideas on what we can accomplish short-term (3-5 years) and plan for the next 25 years for our village center. My goal is simple and will require community involvement from local business owners, Association staff, and community members. There has been a lot of talking over the years about consultants hired, community member’s input solicited, but nothing presented to the membership as a whole. I plan to provide the community with options. We are in a rare place in time where building space in the village is for sale. Other options are partnerships, grants, land use modifications, and subsidies. We need to evaluate the pros and cons of all options.

  • First, we need to EVALUATE what we have in the village, who owns it, what land use exists, and all the possible opportunities.
  • Second, we need to PLAN. The community and businesses need to develop an agreed-upon short-term plan (3-5 years) and a long-term plan for success. What will our village and community look like in 25 years?
  • Lastly, we need to present all the options to homeowners on potential costs, risks, and benefits for each option and VOTE. It’s simple: Evaluate, plan and vote.

Any candidate can tell you they want village revitalization, underground utilities, better roads, or less traffic, but what it comes down to is Governance. Anyone who has been on a board or attended our board meetings knows the President of the Board appoints members to committees, sets the plan, and works with the manager. The next board president will decide the focus, strategy and determine if the community gets to vote on the issue or only goes for a board vote.

Why This Matters

Boards establish whether the community gets to vote or not. Previous boards required the community to vote when spending $300,000 out of the General Fund for a new amenity plan. In contrast, other boards vote on spending over $300,000 per year, out of the General fund, without a community-wide vote for shared-cost agreements. Some board presidents create Ad Hoc committees with meetings noticed, agendas posted, and minutes available for homeowners to view. Other board presidents appoint Ad Hoc committees and operate without meeting notices, minutes, or community involvement. Either way, the $300,000 almost always goes over budget and ends up costing homeowners more money in the end for a multitude of reasons.

I’ve participated in both Ad Hoc and chartered committees**, and ALL meetings were noticed adequately of the place, time, and topics discussed, with follow-up minutes posted online. I firmly believe if you are doing the right thing, you welcome oversight and community participation. Some may say the collaborative approach takes too long to get anything accomplished. I beg to differ. Collaboration executed effectively will continuously improve decision-making and result in a better outcome. Yet another reason that living in our community and attending many board meetings over the years, as I have, can make a difference in how you represent homeowners. Private sector experience and public sector experience operate very differently. Serving the public requires transparency.

To Represent The Community

I want to continue to engage the community and set priorities accordingly. To do this, I propose we establish a community-wide survey conducted every four years to get a baseline of community needs and areas to improve. I want to measure against that baseline every four years to evaluate our successes, identify areas still needing improvement and focus on future objectives. Rather than the board driving the focus, the community will steer the direction. The advantage of the new framework will deter new board members from distractions on our community’s goals and drive planning for capital and strategic projects and workforce. It’s a planned approach to ensuring a continued successful future. I ask for your vote for the RSF Board of Directors so that we can begin this important work together.

In closing, I want to hear from you. I would like to engage more of the community on our committees, and I welcome your thoughts on how you would like to participate. Contact me at RSFkent@gmail.com

**My community involvement :

  • Covenant Association member (since 1996)
  • San Diego Taxpayer Association member (since 2010)
  • Osuna Ranch Committee member (since 2016)
  • Appointed to Prop AA Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee (ICOC) (from 2013- 2016):
    • $449 Million Bond initiative for San Dieguito Union High School District
    • Served as Secretary (3yrs); Produced an annual report to the Public on Financial expenditures
    • Reviewed significant building projects on all district schools
  • Appointed to RSF Association’s Traffic committee to study Roundabouts vs. Traffic Lights (from 2014-2015)
  • Served on the Sub-Committee of the Association’s initiative for a proposed new Tennis, Fitness and Aquatic Center. (from 2015-2016)
  • Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary (Lifetime member)
  • R. Roger Rowe School volunteer (1997-2014)
  • RSF Community Center volunteer (various yrs.)
  • Girl Scout Leader & Organizer/Consultants (2003-2011)

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