Look At What Has Happened in Rancho Santa Fe!


Did You Know Anything About The Following? Is This How You Want Your Money Spent?

The signers of the attached letter wanted to share the letter with the entire RSFA (Rancho Santa Fe Association) membership in advance of the May 6th RSFA Board meeting. The intent was to allow the RSFA membership (you) to be informed and to provide input concerning what was being proposed and voted upon at the May 6th Board meeting.

On April 30th the plan for a Special RSFA Board of Directors meeting, to take place on May 6th, was announced and the agenda was revealed. The attached letter was submitted to the RSFA on April 30th but the RSFA Board has blocked the sending of the attached letter until May 14th, the day after the next Board meeting. This cover letter is provided so that all RSFA members are informed as to what has transpired since the original letter was submitted to the RSFA on April 30th.

At the RSFA Board meeting on Thursday, May 6th, 2021, the Board voted on a number of Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club (RSFGC) issues. The majority of the Board voted for and/or discussed the following:

1. Food & Beverage (F & B) at RSFA Clubhouse Restaurant:

  • For the past two years the RSFA has contributed $300,000 to the F & B operation relating to the main clubhouse restaurant. Prior to that time, the RSFGC was solely responsible for the F & B operation.
  • On May 6th the RSFA Board agreed that the amount to be paid by the RSFA for the coming year was to be increased from $300,000 to $470,934 for the coming fiscal year, an increase of over $170,000. Although less than 40% of the F & B operation relates to non-golfing members, the RSFA & RSFGC are splitting the F & B amount 50/50.
  • The RSFGC wanted the Board to pass an additional $300,000 expenditure relating to the new RSFGC manager’s salary, that they are looking to hire. The RSFGC wants the RSFA to pay 50%, or $150,000 of the $300,000. The Board postponed a vote until a Manager is actually hired and the salary is known.

2. Clubhouse Restaurant Renovation:

  • The RSFGC “hired” (they actually can’t hire anyone as they are not a legal entity) a design firm to come up with a plan for the “renovation” of the main clubhouse. The cost for the next stage of the design process is $80,000 and the Board approved the RSFA paying $40,000, with the balance to be paid by the RSFGC.
  • The design proposal for the renovation can be seen here.
  • The planned “renovation” is estimated to cost a few million dollars, presumably to be split 50/50 between the RSFA and RSFGC.

3. RSFGC Initiation Fees and Dues:

  • The initiation fees to join the RSFGC were increased from $50,000 to $75,000.
  • The monthly dues for RSFGC members were raised from $977 to $1,075, with a continuation of an additional $100 per month to retire the outstanding debt of $3 million. Of note, the RSFGC still owes the RSFA $3 million from the loan that was taken out to build the new Players’ Clubhouse in 2006. This debt is now to be paid in full in 2027. It was originally to be paid in full by 2014.

4. The Vaquero Lounge (Men’s Lounge) has now been renamed the Men’s Locker Room. The language concerning the motion was intentionally opaque. What this means is:

  • All RSFA women will be excluded from the Vaquero Lounge.
  • All non-golfing members (about 75% of the RSFA membership) will be excluded from the Player’s Clubhouse. If you want to enter the Players’ Clubhouse, you need to pay $75,000 (initiation fee) as well as the monthly dues and the $100 per month debt service.

At the RSFA Board meeting on April 1st the issues regarding discrimination relating to the Players’ Clubhouse were moved to the May meeting in order to allow the RSFA Board to obtain a legal opinion concerning the legality of the proposed plan. At the May 6th meeting, the manager indicated she had not been able to find counsel to render an opinion. The manager asked if she should continue to look for counsel and was informed there was no need as the Board already had two opinions and had decided to charge ahead.

What they didn’t indicate was that one opinion was a decade old and that the RSFA Board at the time decided that they were going to allow all RSFA members access to the Players’ Clubhouse and that women could use the Vaquero Lounge. What they also didn’t reveal at the meeting was that their usual counsel (who doesn’t have the expertise in the appropriate fields) had rendered something of an opinion recently, but recommended that someone with the requisite knowledge in the applicable fields was needed to render a definitive opinion.

If you care about these issues, it is not too late to do something about them! When the new Board is seated, as of July 1st, depending on its composition, they can undo what has been voted upon by a 6 to 1 majority re the discrimination issues, and the other issues as well. Of the six that voted concerning the Players’ Clubhouse issue, five are RSFGC members and intimately involved with the issues at hand. Additionally, you can express your opinions concerning the proposed “renovation” of the main clubhouse before a few more million are spent on RSFGC plans.

The money that has been spent and is proposed to be spent represents your funds. Is this how you wish to have your money spent?

Ilia Christy, Marcia Lee and Sam Ursini

Also, please read: Down The Rabbit Hole about the golf Player’s Club.