RSFA August Board Meeting

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Newly installed board president Bill Weber made a couple of common sense changes to the way the August RSFA board meeting was run. Member input for agenda items wasn’t relegated to the beginning (and thus forgotten) but instead was heard during the agenda item discussion. That was nice. And the board meeting started more or less on time even though they had only finished half of the executive session, opting to continue the executive session until after the open portion of the board meeting. Those of us from the peanut gallery thank you.

Since the board meeting covered a lot of ground, I am opting to discuss many of the items in separate articles:

Golf Course Trees

Two things happened after last month’s board meeting where the subject of cutting down golf course trees was discussed. As per directors Laurel Lemarie’s and Lorraine Kent’s request last meeting, a Forest Health and Preservation Committee member was called upon to observe when the golf course cut down an additional five trees two weeks ago. And second, a plan was hammered out between the Forest committee and golf course personnel to deal with tree cutting and, more importantly, tree replanting. Click here to read the plan.

During this board meeting, board president Bill Weber stated that trees in excess of the golf course remodel plan had been recently removed in addition to the many more that had been removed over the past 15 or so years. He went on to say that the golf course had not adopted a tree replacement plan, hence this new plan that he said was a good compromise since neither side was 100% happy with it.

Bill Beckman, the Forest committee president gave a presentation describing what has happened with golf course tree cutting over the past many years and what should be done going forward. You can read his remarks here, and see the short eight slide presentation here.

Some key statistics I found alarming: Only 50% of trees identified in 2014 remain on the golf course, and only 6% of golf course trees are immature, meaning tree depopulation is going to continue unless corrective action is taken.

My question is whether or not the decision makers at the golf course believe in any of this and whether they are going to help repopulate golf course trees. Based on what I heard, I am skeptical.

Blair Nicholas, president of the golf club board of governors, emphasized and prioritized wanting to remove unhealthy and dangerous trees and said that planting Eucalyptus trees was prohibited, which is odd since the current recommended tree list available on the RSFA web site lists five different Eucalyptus species. In addition, Forest committee members have complained that the remodel project is still digging irrigation trenches close enough to healthy trees to damage them requiring their removal. Normally large projects like this would have an arborist fence out no go areas around large trees to not damage them, but this project isn’t doing that.

Unaudited 2020/2010 Full Year Results

This slide says it all – this is the extra money the Association earned over and above expenses for the fiscal year 2020/2021. The red line represents what it would have been without the large government PPP loan forgiveness. Regardless, we ended up with a large operational “profit” which gets allocated into the various fund buckets.

Suffice it to say that the Association is in great financial shape. Which is good because…

The Golf Club Is Spending Lots of Money

The board approved an extra $174K in unbudgeted capital expenses for greens equipment.  In addition, they approved about $400K extra for front nine change orders and will ask about the same (or more) for the back nine renovation.

While no board member asked this question during the meeting, I’ve been told that board members were apprised by the finance committee that the golf club finances can support these extra expenses.

Sure would be nice if the golf course spent money on things we could all see and use, like, oh I don’t know, maybe a snack bar wind wall?

Pharmacy Construction To Start By Year End?

Artist rendering of proposed new pharmacy building in the village.

The board approved a two year extension for the Association construction permit to build the long awaited new pharmacy in the village. Covid and the generally slow County permitting process is what has been delaying this much needed and wanted project. The pharmacy’s owner was at the board meeting and he expressed his hope that construction will start by the end of the year. The site will be kitty corner to the existing pharmacy on the seemingly abandoned lot in the village. Some basic cleanup of that site would no doubt be appreciated by all while we await construction.

Wood and Hardie Board

Director Greg Gruzdowich tried to make a motion, seconded by Laurel Lemarié to overturn parts of board resolution 2019-103 that restricted the use of wood as an exterior building material and prohibited the use of Hardie board. He was thwarted when director Rick Sapp raised procedural objections and also asked that staff weigh in on it. Gruzdowich will work between now and September with staff, the Association’s lawyer, other directors, God, and whoever else to appease Sapp’s requirements. Given that over 90% of members polled by the RSF Post want this, you’d think the board would give it some kind of priority.

Future Items

One other innovation (at least for RSF) that Bill Weber introduced at this board meeting was a standing agenda item that allows board members to request agenda items for the next meeting.

Lorraine Kent asked that the FireWatch project come up for discussion with reference to the Association statement that member’s multi spectral images would be given to the Fire Department. Quite a few members had contacted Kent expressing concern that their property images would be given to the Fire Department.

Association general manager Christy Whalen said the Association would honor requests to not share individual FireWatch images with the fire department if a member asked. The Association has set up an email for FireWatch related questions, so presumably that would be a good place to send such requests: FireWatch@RSFAssociation.org.

Manners

One last observation. I’m not one to give much credence to feminist arguments about a glass ceiling, or how men dismiss women in the workplace. It’s a tough world out there and everyone needs sharp elbows to make an impact.

But.

This is the second board meeting in a row where it has been painfully obvious even to me that the two women board members are routinely being interrupted, not allowed to finish their sentences and even ignored. The male board members who do this might want to reconsider their manners for the next meeting.