2024 BOD Election: Time for Change

By Cari Chanin, Ilia Christy, Sam Ursini and Carole Warren

Editor’s note: To facilitate robust conversation on the issues that affect the community, the RSF Post is steadfast in its commitment — as it always has been while I have acted as editor — to welcoming article submissions from ALL Ranch resident viewpoints. Golf Club President Todd Neal’s recently published article on our site is a case in point. Just as I have done in the past, I encourage golf club members who may — or may not — have an alternative point of view to share it with the RSF Post to ensure readers receive a balance of perspective.

Our recent Boards of Directors have not been fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities to us, the members of the Rancho Santa Fe Association (RSFA). It is time for change, and we must act now. Some of the items of greatest concern, that impact us all, are:

  • A recent RSFA Board spent over $2.2 million of Association monies, as a result of certain directors and employees illegally taking out a $1.5 million PPP loan from the U.S. Government. As a result, the general membership has been required to pay well over $600,000 in penalties, interest, and legal fees.
  • The RSFA’s recent golf course renovation was initially approved for a cost of about $6 million. The costs skyrocketed to at least $12 million. While the course may look beautiful, a doubling of costs is imprudent at best. 
  • For over 30 years the Golf Club operated the restaurant on the condition that they absorb any losses. Suddenly, in 2019, as the Club was hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses, the Golf Club insisted on changing the deal so that the losses would be split 50/50 between the Golf Club membership and the RSFA membership. This “Cost Sharing” agreement was enacted without prior notice or a vote of the RSFA membership, and was negotiated with an RSFA Board of Directors dominated by golf members. The new arrangement has cost the RSFA members $2.4 million for their share. With proper management, these staggering losses should never have been allowed to occur. Even after total restaurant losses of $4.8 million in five years, the RSFA Boards failed to take action.
  • RSFA employee costs have increased about 60% over the past four years. These astounding increases need to be fully explained. 
  • The RSFA Board increased member assessments over 7% for this year.
  • The Golf Club has proposed to the RSFA Board of Directors the expenditure of millions to expand and “improve” the clubhouse and surrounding areas. More money should not be expended without a vote by the members approving or disapproving this major financial outlay. The President of the Golf Club claims the Golf Club is not involved in promoting the planned expansion and remodeling of the main clubhouse. This is simply not true. The Golf Club was intimately involved in the proposed renovation and expansion since its inception several years ago. How much has been spent already?
  • Many of the Association problems have occurred as a result of the Board being dominated by the Golf Club. The Golf Club members are an important part of our community. However, RSFA Directors need to represent the entire membership, not just the golfing division.
  • The chart at the top of this article shows that in every year since 2018 at least four of seven RSFA Directors were members of the Golf Club.

In the May Divot, the Golf Club President asked the members to vote for two Golf Club devotees for the Association Board. No offense intended, but our RSFA Board does not need two more members working for the Golf Club at the expense of the 70% of the members of the Association who are not Golf Club members.

Cari Chanin, Ilia Christy, Sam Ursini, and Carole Warren are all Rancho Santa Fe Association members.