The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Board Biz: The new Chief has arrived!

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After months of conducting a national search and planning for transition, the RSF Association board officially welcomed Bill Overton, our new Association manager,into his position on Jan. 28. Already, Bill has spent hours with the board and staff learning about the Covenant and our members.

Bill’s energy and enthusiasm are propelling him quickly up the learning curve. We are all very impressed with his appreciation of the history of Rancho Santa Fe and the particular needs and goals of our members. Bill’s focus on team building and open communications has had a positive impact on staff and board members since the first day he walked into the office. Transitions can be difficult, but we are all sensing a rekindling of community spirit and a desire in all parts to work together. Someone said to me yesterday: “Bill is a breath of fresh air.”

Over the next few weeks, you will be hearing from Bill directly as he describes his vision for our community. Be sure to look for his letter in the mail and other communications via email. If we do not have your email address, please send it to daria@rsfassociation.org so you don’t miss out on any Association news.

Many members have already asked about the new manager’s compensation. This is public information and details of the highest paid employees’ compensation will be available in 990 filings. Nevertheless, you are entitled to know our manager’s compensation now. I hope that some insight into how the board arrived at the compensation package will help you to put the manager’s salary and benefits into the proper context.

In our search and interview process, we board members were looking for the most qualified and experienced candidate we could possibly find. We hired a firm to help us look nationally for individuals with management experience in either HOAs or city governments. This search helped us to define an appropriate salary range for qualified candidates. As we determined the salary for our new manager, naturally the board wanted to find a salary amount that would reflect his experience and abilities. And just as important, the board wanted to be very sensitive to the community’s perceptions regarding the appropriate use of Association resources. Ultimately, we structured a package that we believe is fair to our manager and to the community. We established a package that provides strong incentives for performance.

The manager’s employment is “at-will,” that is, there is no contract for a specific amount of time. The base salary is $215,000. The manager is eligible to receive an annual performance bonus of up to a maximum of 15 percent, if he meets specific performance criteria as defined by the Association’s Board of Directors. Any bonus would be paid at the board’s sole and absolute discretion. Other benefits are those that are available to other members of the Association senior management team, such as vacation, health insurance and participation in the 401(k) plan.

Bill knows that the board’s list of goals includes two very important ones. First: to operate the Association with sound business practices. In this fiscal year we have initiated or completed improvements and savings in payroll, liability insurance, health insurance, banking, accounting and financial reporting. Bill is committed to seeing all these initiatives through to completion. Second: to modernize the community infrastructure. Bill is as dedicated as all of us on the board are to maintaining the momentum we have gathered in the areas of wireless and broadband. This “breath of fresh air” will need the strength of a tornado. We believe Bill has got the right stuff.

All members of the Rancho Santa Fe Covenant will have an opportunity to meet Bill and to hear about his goals and priorities from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 18. The event will be held at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. Look for details in the mail and in this newspaper.

One final reminder: The Nominating Committee for candidates for the board has met and has already received the names of several volunteers. The committee has decided that we will not be eliminating any qualified candidates this year. All who are interested are welcome to run. Nevertheless, we would like to meet with each candidate, as is customary, so that we can explain the process of the campaign and the job of serving as a board member. We would like to schedule those interviews during the first week of March, so if you are interested, please send in your name. You can simply call the Association office to get on our list: 858-756-1174.

And remember: Wednesday, Feb. 18, come to the RSF Golf Club to meet Manager Bill Overton and welcome him to our community.

Send me your comments at ann.boon@me.com.