The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Op-Ed: Define Ourselves with Progress and Positivity

Local RSF politics should not reflect the vitriolic nature of our national political discourse. The job of elected officials should be to resolve differences, not to champion them.

It is important to emphasize that projects like “The Covenant Club,” cell phone service, and fiber-optic Internet are community projects, not personal pursuits. Each of these projects is supported by large numbers of homeowners, and it is the Board of Director's fiduciary obligation to explore them.

Times change and so does the demographics of the homeowners in the Ranch. Younger families with children are going to be more interested in the Covenant Club than older folks with grown children. Both have a right to express their thoughts. But personal jabs at volunteer Board members for doing the hard work it takes to search for agreeable solutions isn’t what we should be doing.

It is important to remember, for example, that a majority of homeowners voted for a feasibility study for the Covenant Club.

I applaud the Board for taking a step back when the study’s projected cost came in much higher than anticipated.

But, I would also continue working with the growing members of the community -- who truly believe that a Covenant Club would add to our collective experience in the Ranch, and in turn, increase our individual home values -- to see if we can put together a more modest proposal that has a viable, sustainable, and fair financing plan.

The RSFA Board should be congratulated for exploring better cell phone service and listening to its members' concerns about the locations of the cell towers. Poor cell service in the Ranch is a big problem. While this and other issues might have been explored in the past, they need to be re-examined in light of new technology. 

The “World Wide Web” has been around since 1990 and it is no secret that our Internet service hasn’t improved much, if at all, since then.

But thanks to this Board, we are on the brink of securing a community-owned, state-of-the-art, fiber-optic network, despite the serious economic obstacle the low density rural nature of our community presents. Fact is, high-speed Internet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for an upscale community like the Ranch. And whether or not you would even use high-speed Internet, the value of every one of our homes will increase, literally overnight, because of it.

So how about a little gratitude for our all-volunteer RSFA Board of Directors? After all, they are our neighbors and friends, and even board members need a hug once in awhile.

I have established several HOA’s in my life, and served as President of the HOA of a 1,099-unit residential community that had its own championship golf course. I know first hand that spending the time to research complicated issues, negotiate sophisticated business deals, and coordinate communications with a diverse community often in disagreement can be, unfortunately, a thankless job.

I’m running for the RSFA Board, in part, to thank the current and past board members for their efforts. It's a tough job. But I think that, with my experience and positive outlook, we can solve more of our problems together.   

-Terry Peay