The Rancho Santa Fe Post

RSF Review Op-Ed: Time to Differentiate

Time to Differentiate

All six candidates for election to the Association Board say some of the same things and undoubtedly mean them:

  • Preserve the rural character of the Ranch
  • Improve cell phone service without using 90’ towers
  • Solve our broadband issues.

Three of the candidates, Rachel Laffer, Rachel Leheny and Terry Peay, are running on identical platforms, have a joint website and are endorsed by current and continuing Board members Ann Boon, Kim Eggleston and Mike Licosati. Clearly, these three candidates want to continue Association business as usual. One of these candidates has been stated, “I have watched the Board become a model of responsible, thoughtful government.”

All current directors are hard working, dedicated and well meaning. However, I believe the Board is not “a model of responsible, thoughtful government.” Quite the contrary.

I have seen a lot o boards of this country’s largest corporations in action throughout my career. I know first-hand the importance of sharing information and listening, understanding and responding to stakeholders.

I know our Association Board can and must do better to reduce the polarization that exists in our community. The membership should support independent-thinking, experienced candidates who will work with the continuing directors to make best corporate governance practices a reality.

Above all, I don’t believe electing three people who share the same platform and think exactly like three continuing directors is any way to encourage the independent thinking that our community needs right now or is likely to make our Board better. In fact, it is a pretty good way to ensure that the future will mirror the past.

I have my own priorities, a few include:

  • Let’s get our house in order. The unrest and turnover at senior staff levels is disturbing. We need the kind of professional management in place that eliminates the need for directors to micromanage. We need stability.
  • Let’s focus on the Covenant Enhancement Fund. I believe that assessing our members before determining and disclosing how those funds will be used is inconsistent with Davis-Stirling. The Association’s new auditors are troubled by the existence of the CEF and the methods used to allocate its funds. There should be no more assessments for the CEF and no more CEF funds should be expended on any project not approved by the members.
  • Let’s not devote any more money or staff time to the Covenant Club. The three candidates support by three continuing directors believe that “the project should be value-engineered.” I say it is time for the Board to move on and put this divisive issue behind us.

The time to differentiate is now!
~Allen Finkelson