You asked for it and we are delivering.
You asked for transparency and in several significant moves, we are delivering increased transparency to members. Most notably, the Covenant Design Review Committee (CDRC) has announced that all of their meetings, including deliberations, are now open to all members. No more closed doors for the CDRC (aka the Art Jury.) The committee has announced several other steps to streamline the application process with further changes under consideration. The Board appreciates the work of the entire Committee and staff in this important area.
Additionally, the Board has voted to record Board meetings, beginning with the meeting on September 4th. The Board is encouraging all committees to try recording their meetings as well.
You asked for fiscal prudence and the Finance Committee is addressing that in several important areas. First, it is reviewing all of the major vendors and outside contractors of the Association and getting new bids for all services, including legal counsel. Second, the Finance Committee is reviewing the operating costs of all Association departments. Third, it is analyzing all of our assets, beginning with the Osuna Ranch. At the August 27th meeting of the Finance Committee, Director Jerry Yahr will be giving a presentation to the committee on the historical significance of the adobe and the development of a long-range plan for the property.
Fourth, the Finance Committee will be working with the board and staff at the Golf Club to help them try to control the Club’s operating costs. The Club is currently operating at a deficit that cannot be sustained long term. Although last spring the Association Board projected significant savings with the overhaul of health benefits plan, these savings were not realized by the Golf Club. The Finance Committee will be focusing primarily on the benefits issue and restaurant operations.
On a positive note, the Golf Club has qualified for a $1.6 million reimbursement from the MWD for their proposed turf removal project. As part of its Master Plan for the course, and in an effort to reduce water usage, the club was planning to remove 18.5 acres of turf over a two-year period. The newly funded reimbursement program requires that the entire project be completed by December of 2014. To help the club accelerate the project, the Association board agreed to loan the club $885,000. This amount will be repaid to the Association as soon as the reimbursement is received from MWD or before June 30, 2015.
You asked for increased participation in Association governance and staff has made great strides in streamlining the voter registration process and follow-up to make sure new residents get registered. Participation begins with voting. Please make sure that You are registered!
You asked for improved infrastructure, in particular related to high speed internet and cell phone coverage. The Board and staff are reinvigorating efforts to find solutions in both of these areas. On July 28th, representatives of the board plus Acting Manger Holler met with executives at QUALCOMM and several residents of the Covenant who are experts in the telecomm industry to discuss the technological challenges we face. The meeting was only an initial step toward addressing these challenges, but given the brainpower and experience in the room, it was a significant step! These experts will attend the Board’s annual retreat on September 11th to discuss the telecommunication issues with the entire board.
You will hear more about the upcoming retreat in the next issue of this column.
In the meantime, if you have any suggestions or concerns for the Board to consider, please let me know at email@example.com.