The holidays are in full swing; the New Year is in sight; and our new Association manager, Bill Overton, will take the helm in slightly over a month. Your Association board members, committee volunteers and staff are all working hard to finish several projects before we take a couple of days to spend with our families.
Among the most important projects, the board has engaged consultants from our audit firm, AKT, to examine our accounting department and all its processes. One of the main goals is to determine how we can maximize the utilization of our software technology. With input from staff at both the Association and the Golf Club offices, as well as from members of the Association board, the results of that study will be presented to the board in January. As our CFO said recently, “It is outstanding that the board has moved in this direction, as this type of review has overall positive results for all departments within the Association.”
Our treasurer, Kim Eggleston, and the Finance Committee have recommended that the Association restructure its banking relationships primarily in order to reduce cost and improve efficiency in our cash management. At the same time, we will be negotiating to improve the rate and terms on the outstanding bank loan for the Golf Club. This process should be completed in January as well.
The Association board, with the help of a very talented ad hoc committee of Covenant residents, is reviewing qualifications of several law firms, including the firm we have used for 30 years. After the board hears the ad hoc committee’s review and recommendation, we will consult with our new manager to determine if we want to change the way we utilize counsel. We may want to use several different firms in the future, depending on the specific needs in any particular situation. That will probably be a February decision.
After many months of effort, the Association finally has a consolidated list of registered voters. This arduous task required merging “unmergeable” files from an old software platform into our new platform. Of course, we have the old paper files, but to really help our members, we needed to have an up-to-date database. Now, with the push of a button, we know exactly who is registered and who is not. Those who are not registered may find a letter from me among their New Year’s cards!
And, as of Jan. 1, 2015, our Association office staff will be returning to a regular five-day-a week work schedule. Staff will no longer be taking every other Friday off. This old schedule meant that half of the office staff were absent each Friday. The new schedule will allow for a fully staffed office every Friday. Heeding the recommendation of the Compensation Committee, the Association board determined that the highest level of service to our customers — that means you -— could best be maintained by having the whole team on duty Monday through Friday.
Our projects to improve our technological infrastructure continue, as fast as we can push them forward. I am hoping by the end of January we will have specific plans for better wireless service and improved broadband, which should incorporate the results of the soon-to-be-completed feasibility study on fiber-to-home. All of us on the board are excited about our prospects for bringing the technology that is needed for Rancho Santa Fe to be a vibrant community of the future. We know you are, too.
As the calendar year comes to a close and we finish the first six months of this term, I have to thank my hard-working fellow board members again. Each one of them has brought an enormous range of results-oriented business experience to the table. Each one of them has brought a deep commitment to developing a long-term strategy for the future of Rancho Santa Fe. Each one of them has been willing to roll up his or her sleeves to work with staff to achieve the goals we have set. And, my thanks must also go to our staff members who have worked so diligently. Our board members have set a fast pace and a high bar. Over the weeks and months, we have all learned the importance of teamwork. We all want to contribute to the success of our mission. We all want to make a difference. And I think we are.
Have a great holiday and a very Happy New Year. You know where to find me: email@example.com. (Don’t expect a response before 2015.)