The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Breaking Down the Election For RSF Special District Races

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Election Day is right around the corner, and Rancho Santa Fe has a few key races that will directly affect its residents. With November 4th a week away, keeping track of races and candidates may be a tall task.

Three districts that impact the Ranch are up for election; Santa Fe Irrigation District (SFID), RSF Fire Protection District, and RSF Community Services District (CSD).

Santa Fe Irrigation District – Seat 3

The SFID has three of its own seats up for grabs, but only one seat (Division 3) will be on the ballot for Ranch residents. Incumbent John Ingalls is pitted against Marlene King, but Ingalls resigned from the SFID in September and stated that he will not take the oath of office if he happens to be elected. Ingalls filed for re-election but decided to resign before the deadline to remove oneself from the ballot.

In the process of resigning from the SFID, Ingalls also endorsed his opponent Marlene King, saying “I am grateful she has agreed to run for this important position.”

In principle, Marlene King is running unopposed. King is the current president of the Fairbanks Ranch HOA and has served on several committees and boards, including the Fairbanks CSD and the County Water Authority. King believes that the SFID can improve by engaging customers in the board process and making it easier for ratepayers to attend public hearings and be heard.

Rancho Santa Fe Community Service District

There are four candidates vying for three seats on the RSF CSD. John Tanner, Dale Nelson, and Bill Hinchy are all incumbents and are seeking re-election. Laurel Lemarie is the only challenger.

Lemarie says that she’s been attending CSD meetings since 2011 and has been an advocate for putting utilities underground. She believes it would also be an opportunity to upgrade the RSF infrastructure with a fiber-optic network for high-speed internet. Lemarie is also conscious of the nature of the Ranch and says oversight is necessary since a utility company or ISP may not be sensitive to trail and roadside beautification.

Hinchy has been a resident of the Ranch for 38 years and a retired attorney. He has been involved several organizations as president of the Rancho Santa Fe Association and tennis club, and as president of Las Ancianos.  He is also a managing member of two real estate limited liability companies that own and operate commercial and residential property in San Diego.

Nelson is a 48-year resident of Rancho Santa Fe and has served as president and as a member of the community services district board for many years.  He is an elder of the RSF Village Church, a two-time president of the RSF Rotary Club and was president of the RSF Garden Club.  He recently flew on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. for World War II veterans.

Tanner is running to for reelection in both his seats on the Fire Protection District and Community Services District.  In his statement for the fire board election, he said, “The well managed district is financially solvent and debt free, while incorporating the best equipment and people in the profession.”

Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District

Tucker S. Stine and John Tanner are running for re-election and Scott Union is a challenger, all competing for two seats on the RSF Fire Protection District.

According to his candidate statement, Stine is a businessman and CEO who lives in Rancho Santa Fe and owns a consulting business that works with developers and homebuilders to create healthy, sustainable communities.  He has served on homeowners association boards, as well as the San Diego YMCA Board of Directors, he is communications chair for the Urban Land Institute of San Diego/Tijuana and marketing director for TEDx San Diego.

Scott Union is the founder of Union West Real Estate based in the Ranch which started in 1985. The company has expanded to Del Mar, Mammoth Lakes, and Napa Valley after continual success.

If you’re not a permanent mail-in voter, be sure to come out to the polls on November 4th!