The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Christy Whalen Appointed as Interim Manager, Gateway Project Discussed at August Board Meeting

Christy Whalen, currently Communications Manager, was appointed as Interim Manager for the RSFA. She will not be a candidate for the permanent position. Don May, currently Acting Manager, will be the Director of Accounting, Technology & Compliance. Tom Farrar, currently Director of Planning, will be the Interim Building Commissioner. A new Senior Planner was hired last week--name not provided. The resignation by Robert Green, current Building Commissioner, was accepted by the Board. The Board is working with Mr. Green on a 3-6 month consulting contract so there can be an orderly transition for the CDRC (Covenant Design Review Committee) from Mr. Green to Mr. Farrar and the new Senior Planner. A Communications & Events Specialist has been hired and will be starting this coming week.

There was a presentation by those involved with the Gateway Project (6089 La Flecha--site of the current gas station), followed by a presentation by Mr. Green. The proposal is for four buildings, with three levels of underground, full-size, parking spots. The number of parking spots well exceeds the minimum number required by the County and the RSFA. The plan is for a 5,000 square foot market and other retail space, including the possibility of medical offices, possibility of a restaurant and other retail space. The Board agreed that the story poles could be removed and instructed the staff to continue processing the project through the CDRC.

Mr. Richard Sapp was appointed to the Board to fill out the balance of the one year term created by the resignation of Director Ann Boon.

The work on the proposed fiber-optic project is proceeding.

Throughout the RSFA Board meeting there were discussions of the article in the "Rancho Santa Fe Review" entitled "Rancho Santa Fe Association Past President's Council Requests Board Address 'Significant Damage'" and the letter the Past President's Council (PPC) had sent to the Board a few weeks ago. Mr. Matthew Ditonto, RSFA Controller, gave a presentation concerning some of the items this and the proceedings two Boards had uncovered concerning the RSFA past finances. President Wasserman indicated that the RSFA finances of the past had been a "wholly mess". Director Eggleston indicated that when he came on the board two plus years ago he and others on the Finance Committee discovered that the RSFA finances were being run "like a lemonade stand" and that in his 30 plus years of experience with finances he had never seen such a mess. Director Danola researched and presented a chart concerning one of the allegations raised by the PPC which demonstrated the inaccuracy of the allegation. Some of the items pointed out about the past, prior to two plus years ago, were:

  1. There were not multiple bank accounts as required by California law (now rectified)
  2. There were no CPA's on the RSFA staff (there are now two)
  3. There was a need to upgrade the RSFA accounting staff
  4. There was no separate or proper accounting for the income from Osuna Ranch. A former employee, who was responsible for Osuna, was keeping notations of payment on scratch paper and there were no invoices
  5. The RSFGC, Osuna and RSFTC have not been paying their fair share of some expenses, with some expenses flowing directly through to the RSFA
  6. There was no procedure manual for the accounting department
  7. There was no reconciliation for several accounts
  8. There had been $1.6 million in asset misclassifications
  9. Balance sheets prepared were not correct
  10. The reserve accounts were not properly characterized

The Board is in the process of finishing their investigation of the allegations raised by the PPC and their consultants and will present their findings at future RSFA Board meeting, commencing at the next RSFA Board meeting, scheduled for Thursday, September 1st. The meeting is scheduled to take place at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club.