Do you have a background/expertise in building a website? Are you a techie?
Far from it. My young grandkids know far more than I do! A bright, entrepreneurial company had the site up and running in two weeks.
What motivated you to create the RSF Post?
I got involved in local politics four years ago when I learned more than 40% of my fellow Covenant members and I could not vote due to a ridiculously laborious and difficult registration process. As a result, I started a “registration to vote” site and “news/open forum” site.
What was the response of community members?
It has been an interesting journey, as I have taken stances on controversial issues and candidates. Ninety percent of the community has been responsive, supportive and appreciative of the RSF Post. A loud 10% were unhappy! They accused me of not being a resident of the Covenant, doing this for financial gain and working for special interest groups. I think my response at the time was, “It cost me time and money and I spend too much time golfing at the club to work for anybody!” They were both vicious, for example, sending out a candidate’s 15-year-old divorce records with innuendo of abuse, and un-neighborly, for example, encouraging the stealing of campaign posters off private properties by the “Pink Panther” and others! This behavior just served to motivate me even more to continue growing the site.
How did RSFA Board leadership at that time respond?
I know it's hard for many younger and newer members to believe, but the Board tried to close us down early on. I received a cease and desist letter from the Board’s then legal counsel as well as a call from a Board member. I said, “Do you really want to go on record trying to close down a registration to vote and news site?” I received a letter the following day from counsel backing off their demands.
What is your readership like?
The sites were successful from the start and grew quickly. Currently the RSF Post has over 1800 subscribers and growing within the Covenant, and we reach over 1000 people in the Ranch and have more than 5,000 visitors to the website every month.
You have never been shy about supporting candidates for the Board. Who are you supporting this upcoming election?
Why new leadership?
It’s a dedicated, hard-working Board, but I’ve been disappointed on how much time and money has been wasted on scraping the original Fiber deal, which was a great deal for the community. I’m also troubled by the Board's micromanagement of staff and mishandling of the SDG&E pole issue. We should have been proactive with SDG&E on the pole-replacement issue when they presented to the Board last June, especially since it was raised before that presentation was made.
Why Sharon and Mike for the RSFA Board?
Sharon is a bright, talented, long-standing, active resident of our community. It will be refreshing to see another woman on the Board and someone younger than I representing all our constituents. In addition, it is a good thing to have one or more lawyers on the Board. Mike is currently doing a great job on the Board and has extensive, real-world business expertise. He understands and wants to see the Board, and the organizations that operate under it, conform to “best practices” and has initiated a Five-Year Strategic Plan. Mike wants to help make the Covenant a thriving community that is the first choice for families, the young and the older.
Where do you go from here?
I am taking a back seat in the running of the RSF Post due to family health issues. Congratulations go to Rachel Laffer for her stellar work as she continues on as sole editor!