The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Op-Ed: Why I Support Rachel Laffer, Rachel Leheny, and Terry Peay

Tagged in

Last week I wrote about my support for Ann Boon, Kim Eggleston, and the great job the entire Board has done over the past two years to improve the Covenant. Laffer, Leheny, and Peay want to continue this trend. It is the primary reason I support them.

Let’s get specific.

This week I was forwarded an email that stated there is some conspiracy by those who have a significant financial interest in the Ranch to “keep control of the Board.”

And they are right!

We all have a significant financial interest! Just look at the names on the endorsement list of Laffer, Leheny, and Peay. Like me, they have purchased homes and or businesses in the Ranch and have a significant interest in our Board’s ability to improve the quality of life and property values for everyone.

All we have invested in this election is pennies compared to what we stand to lose.

This Board has performed! After years of us all complaining about poor Internet service, arguing about roundabouts, failing to implement standard business accounting practices, and not addressing critical needs like cell phone service this Board has provided a path toward solutions, and in turn, a better quality of life and higher home values!

Just last week, for example, the fruits of this Board’s labor over how to solve our Internet woes came to fruition when they executed a deal that has already been recognized outside of the Covenant as a model for responsible negotiation.

Granted, the members of the Ranch’s board seem a bit more sophisticated than your average city politician. But if this little government can build its system after being rejected by the standard business model, maybe big cities around here will at least be inspired to drive harder bargains with telecom monopolists.” – Dan McSwain, San Diego Union Tribune

And, this transaction comes with complete transparency: visit RSF Communications if you haven’t already!

Bringing the fastest future-proof Internet to the Covenant is just one example of the hard work the Board and its committees have been doing on behalf of our quality of life, and in turn, our financial dispositions. Here are some more:

  • The CDRC (fka “Art Jury”) meetings are open and decisions are made based on reasonable guidelines streamlining the previously random process.

  • Huge strides have been made in voter registration. Just two years ago under 50% of the members were registered. Today, over 80% of the members are registered!

  • A top-to-bottom accounting and finance department audit has been conducted, with full accrual accounting and a three-part financial statement being implemented for the first time.

  • The Board has refinanced, restructured, and renegotiated long-term debt obligations, saving us hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

  • The Board has reviewed and replaced our outdated liability insurance policy to remedy critical gaps in coverage.

  • The Board has instituted regular schedule of review and bidding of vendors and service providers.

  • After years of unchecked compensation increases, the Board has conducted a full review of human resources, ensuring fair wages and responsible incentives programs.

  • The IRS Form 990 is now compliant with law and IRS guidelines with each filing available for member review.

  • Upgrades to the technology infrastructure with the installation of a state-of-the-art phone system and other network upgrades.

  • A leading HOA accounting firm was retained by the Board that discovered internal reporting errors. Both restricted reserves and “free reserves” for all the entities within the Association (General Services, Golf Club, Tennis Club and Osuna Ranch) appeared to have been miscalculated by approximately $1.6 million. This was the result of poor internal reporting practices over the years and has been rectified.

  • On the Covenant Club, the cost of the proposed facility came in much higher than anyone anticipated. As a result, this Board has “stepped back” and asked the Covenant Club Committee and staff, without spending anymore Association dollars, to prepare a more reasonable proposal before asking the community for a vote.

  • Rather than just make a decision on its own, the Board asked members in a survey to indicate whether they wanted roundabouts or signals for three intersections in RSF on Paseo Delicias/Del Dios Highway. After years of Board refusal to resolve the issue of roundabouts versus stoplights and “kicking the can down the road,” members were finally allowed to weigh in by voting.

  • The Board hired the premier HOA law firm as counsel.

  • The Board now has two in-house CPA’s on staff allowing for accurate financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP.

  • RSFA's Bylaws have been reviewed by the Governing Documents Committee and counsel resulting in suggested changes bringing our bylaws up to date, compliant with CA law and improving our voting process. The proposed changes will be sent to the membership for a vote.

  • The RSFA has joined the modern world and we now have a good website where members can find lots of useful information, including agendas and minutes for Board meetings and committees.

And the list goes on…

My point is – this election is not about individual personalities or voting for a friend. It’s about the kind of representation we want. I am supporting the three individuals who are committed to a governance that will continue the momentum set in place by the current Board leading toward a better quality of life and financial outlook for us all.

I hope you join me in my support for Rachel Laffer, Rachel Leheny, and Terry Peay.

Best regards,

Nick Krnich