The Rancho Santa Fe Post

The 5 Biggest Stories of 2014 in Rancho Santa Fe

The year 2014 was a unique for Rancho Santa Fe and its residents. With the new year approaching, let’s look back at this year’s biggest stories.

The June HOA Election

The HOA election in 2014 was unlike any other in RSF history. Ann Boon was re-elected as a Board member after being ousted as President just a few months before. Shortly after, the new Board re-appointed her as President. Boon ran a slate campaign with current Treasurer Kim Eggleston with a message of increased fiscal responsibility, transparency, and community participation.

The election led to a discussion about campaign ethics after both sides felt like personal attacks were made.

Notably, HOA voter registration increased over 25% for the election, leading to the highest turnout in HOA history, with 75 percent of registered voters casting ballots.

Bernardo Wildfires

In May of this year, a wildfire broke out around North County San Diego. It was called the ‘Bernardo Fire’ and it claimed nearly 1,600 acres of land by the time it was subdued. The fire started in the southwest of Rancho Bernardo and spread to areas of Fairbanks Ranch and nearly claimed several Rancho Santa Fe residences located near Zumaque Street and Las Colinas.

The efforts of CalFire and the RSF Fire Protection District prevented the damage from spreading. No RSF homes were damaged, but it led to a heightened level of fire preparedness in RSF and across San Diego.

Vote to Purchase Garden Club Does Not Pass

Residents of RSF were asked whether or not to approve a purchase of the Garden Club by the Association for $2.4 million plus a $400,000 fee. In 2013, the purchase was passed with 687 “Yes” votes and 99 “No” votes.

However, a petition was circulated and successfully submitted after some residents felt that important information was withheld from the public. As a result, another vote took place in May of 2014.

After a higher publicized campaign on both sides, which even included a now famous “FedEx” mailer, the revote shocked many residents when it was defeated 628 “Yes” to 659 “No” votes.

Since that time, resident Bruce Kleege of “Garden Club RSF LLC” purchased the Garden Club privately. The Garden Club approved the sale in December, although the purchase details have not been fully disclosed.

Health Club and Pool Study Passes

In October and November, residents cast ballots on whether or not to approve a full feasibility study for a Health Club and Pool facility. The vote approved up to $350,000 to fund a professional design, blueprint, and a plan for parking and soil concerns.

Residents passed the measure with 762 “Yes” votes and 713 “No” votes.

Health Club Committee Chair and Board member Heather Slosar held several information sessions and forums for residents with committee members. She helped ensure voters were receiving as much information as possible and that the Association was working in a transparent manner.

Association Manager Pete Smith Retires

In April, then-Manager Pete Smith officially retired after 18 years in the position. But his retirement came amidst controversy about wages, benefits, and transparency concerns from several members.

The controversy started, perhaps, when Ann Boon requested information regarding Smith’s compensation and questioned IRS filings that were filled out improperly by the Association. Shortly thereafter, Boon was ousted from the Board in a 5-2 vote.

This story garnered attention from San Diego 10 News and the U-T Watchdog.

It’s safe to say that the Board put the controversy behind themselves now that Boon has been reinstated as President and the Board has been working together.