Four seek seats on association board

Four candidates are vying for two spots on the Rancho Santa Fe Association’s board of directors. Ballots were mailed last Thursday to all Covenant members and are due back by 5 p.m. June 15.

Candidates Steve Shillington, Dick Doughty, Jack Queen and Susan Marr had the chance to address members at last week’s Annual Meeting. Here is a look at the candidates:

Steve Shillington

The incumbent is coming off his first term on the association board. Shillington has 25 years of business ownership and management experience and supports conservative budget restraints. His focus lies on preservation of the historic Village by prevention of commercial overdevelopment, the development of an alternative irrigation source and a member review of any projects or purchases over $1 million.

Shillington is a strong advocate for historic preservation and during his term has spent great care researching the Osuna Adobe.

He believes the purchase of the Osuna Adobe by association members reinforced the community’s interest in preserving Rancho Santa Fe’s rich history. He said he worries about the overdevelopment of the Village and the “erosion of standards” prompted by the approval of the Lilian project. Shillington was one of the two votes against approving the Lilian, along with outgoing President Lois Jones.

“Large underground parking structures should not be permitted,” Shillington said.

Jack Queen

His candidate mailer shows Queen with his eight grandchildren. To start his three-minute address, he thanked his “campaign manager,” his wife of 45 years Patty.

Queen has 35 years experience with a major brokerage firm and owns a small manufacturing and sales incentive firm.

He is the current Art Jury President and has shown his dedication to the community through service on the road and traffic committee and the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation board. He is also on the boards of the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, the San Gabriel Valley Council and the San Diego Education Foundation.

Queen spoke about what he called the “Dacus Fracas” and how few people knew what was going on until it was too late.

He also spoke about how the growth of the community outside the Covenant is forcing growth of Rancho Santa Fe agencies such as the fire department.

He suggested open meetings on issues such as the parks and a serious Covenant-wide survey.

“It’s time for the board to see what the residents feel about lots of different issues,” Queen said.

Susan Marr

Marr has lived in Rancho Santa Fe for over 10 more than and is active in the community. She served on the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Golf Club board, the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund, was part of the Rancho Santa Fe School’s Superintendent’s Advisory Committee in 2006 and is currently a Garden Club member.

Marr was prompted to run for the association board after her recent dealings with the board regarding the Dacus property. She said that the association did not contact neighbors of the property until after the fact regarding the conditions of the sale to the Rancho Santa Fe School District and locating the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol on the lot.

“We can do better than that,” Marr said of community outreach.

Marr said she is in favor of more transparency on the board, bringing items out of closed executive session, increase the level of detail in meeting minutes and move some of the morning meetings to evening times to allow more members to participate.

Marr also believes the association has violated regulatory codes on the Dacus property.

“If the association ignores those rules, how can we demand individual homeowners follow them?” Marr asked.

Dick Doughty

Doughty is often among the few residents present at Rancho Santa Fe association meetings.

The 41-year Rancho Santa Fe resident said he believes the founders of the community bequeathed to everybody the legacy of the Ranch.

“The Ranch is my home,” Doughty said. “Above that it’s the people, the land, the vision contemplated by the Rancho Santa Fe Protected Covenant.”

Doughty is a retired architect and civil engineer, a former president of the Art Jury and a former member of the San Dieguito Planning Group. He is currently a member of the Library Guild, Garden Club, Historical Society and the road and traffic committee.

Doughty said he sees the Ranch as a unique gift that has evolved in its 81 years and should continue to be preserved.

Doughty said his strengths are competence and common sense and he is ready to apply them with service on the board.

He lists traffic congestion and parking related to construction projects, Del Dios roundabouts, space for playing fields and paying down the Osuna debt as some the biggest issues facing the Ranch.