Rancho Santa Fe board seeks more involvement

Panel wants to fill spaces on committees

The Rancho Santa Fe Association board of directors is trying to come up with ways to get residents more involved in the association process.

The board’s committees have several vacancies and they aim to get “really good people involved,” President Bill Beckman said.

Association committees include road and traffic, Osuna, parks and recreation, planning, trails and finance. Osuna, which deals with the association-owned Osuna property, and parks and recreation need the most help, he said.

Beckman said it’s important to get those committee spaces filled as they often lead people toward becoming members of the association board. Three seats on the board will open up next year, although directors Beckman, Tim Sullivan and Kim Higgins can opt to run for a second term.

Covenant residents have to be nominated to run for open association seats, and the directors said many people are concerned about the time commitment.

“The perception that it’s a lot of work needs to be dispelled. We have such a wonderful staff that all you gotta do is show up,” said director Dick Doughty, prompting laughs from the rest of the board.

Robert Green, the association’s building commissioner who works with the volunteer-based Art Jury, noted people often get most involved when there are items of contention before the board.

He said the slow recruitment process could be attributed to the “relative calm” that has overtaken Rancho Santa Fe.

Osuna debt paid down

At its meeting on Nov. 5, the association board voted to put an additional $400,000 toward paying down its debt on the Osuna Property. In 2006, the association borrowed $5 million to buy the 28-acre property, and it has steadily been paying off the loan in the years since.

“The finance committee feels strongly that the community consensus is to pay down the Osuna debt as quickly as possible,” Director Tom Lang said.

After the $400,000 payment, $700,000 will remain to be paid.