Oakmont Village Board Election in April 2021
I am going to write from my heart because I believe that what comes from the heart goes to the heart. I am very concerned about the current board direction and agenda. I feel I am not being heard as well as many of other Oakmonters. Perhaps I will start from my own circumstances and will elaborate later about us as a community.
We bought our beautiful home exactly a year ago. Perhaps naïve, as being your neighbors in Sonoma we thought that moving to a community like Oakmont with such rich activities and comradery would be the best life style for us. We did not buy here for state of the art amenities although it is nice to have them but for the community spirit and interaction, for the intellectual stimulation etc… The first few months before the pandemic we enjoyed the courses on various topics, the Sunday symposium etc. As we settled in Oakmont and me being an old hand in association politics we started to feel a lot of tension in Oakmont around the Board ambitious plans and constant drive to change things without a pause to reflect, to build a community consensus and without considerations for the pandemic ramifications and safety concerns the residents are dealing with. A classic example was after the fires as we came home back on Monday tired and exhausted I got an e mail the next day from VP Tom Kendrick about the Quorum. Frankly, I could not even read it. I was in a different reality. Was it so necessary to bombard us older people with those issues after life or death fires that traumatized us? Couldn’t he wait another week that we could settle in? I found it to be very insensitive.
Being proactive I decided to join the CETC, the Education and Transparency Committee. The committee felt very strongly that we need to find out what are current priorities of the community. The last survey was done in 2015. Our resolution for a survey was not approved by the Board. Even a short survey of choosing 3 priorities of what the community wants and needs requires a Board approval, so right now it is not pursued. Instead we are working on Fire Chats to try gauging the community concerns.
I know that the Board here does have a lot of power in the decision making. But from my observation of their meetings there was no real dissent. There are no diverse opinions and voices. I do not believe we should continue to have such monolithic Board especially after Steve Spanier’s resignation. All this came to roost with me listening to Kamala Harris acceptance speech:
“Congressman John Lewis, before his passing wrote: “Democracy is not a state. It is an act. And what he meant was that American democracy is not guaranteed. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it, to guard it and never take it for granted”.
Our bright, fully diverse future here in Oakmont is only guaranteed by a diverse group of new Board members who are willing to fight for Oakmont’s values and mission. A new Board that will fight for an Oakmont that is inclusive and built on a wide community consensus. A new Board that will be compassionate and considerate of its elders and the less affluent. A new Board that is not afraid to conduct a survey to find out what are our priorities as a community!
Please consider joining the Board: do not leave it only to the few aggressive Board members with exclusive agenda.