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Michael Connolly’s incisive reporting in the Oakmont Observer on the June 25 OGC Purchase Townhall has exposed issues critical to informed voting that is available nowhere else. OVA Town Hall on the OGC Purchase.

Perhaps most important, a huge ambiguity in the Board’s presentation regarding the apparently contemplated lease agreement — that not all but “most” of the operating risk would be shifted to a proposed lease partner — was brought into sharp focus in Connolly’s questioning of Ken Arimitsu, the Board’s expert consultant. Arimitsu said that the first $500,000 in projected annual deficits from the purchased OGC — which he expects to continue for up to 10 years — would be the responsibility of OVA, not the leaseholder. Some shift!

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If the Board of Directors really wants to promote full, open and civil discourse about the potential of OVA purchasing OGC with attendant significant dues and/or assessment increases, the current Directors and candidates for Director on the next Board should commit – now, in advance – to having an OVA member referendum if purchase is proposed.

Why?

First, in carrying out its fiduciary duty of representing the best interests of the entire community, it is the Board’s obligation to do everything possible to assure the acceptability of any such decision.

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According to “A Resolution to Establish an Ad-Hoc Oakmont Golf Club Committee” to be taken up by the Board of Directors tomorrow, December 18:

“Whereas individuals from the BOD and the committees have expressed interest in working together as a chartered Ad-Hoc committee (initially including, but not limited to: Tom Kendrick (BOD), Carolyn Bettencourt (BOD), Elke Strunka (Non-director OVA Treasurer), Hugh Helm (OCDC), Dave Johnson (OCDC), Jan Young (LRPC), and George McKinney (LRPC)), be it resolved that:

“The Board will establish the ad-hoc Oakmont Golf Club Committee (OGCC) whose primary purpose is to coordinate discussions, negotiations, and proposed actions that might be undertaken by OVA and to ultimately recommend to the board courses of action regarding the OGC.”

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Greg Gewalt listed three actions (Click HERE) the OVA Board should have taken “in the Interest of due diligence” to avoid divisiveness in the community in its response to the OGC’s request for funds, among them:

“3 … The request for non-disclosure of all pertinent information by the OGC would have been rejected to advance the promise of transparency.”

With the benefit of hindsight, I agree that the Board ought to have taken that position. In not doing so, OVA allowed itself to become a passive, reactive captured passenger in OGC’s ill-conceived and poorly executed public relations vehicle.

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The current (and future) residents of Oakmont Village and the golf courses around which the village was developed have deeply intertwined interests.  Since Oakmont Village Association does not own the golf facilities, it shares a classic interdependent relationship with the Oakmont Golf Club: neither can simply walk away and neither can force the other to agree.  Their current engagement regarding “golf” should, and likely will, become a negotiation.

Two aspects of a successful negotiation deserve special attention in this situation.  To use the framework popularized by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their classic book Getting to Yes, these are Interests and Alternatives.

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What Should Residents Reasonably

Expect of the OVA Board of Directors?

 

The matter of OVA financial support for the Oakmont Golf Club has been brewing for months and has been the subject of OGC-sponsored meetings as well as OGC perspectives presented in its regular column in the Oakmont News.  But the July 10 meeting will be the first presentation to the community to be initiated by OVA.

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