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Fuzzy numbers create confusion – OVA’s broker attempts to clarify

OVA members expecting to find clarity for what they are being asked to vote on starting next week were likely further confused after the presentation made at the Town Hall on Tuesday. One undecided member commented that “the information provided was often incomplete, vague and indeterminate.” Director Tom Kendrick continually reminded the audience that the Board was using “rough numbers” and “needed to sharpen their pencils” at some later time to get more accurate funding and cost numbers.

Kendrick started his presentation by saying: “The most obvious option is to sit on our hands, do nothing. The other option that is available to us is that we would submit a Letter of Intent with contingencies and let that go forward.” 

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OVA President Steve Spanier made a provocative statement at the June 18 board meeting with regards to the issues surrounding the potential offer to buy the OGC:  “Don’t believe anything unless it comes from us. We will give you the truth.”

One of the main problems is that very little of substance regarding the potential OGC purchase has come from this board, hidden behind the veil of non-disclosure agreements and executive sessions. All that was announced at the June 18 meeting were details of planned workshops and the 30 day voting period.  Not a hint as to the proposed financing plan (dues increase and/or special assessment combined with a loan?) was offered.  The board has been exploring and discussing this issue for months, if not the past year, and yet the OVA membership will evidently be offered a quick and hasty sales job prior to a rushed vote.

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In September of 2017 current OVA Board President Steve Spanier gave a talk at a Sunday Symposium on the topic of transpartisanship, a relatively new system of thought distinct from bipartisanship or nonpartisanship that attempts to move beyond bilateral opposing viewpoints on issues.  I covered this symposium for the Oakmont News and later interviewed Spanier to gain further understanding of the system of negotiation that he was espousing.

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In an effort to gauge the amount of information that might be shared with OVA members I attended some recent committee meetings with agenda items involving the golf course sale.

At the Oakmont Community Development Committee (OCDC) meeting on April 11 there was to be a report on the status of discussions on the golf course sale and a discussion of legal limits of OVA involvement.

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As the issues surrounding the sale of the Oakmont Golf Club (OGC) and golf courses are discussed and presented to the Oakmont Village Association (OVA) community, facts and not fear should be the guiding principle. It is unconscionable to put OVA members in the position of participating in such a momentous and possibly perilous financial decision while appealing to emotions rather than presenting factual reasoning.  This is not a prescription for making the right decisions.

And we all need to be dealing with a common set of facts, all of which should be shared with the community being asked to provide the money to finance any such decisions.

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Editor’s Note:  As we were preparing to publish this article the OGC announced that their member vote to approve the $750 per member assessment successfully passed.  This vote likely removes the immediate need for OVA financial assistance to OGC.  However, it does not change the fact that this was seriously considered, may still be on the table, and raises serious questions of setting a troubling precedent.  Critics  of this approach say OVA should step back and allow the marketing of the property and assets to play out.

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On March 1st OVA Board President Steve Spanier announced that he had resigned his membership in the Oakmont Golf Club (OGC) and said that he no longer had a conflict of interest representing OVA in its dealings with OGC.  During the board workshop on March 5, comments and questions were directed to the board by members of the community and Spanier’s statement four days earlier that he will be “all in” on this issue was quickly demonstrated.

He took it upon himself to answer all questions on behalf of OVA as well as OGC, as his fellow board members sat silently with only Director Kendrick making an occasional comment. It became clear that Spanier was well-versed in information – both public and private – about the club, its financials and the details of the sale.

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