Features

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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Dear Editor:

Oakmont needs to face the reality of our current lifestyles.   Golf while a core constituent of Oakmont past is unlikely to be important now and into the future.   We need to downsize this feature before it bankrupts the community.   My suggestion is to design and construct a “premium” golf course close in scale to an executive course, perhaps in the 3,000 yard range, with 18 holes offering a variety of distances.   Oakmont currently has two courses totaling to 9,000 yards.  Most recreational (not tournament players) should find such a course provides enough golfing for those in our demographic.  

The excess property could be designed to provide home sites for housing and selling the land should fund the redesign of the new course.   A side benefit would be more Oakmonters could probably utilize the shorter course and presumably would do so more frequently.  The smaller golf facilities would require less personnel to keep it up and fewer supplies for that purpose.   With the right marketing efforts no doubt others from outside of Oakmont could become interested and spend their golf budgets here, including in the dining facilities.

It is self deception to believe the “good old days” will return.   We must anticipate the realities of our situation and take well planned actions to avoid the potential nightmares we are now confronting.   Yes, it is time to face reality while time is still available to plan.   If bankruptcy became reality no doubt the debtor would take any money offered for our beautiful area and hundreds of acres.  Thus there would be no golf course(s) in Oakmont.  Don’t be surprised to see our status as a “Senior’s Community” similarly disappear along with the higher valuations on residential property.

Dick Green

Recent Update on OGC

From a report on the February 26th Golf Club Committee meeting, it appears that the OGC has yet to be listed by the brokerage handling the sale.  Committee Chair Tom Kendrick said that when the OGC is listed for sale, the offers and financial particulars of the sale will be public. He also said that the broker Marcus & Millichap told the committee that the golf courses will be difficult to sell if the 280 OGC members do not approve the $750 assessment.  In addition, Kendrick said that the OVA Finance Committee is exploring the financial feasibility of purchasing the OGC property.

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The Oakmont Observer accepts opinion articles on any community-related topic for the Opinion page or as Letters to the Editor.

Our coverage extends beyond OVA policy, politics and governance.  We accept a diversity of voices and opinions about a range of topics and invite you to submit an opinion/perspective piece on any topic of interest.

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As has been previously reported, the Oakmont Forum Club held a brainstorming session on January 29 to come up with questions to be suggested for the February 19 Candidates’ Night event, and subsequently provided an on-line poll for OVA residents to suggest and vote on the candidate questions. This article will report on the results of both the brainstorming session and the poll, with candidate questions ranked by their popularity in the poll.

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The fundamental concept is simple:  Any change in OVA property that is large enough to be considered a significant change in the nature of Oakmont, should be subject to the explicit consent of those who will fund it and who must live with the results.

In the January 15 issue of the Oakmont News, in an article entitled Frequently Asked Oakmont Questions [1], OVA Board President, Steve Spanier, provides answers to a number of important questions that give substantial insight into the philosophy of governance of himself and the current Board.  While I agree with much that he says, including his assertion that this Board has taken major steps toward implementing Board transparency, I take serious issue with his stand on membership voting as part of the decision making process.

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