• 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 […]

  • Perhaps topping the list of information vacuums left unaddressed by the Board to date is the Quail Inn. Michael Connolly’s incisive reporting may have squeezed out some speculative detail:

    “In terms of operating losses, Arimitsu explained: ‘I will tell you that this golf course needs to gross around $5.1 to $5.2 million to break even on…[Read more]

  • 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 […]

    • Eloquently and thoroughly persuasive Don McPherson is addressing the OVA Board of Directors in the matter of the Oakmont Golf Club.

      It is to be hoped that the Directors follow his proposals and submit the potential purchase of the assets of the OGC to a community-wide referendum.

  • 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 expre […]

    • As one has come to expect from Don McPherson, another outstanding piece of writing, abounding in wise thoughts and excellent advice.

      It is to be hoped that our board of directors heeds his timely counsel.

  • Another superb reporting job, Michael. Thank you.

    This contribution demonstrates again both the need for and the value of The Observer as the only available serious news and opinion source.

  • 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 […]

    • It is time for OVA to show the Oakmont community that it has assumed the role of Driver in negotiations with OGC by demanding, as a pre-condition to any agreement(s), much more robust information sharing than has occurred to date.

      Well stated Don. I could not agree with you more. It is high time for our BOD to step up and take full responsibility in these negotiations, and to keep our community informed. A surprise fait acommpli at one of our next board meetings has to be categorically rejected.

  • Thank you, Bruce. If the LRPC meetings are “open,” It would be terrific if there might be this sort of ‘coverage’ of meetings on an ongoing basis as the Committee does its work. And if the meetings are not open, one hopes the Committee will seek ways to inform the community on a periodic basis.

  • Besides learning about and focusing on Interests and attending to Alternatives as the measure of agreements, Fisher and Ury (Getting to Yes) have plenty more sound advice for anyone who is truly interested in problem solving: “Separate the people from the problem. . . . Face the problem, not the people. . . . Separating the people from the…[Read more]

  • Gerry,
    It’s clear that you feel passionately about this entire matter and feel upset and mistreated or disrespected, by both OGC and OVA.

    It seems you believe that pursuing any agreement is senseless because OGC cannot be trusted to keep an agreement or maybe even cannot be trusted to be capable of negotiating one?

    I don’t know whether…[Read more]

  • Thanks, Jim. Didn’t miss it, but there is the question of the timing, the unknown amount of business, etc. None of those are necessary problems of course if any financial support is spread out rather than given at one time, so that the effect of the resort can be measured, and/or those developments can be addressed with contingency provisions if…[Read more]

  • 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 […]

    • In a finely worded essay Don McPherson encourages both OVA and the OGC to look at the golf issue long term, instead of developing short term solutions. He posits that the two entities are deeply intertwined and that “neither can simply walk away and neither can force the other to agree.” This relationship predisposes negotiations. And how these discussions will need to be formulated is at the core of this insightful piece of writing.

    • Wow Don, this is excellent!

      This is why this website is important, to share views that can open up the dialogue. As many know you were a writer in the Oakmont News too, and I believe this is the kind of article that can enlighten and inspire, but am not sure this kind of story would be published there.

      Hope the long-term gets the focus…

    • My only problem with Don’s analysis is that it is based on the assumption made by the OVA (Kenrick) that the OGC status quo will never change and so the sustainability of the two courses (and Quail) is doubtful. Apparently, Don missed the fact made by a woman at the Town Hall that a five-star resort is planned to be built a few miles from Oakmont. Those high rollers, heavy-hitters will certainly enjoy having 36 holes of golf available just down the road. Certainly, that will change the status quo – for the good.

    • Thanks, Jim. Didn’t miss it, but there is the question of the timing, the unknown amount of business, etc. None of those are necessary problems of course if any financial support is spread out rather than given at one time, so that the effect of the resort can be measured, and/or those developments can be addressed with contingency provisions if levels of financial health improve, together with agreements addressing regular joint review of the bottom line.

    • I get your point, Don. But the financial profile (illustrated by pie-charts and graphs) shows the OGC business is breaking even — with a small profit – and this year’s revenue projections are positive. So why the rush? Why all the, ‘oh my god the sky is falling – it’s not sustainable!’ I say; take a deep breath, the OVA has major costly projects on the horizon. I think it best that they sit this one out. The board should just say – ‘very interesting OGC, we’ll get back to you – but don’t call us – we’ll call you.’

    • Gerry,
      It’s clear that you feel passionately about this entire matter and feel upset and mistreated or disrespected, by both OGC and OVA.

      It seems you believe that pursuing any agreement is senseless because OGC cannot be trusted to keep an agreement or maybe even cannot be trusted to be capable of negotiating one?

      I don’t know whether OVA will attempt to follow through with this, or just walk away from it which seems to be your counsel. Yet at the moment OVA appears still to be pursuing some action regarding the golf courses. And anything involving the courses must somehow involve OGC — they are the owners.

      Do you think there is anything that OVA can do/should do that could make OGC more trustworthy and reliable if they proceed, against your advice?

      To respond to your question….

      Based on the Town Hall, my interest was in OVA’s forcing OGC to be responsible. A negotiation between the parties is one way to do that.

      I called on OVA to re-think what seemed to be a reactive posture and instead to direct OGC to make proposals for funding consistent with OVA interests. For that to happen, I called for OVA to spend considerable time identifying its long term interests in the entire matter of “golf” in Oakmont.

      In asking OVA to refocus on its long term interests, I’m asking for much more time to be spent understanding this problem (including jointly studying it), getting first hand information about impact on other communities and how they’ve responded, evaluating successful responses, if they can be found, for “lessons for Oakmont,” i.e., trying to slow down the decision making process beyond the current and perhaps next budget year (since OGC has said its not in dire straits and OVA certainly has plenty of pressure on its resources.)

      In asking OVA to insist that it discover and disclose its long term interests and THEN invite OGC proposals to meet them, I’d like to see OVA step up into the driver’s seat, where they belong, instead of just studying and proposing reactive shorter term ideas for getting $ to OGC.

      The objective is precisely to demand via negotiation that OGC be a
      responsible party: if you want our $, here are our interests, show us
      proposals that advance them [ or you don’t get the money]; agree to guarantees that you will follow through [or you don’t get the money]; agree to provide the necessary information for monitoring whether you follow through and on the financial effects of changed conditions over time [or you don’t get the money], etc. This puts the ball in OGC’s court if they want $. If they decide they don’t want it under those conditions, that’s that.

      [note: that’s that FOR THE SHORT TERM — but if OVA believes from what they’ve seen that there is reason to believe OGC cannot sustain its golf operations in the long term, then OVA cannot responsibly ignore that conclusion. It still has to decide what to do even in the absence of an agreement with OGC and in the absence of giving them money. One approach to that would be Bruce Bon’s proposal of beginning to put back the $ itself, under OVA’s control, so the it is available for use in some way if it begins to look like the golf operation may fail. OVA needs long term strategic thinking about that regardless of what OGC says or does and we are fortunate at least that OGC’s “ask” has alerted OVA to that need.]

    • Besides learning about and focusing on Interests and attending to Alternatives as the measure of agreements, Fisher and Ury (Getting to Yes) have plenty more sound advice for anyone who is truly interested in problem solving: “Separate the people from the problem. . . . Face the problem, not the people. . . . Separating the people from the problem is not something you can do once and forget about it; you have to keep working at it. The basic approach is to deal with the people as human beings and with the problem on its merits.”

    • Gerry, I can tell from your answer that you missed the whole point of why I suggested that you might read (skim) over Hueber’s dissertation. There is much background that is of value in dealing with the national situation in golf and even here in Oakmont. Of course it is only one piece of a very large literature available. Further reading puts in context why the issues are not simply hard-headed business ones for many.

      In any event, I would be happy to evaluate your comments attentively without the belittling of other commenters.

      *Edited 7/26

    • Gerry, maybe you could just do a bit of reading about the situation regarding golf in America, it might open your eyes to why the question is “vexing and complicated” (it really IS). Try a very thorough Ph.D. dissertation on the subject written by David B. Hueber in 2012. It’s long and boring, for some people, and could do some updating like a 2014 “inaccurate and biased” report you mentioned in your post, but you might learn something. The URL for Hueber’s Dissertation is: https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/all_dissertations/972/

      Enjoy

      *Edited 7/26

    • A very thoughtful essay on what is a vexing and very complicated problem. Long Range solutions are very important to this issue and creating agreements based upon short term considerations are, in my opinion, not in the best interests of either OVA or OGC. That is why I have been advocating that the OVA Long Range Planning Committee, and other interested parties, including both Boards study the overall picture.

      In the future, as Jim Golway has noted in his example, the current conditions can change in a number of ways. Economic change and generational differences can have a significant effect on the future of the sport. Changes in the sport itself (i.e. making golf easier and less expensive to play) might increase its attractiveness to the general public. These are just a few things that should be considered in making arrangements between the two organizations which have enough flexibility to make adjustments to accommodate these changes.

      The consequences of making decisions which are fundamentally, and practically, irreversible need to be accounted for as they can be a cause of much regret later.
      The literature on golf course failures and the consequences is large and most likely instructive for Oakmont. Repurposing golf courses tends to be lengthy, expensive, and most often frustrating. IF a way can be found to ensure the life of the golf course(s), AND also guard the interests of the OVA and its residents, then by all means let’s do it.

      Gerry: OGC interests CAN be congruent with the OVA. Why not let the process of negotiation have a chance?

      *Edited 7/26

  • 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 […]

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