We are proud to endorse Heidi Klyn, Matt Oliver and Jerry Gladstone for the 2024 Oakmont Village Board of Directors election. We will be hosting candidate Meet and Greet events and encourage all residents to attend and make their voices heard. 

About Us

In the heart of Sonoma County in Oakmont Village a new voice emerged in 2023: the Oakmont Grassroots Organization. This group, formed by several dozen active and engaged members of the Oakmont community, focuses on shaping a future that reflects the values of inclusivity, affordability, and sustainability.

The Oakmont Grassroots Organization came into being as a response to the growing needs of Oakmont Village:  An active adult community nestled in the Valley of the Moon. Recognized as a welcoming haven for retirees and active adults, Oakmont Village’s future is of great importance to our residents. The organization aims to discuss and address issues that are crucial for our community’s well-being, endorsing candidates for the Board of Directors that align with our vision of an inclusive and vibrant active adult community. Leadership: President Deborah Quam RN, Vice-President Osserman MSW/Chaplain; Treasurer Wendy Cassel retired RN, Kerry Oswald Canvassing Chairperson.

Key principles and core values

At the heart of the organization’s ethos are several key principles and core values:

1. Transparency, Inclusion and Economic Diversity: Advocating for clear and open communication within the Oakmont Village Association and promoting open and honest dialogue within the community. We welcome the ideas and opinions of all Oakmont residents. We are very pleased that the Oakmont Observer will now be available as an independent forum for free speech. None of these goals are possible without accurate and timely information available to residents so they may make informed decisions.

2. Financial Management: Emphasizing prudent financial practices in managing community resources. The first step in setting priorities is always to determine membership preferences and demographic trends through mailed and online surveys, focus groups and club surveys. The 2030 Project did not commission an updated questionnaire survey and focused on a community conversations model with themes. To date, we have not had a professionally managed and administered membership survey in nine years. In addition, 2030 depended on demographic data from 2010.

3. Maintenance and Upgrading of Facilities: Committing to the upkeep and modernization of the three community centers, pools, and gathering places like the Berger Center and Central Activity Center within fiscal constraints that represent sound, professional management practices. We urge a focus and study related to updating the OVA ByLaws. We encourage support for community votes when large, multimillion dollar projects are planned and proposed by the Board of Directors. 

4. Management of Resources: Maximizing available spaces for our very important clubs, events, and membership meetings. We advise exploring use of the Golf Course meeting rooms that are contractually available to us. Options for room dividers and indoor/outdoor seating with bifold glass doors at the larger Berger Center may also be a very cost-effective option. 

5. Preservation of Open Spaces: Valuing the landscapes surrounding the Central Complex and common areas throughout Oakmont while supporting the many activities, sports, and clubs that so many residents enjoy. Walking along the scenic paths, trails and sidewalks is a common activity, The golf courses present stunning open space views in the community and expanding early morning walking hours would be a huge bonus to active Oakmont residents. Encourage liaison committee work with CourseCo to put ALL our members needs first, not just for golf play.

While the organization is not opposed to all building projects proposed by the Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC) under the 2030 project list, it raises concerns over large-scale, expensive projects that lack direct approval from the community members. We value the many hours a dedicated group of individual members spent making their voices heard in community conversations. We do question however, the 2030 project reliance on outdated demographics and a general membership survey that is now nine years out of date in planning for future projects. Since the Tubbs and Glass fires many new residents have joined our Oakmont Community, and their preferences are important. 

Grassroots opposes certain development proposals outlined in the 2030 project priority list, such as:

  • Replacing the Berger Center. This is a classic mid-century modern design that is of historical value to the community. It has been recently refreshed in a remodel and is used and enjoyed by thousands of residents.  The project list of Oakmont 2030 [p. 3] call for a much larger building.
  • Constructing a multistory performing arts center/auditorium. This architecture and size of this project is out of character with the Central Complex historical design and the surrounding homes.
  • Relocating the Central pool (2030 project list, p. 4). This pool, in this location, is a treasure for families during the summer and has a beautiful view of the Greenwald.
  • Creating large additional parking lots and/or structures that could disrupt the character of the Central Complex.

Grassroots encourages:

  • Supporting OVA policy and committee initiatives that emphasize clean, renewable energy resources at the individual and community level.
  • Supporting community safety through updated OVA policies and committee work product and projects. For example, we support the valuable committee report that the OVA completed related to an emergency egress study. We question the Board’s subsequent vote to hire KLD consultants at significant expense to the community for an additional study.. This is duplicative work. We question the accuracy of KLD data related to the emergency transportation assistance needs of our home-bound neighbors. We highly value the Map Your Neighborhood initiative which has become an important ongoing project for the neighborhoods of Oakmont.
  • Supporting collaboration with city authorities and planners regarding any mandated ADA accessibility upgrades, ensuring that any development aligns with legal requirements and community values.
  • Minimizing the expansion of building footprints at the Central Complex that would trigger very costly city-mandated upgrades to our central infrastructure.

We are proud to endorse Heidi Klyn, Matt Oliver and Jerry Gladstone for the 2024 Oakmont Village Board of Directors election. We will be hosting candidate Meet and Greet events and encourage all residents to attend and make their voices heard.

In conclusion, the Oakmont Grassroots Organization represents a movement towards a future where the voices of the community are heard and respected. It stands as a voice for those who value the natural beauty and serene environment of Oakmont Village, striving for a balanced approach to development that honors the past while embracing a sustainable and inclusive future.

Appeal

Please contact our organization for more information if you share our vision for an inclusive, sustainable, and affordable community. If you would like to promote our vision of Oakmont, you may volunteer your time (e.g. to canvass for the candidates we are endorsing) or donate money (make checks to Oakmont Alliance and send to 7403 Oakmont Drive, Santa Rosa, Ca 95409).

Send Email to OakmontVoices2023@yahoo.com for volunteer opportunities.

The next candidate event will be on 2/15/2024 at 6PM at the East Recreation Center. Please join us for a relaxed and friendly evening with the candidates.

Editor’s note: This article was submitted by the Oakmont Grassroots Organization. The Oakmont Observer welcomes comments, articles or direct submissions by signing up as an author – see The Oakmont Observer is Back!!.

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About Oakmont Grassroots Organization

4 Comments

  1. Tony Lachowicz on February 3, 2024 at 11:34 am

    Your post is very well written and makes a lot of sense. I agree with your approach to Oakmont’s future.

  2. Jim ritter on February 3, 2024 at 12:17 pm

    This group is based on common sense. The new board candidates that support this objective certainly have my support.

  3. Lisa Symonds on February 3, 2024 at 1:34 pm

    This was refreshing news! I have been very concerned with how the HOA dues have been increasing, the existence of a core group that continues to support large scale investments and expensive maintenance commitments for the new facilities without listening to the residents, threatening the quality of life for some of our residents who may get priced out. Oakmont is an attractive community and we need to maintain that value. Rising HOA fees will effectively lower our home values and strain budgets for many residents on fixed income. We have to remember that as we age many of the amenities we once valued at Oakmont we will no longer use. The 55-75 group are the main recipients but not so many amenities are needed for the 75-95 year olds . We also should utilize the wonderful amenities offered by our surrounding community partnering with community groups and not isolate our residents to Oakmont activities only.

  4. Dorothy Stuebner on February 3, 2024 at 3:44 pm

    Thank you! I am hoping that the common sense approach presented here represents the viewpoint of the majority of OVA residents. For those of us that love the “village” aspect of Oakmont Village (which is why we moved here), maintaining and enhancing our current facilities/infrastructure –rather than significantly expanding– seems to be the logical choice. Additionally, abstaining from any major/unnecessary expansions seems to be indicated considering the November 2023 Oakmont Village Association Reserves Study. The study identifies the OVA reserves “Percent Funded Status” as “Fair” (section I, page 2) indicating that any major expenditures would have a higher likelihood of requiring assessments and/or significant dues increases. (If you haven’t seen it, the Reserves Study is online under “Documents” on the Condo Financial dashboard, where we pay our dues.). Again, thank you….since OVA does not provide a members only community blog, I really appreciate an alternative to Next Door for discussing/commenting on OVA issues.

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