Opinion

I was not in favor of new pickleball courts behind the Berger Center for the simple reason that our tennis courts were underutilized.

I am not in favor a new Berger Center for the simple reason that the Central Project Committee (CPC), after lengthy research, determined that available meeting space in Oakmont was sufficient now and into the future.

I am not in favor of subsidizing the Golf Club without receiving reciprocal remuneration.

However, the 220 acres of golf courses are an integral element of Oakmont. A loss of one (for instance in a bankruptcy proceeding) would invariably impact negatively the entire community.

The moment has arrived for the OVA to seriously consider the purchase of a segment or the entire East Course, with the ultimate objective to convert the open space into a park for the benefit of all the residents.

Time, according to John Williston, time is of the essence (“… there is little time left”.- Nextdoor)

Spread the word(s):

11 comments

  1. I hit a bucket Wed., played the West course Thurs., was at the course Fri. – all three days the golf club was very busy (Thurs. was a 4 1/2 hour round – ugh). Based on my observation it didn’t look like, ‘time is of the essence,” instead the OGC looked like a public golf course that was doing quite well – especially for weekday play. I’m sure the good weather helped.

  2. Jeannette Luini

    Yvonne, I agree that many residents would like the East Course to become an OVA owned park for riding bikes, jogging, and walking their dogs. This is particularly true for residents who live close to the golf course and can access it without driving. Purchase of the East Course should be included in OVAs long range plan. Also, I hope that purchase of the Quail Inn for office and additional meeting space will be considered in the future. These purchases might be particularly attractive financially for OVA if the OGC goes into bankruptcy.

    However, for now, residents who live adjacent to the golf courses, as well as those who enjoy playing golf in Oakmont, have the opportunity to help support the OGC for only $20 a month per household. The Valley Resident Program is open to all who value the Oakmont Golf courses for whatever their reason. It’s not restricted to Oakmont residents. Call Michele Sand 707-537-3671

    Another possibility would be for a group of residents who live adjacent the golf course to agree with the OGC to buy the entire East course in return for paying off the OGCs loan which I believe is between 2 and 3 million. That doesn’t seem like much when one considers that some Oakmont homes are selling for over a million. It is a time honored practice for people to buy open space adjoining their property to be sure that it is not developed in ways that nearby owners don’t find suitable.

    I believe the top priorities for OVA should be to proceed with the Berger remodel and to restore the CAC swimming pool and deck. Over a period of years three committees participated in planning the Berger remodel. Plans by the BAC were posted in the Berger Center for months allowing for resident input. The plans are ready to go to the architect and to Santa Rosa planning. I can scarcely believe that OVAs current BOD has been sidetracked into spending inordinate amount of time planning how to rescue the OGC when OVAs major auditorium needs, not only improvements for functionality, but also for safety. I still remember a BAC member speaking at a meeting and explaining that the Berger doesn’t have interior sprinklers. Huge numbers of residents attend dinners, exercise classes and many other events in our main multi purpose auditorium. . Their safety should be our BOD’s first concern.

    The CAC swimming pool and deck are also a disaster. The pool deck is deteriorating and sharp plastic shards sometimes protrude from the dividers. The bottom of the pool was frequently slippery this past summer. A slippery bottom can be a sign of delamination or just poor pool maintenance. Paint in rusting and tiles and molding round the pool edge are broken. The putting green adjacent to the pool deck used to be well manicured and green. Now it is a heap of dirt clods, weeds, and construction tape warning residents not to walk across. How about putting in a sidewalk so residents can walk directly from the back of the CAC to the OVA office? Perhaps a few benches for residents to enjoy the view of Annadel and breathe the fresh air? My suspicion is that this area is not being restored because certain powerful Oakmont insiders want to reserve it for a parking lot for the much discussed Berger II Taj Mahal.

  3. Lisa Symonds

    Yvonne. If professional golf course managers could not make the golf course profitable, I doubt OVA could turn it around into a good investment. Many do not understand the cost of the golf courses, if sold in bankruptcy, is only a drop in the bucket of actual costs. Any conversion to new use would require environmental permits and substantial costs well beyond the appraised value of the course. Water costs are skyrocketing. Labor costs are going up and difficult even to find labor willing to work in Oakmont. I strongly disagree with your recommendation. Can you also clarify if your home borders the course or if you have OGC membership which would influence your recommendation?

  4. Jeannette Luini

    I was just informed that the “Valley Resident Program” is elusively for Oakmont residents. What? I thought the idea was that many golfers from outside of Oakmont might want to support the golf course It’s a public course, not OVA owned. The title Valley Resident Program seems to imply that the program extends outside of Oakmont as it should.

  5. Yvonne Frauenfelder

    Hello Lisa –

    You may have misinterpreted my comments.

    As I have previously written, Oakmont cannot profitably maintain two golf courses. One of them has to be repurposed.

    As an East Course adjacent homeowner, I would prefer to look over green links. Alas, reality tells us that this might no longer be possible.

    I am interested how you would resolve the Golf Club’s financial difficulties?

  6. Gerry Gwynn

    Yvonne,

    The Voices of Oakmont survey clearly documented that the vast majority of Oakmont residents have little to no interest in the nearby golf club. The latter was not the reason they moved here or stay here. It’s certainly not “an integral element of Oakmont” nor would its loss “invariably impact negatively the entire community”.

    Your self-serving and unsubstantiated opinions conflict with the well-documented opinions/wishes of the majority of residents.

    You also have absolutely no audited financial data from the nearby golf club. So on what basis do you continue to claim that the nearby privately-owned golf club has “financial difficulties” and imminent bankruptcy? Obviously the golf club has to make such claims as part of the ploy to access OVA funds. Are you just relying on the golf club’s self-serving claims?

    Finally, it’s certainly not Lisa’s (or any other resident’s) role or duty “to resolve the Golf Club’s (alleged) financial difficulties”. That’s just absurd.

    Perhaps you might consider that the privately-owned golf club bears the responsibility for its own operations. The club’s private owners/debtors seem intent on keeping their ‘good times rolling’ by demanding OVA dues funds rather than by accepting responsibility for their own business practices.

    No amount of our dues funds can change the character (sleazy IMO) of the owners/debtors of the nearby golf club. Indeed, providing the golf club with a perpetual subsidy from our dues funds would just ensure and reward a continuation of the club’s irresponsible and incompetent behavior.

  7. Yvonne Frauenfelder

    Gerry –

    Your comments come as no surprise. You have made yourself perfectly clear on innumerable occasions as regards the OGC issue.

    You believe the Golf Club people to be corrupt and immoral. The OVA BOD a Banana Republic dictatorship.

    These extreme portrayals of fellow residents might be satisfactory to you, but are offensive to most readers.

    Insults and defamations are not designed to help persuade a
    majority of Oakmonters of your point of view.

  8. Gerry Gwynn

    Yvonne,

    Fact: I’ve never used either of the words “corrupt” or “immoral” to describe what you call “the Golf Club people”.

    I do believe and have stated that certain ACTIONS of the current OVA BD (e.g., Spanier’s broad censorship proposal — which he was forced to withdraw) were better suited to a Banana Republlc dictatorship than a retirement community’s HOA.

    I think that you, as usual, are irate because I criticized YOUR OWN unsubstantiated opinions about the golf club’s operation. I recognize that you live adjacent to one of the golf courses and hence opine with some self-interest.

    But who really is fooled that you’ve refused to answer even one of my questions (see paragraph 3 of my last comment) and instead intentionally created a diversion claiming that you represent and are defending others (i.e. “most readers”)?

    I don’t need you ‘putting (false) words in my mouth’ and others may be shocked that you claim to represent and speak for them.

  9. Yvonne Frauenfelder

    Oxford Dictionaries > definition < sleaze

    Definition of sleaze – immoral, sordid, and corrupt behaviour or activities.

    As for paragraph 3 of your penultimate comment:

    Yes, I do believe that the Oakmont Golf Club has serious financial difficulties. It is not in the interest of the organization to misrepresent their state of affairs.

  10. Gerry Gwynn

    Yvonne,

    You state: “It is not in the interest of the organization to misrepresent their state of affairs”.

    I think that the golf club’s wholly unsubstantiated claims of impending bankruptcy, etc., are not only being made in the golf club’s self-interest but are absolutely necessary self-claims in the club’s attempt to force Oakmont residents to fund their club.

    How else could the club seemingly justify their demands/threats on Oakmont residents?
    That cynical ploy absolutely won’t work unless accompanied by claims of impending financial doom for the club.

    The unavoidable fact is that the privately-owned club has repeatedly and adamantly REFUSED to provide the community’s payers with ANY audited financial information to document and justify the club’s allegedly dire financial straits.

    So, I again query on what basis do YOU claim that the nearby golf club “has serious financial difficulties”?

  11. Yvonne Frauenfelder

    The OVA BOD most recently created a special committee to be of assistance with the development of methods and resources to ensure the survival of the Golf Club operation.

    It begs credulity to assume that these efforts are charades and that the BOD is not in possession of all the relevant financial data.

    I am further more than aware that you decry the absence of public availability of the proprietary numbers and figures indicating the economic status of the OGC. While I may sympathize with you, I have chosen to abide by the non-disclosure request by the Golf Club for business reasons.

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