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Oakmont News, Opinion & More

Why I Resigned my OGC Membership

The following is an OVA news release posted today from board president, Steve Spanier.

“The recently announced news that the Oakmont Golf Club (OGC) is to be sold forces the Oakmont Village Association (OVA) to immediately address the importance of the golf club to our community. I can’t continue to sit on the sidelines; this issue is now urgent.

As a result, effective Feb 28, 2019, I resigned my OGC membership. Our legal counsel, both past and present, agree that there are no longer material conflict of interest constraints and I may now participate in OVA board discussions and votes on the OGC issue.

To date, VP Tom Kendrick has led the OVA effort to decide whether and how OVA should provide financial aid to OGC. Going forward, Tom and I will work together to address this urgent issue with the highest priority.

Thanks to the openness of the new OGC Board, we are now able to share with you much more about our thinking and what we’re doing. Look for regular articles in the Friday eblast and in the Oakmont News.

All of this kicks off March 5th when, following the OVA project oversight training workshop, the OVA board will hold a wide-ranging public discussion of options available to the OVA and our thoughts about them.

I consider this to be the most urgent issue Oakmont has faced in decades. From now on, I will be “all in” working to protect resident interests and will keep you informed as we go.

Unfortunately, at this point, there is no pain-free solution to this problem. Addressing this issue will create some community dissent. But I’m very confident that, working together and openly, we will make progress and find a way to serve the best interests of Oakmont.”

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9 Comments

  1. Ray Haverson on March 2, 2019 at 6:16 am

    We should not be involved at all in the golf courses issues as it is a private business not a part of our OVA management board. We have a lot more issues of our own if the golf course chooses to sell that is their decision as they refused to make positive steps to attract people. They could make a lot more money in the restaurant with a change in the menu the food their is terrible and way over priced for the quality they serve.
    It is illegal for the OVA to give one dime to the golf course as the golf course is a private ” for profit business ” but our board keeps coming up with ways to give them our money as it is clear that our OVA boards interest is for their own wants not the interest of our residents. We have yet to have a house flood in Oakmont do to poor drainage on the golf course. Our board has yet to explain why we have been giving our money to the golf course for a non existent problem except that may be the way we are subsidizing the golf course. I have to wonder why we have been giving money to the golf course for toilet paper and the such so our delivery people can use the bathrooms when we have bathrooms outside the OVA offices.

    The upcoming election is also not legal as they do not have enough candidates running per our bylaws and should they have the election it may bring on yet another lawsuit.

  2. Steven Moore on March 2, 2019 at 8:46 am

    I agree with Ray Haverson. Steve Spanier’s message is clear. He’s going to give our money to OGC as quickly as possible, despite what the community thinks, to prove to prospective buyers that we’ll also help them out financially. It sounds like he may not even use the drainage excuse, a proven hoax, and just go with “the board can call the shots on recreational issues.” The greatest threat in OVA history isn’t the sale of the golf courses but rather ignoring the community for your own personal gain. It’s time we enact the guidelines that the state recommends in Davis-Sterling, another critical issue that the board is against. Relinquish some power to the community? Why would they ever want to do that?

  3. Debra Kiddoo on March 3, 2019 at 7:45 am

    I believe Steve is right that this is one of the most important issues to be addressed for Oakmont. Regardless of people’s reluctance to potentially pay additional funds it is clear from past literature that the golf courses bring tangible value to the community and must be preserved in some manner. Thank you Steve

  4. Lyn Cramer on March 3, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Yes, Debra, in the past golf courses were probably reliable pluses to a community. Times have changed. The percentage of home buyers in 55-plus communities who do so because of golf is declining, while the number who avoid communities with golf is increasing. The latter don’t want to be saddled with having to paying for golf courses that increasingly lose money. Have we reached a tipping point? I don’t know, but I think it’s fair to say that buying into an expensive amenity like golf when it in decline exposes this community to financial risks none of us can fully appreciate. It is an inappropriate venture for a retirement community.

    • Elaine on March 4, 2019 at 11:32 am

      Lyn, you’ve made very good points. I’ll reinforce them by adding that for the OVA BOD to pursue such course of action would demonstrate very poor business judgment.

  5. Ellen Dolores on March 4, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    Our legal counsel in months past also, at the OGC meeting held with snacks and wine for OVA members said he thought it would be legal for the OGC to charge OVA members in order to financially support their failing businesses. As Ray said above, and I said previously, it is so obviously unconstitutional to force anyone to invest in a business they have no ownership in, that this is a recipe for a class-action law suit.

    We really need to fire our current attorney and hire one that not only understands what is constitutionally obvious, but most important, is not confused about the the most basic aspect of being admitted to any state liscensing Bar- knowing unequivicially, who your client is, and therefore, who you represent. I did susequently see some soft. back-pedaling on his part about his position, but it wa too mealy-mouthed and too late. We need an attorney who represents OVA members instead of a business most of us are in conflict with.

    So Spanier resigned from the OGC- does this mean he has no financial liability for ownership – meaning profit and losses? Please tell Mr. Kendrick also, some of us have no interest in his opinions as well as his arrogant, patronizing attempts based soley on his own clear view that he knows better what is good for OVA members than we do.

  6. Jeff Neuman on March 4, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    1. The open space that the golf course occupies is a critical asset to Oakmont. It would be a shame and a detraction to the value of our homes if this space were filled with houses or apartments or condos. I think an outside buyer might have a run at running a golf course, but failure is inevitable, and it would be a matter of time before someone proposes developing the space.
    2. I’m not real concerned with whether that space is a golf course or a multi-use open space for Oakmont residents.
    3. I am very concerned that this is a one-time opportunity for Oakmont as a community to have a say in the use of this property.
    4. And the only way to do that, is to buy it. If we don’t buy it, we’re going to be treated to a chorus of should have, could have, would have, for the rest of eternity. Figure out a monthly assessment or an assessment on the next sale of every Oakmont property that would support a loan to purchase the OGC and put this in front of the community for a vote.
    Buy it, contract with a management company to run the golf course and renovate the Quail Inn as long as that’s viable, and gradually shrink the golf course in favor of a park, owned by Oakmont, run at minimal expense. I’d be happy to spend a bit now, to avoid more houses in Oakmont, and more traffic on Oakmont Drive and Highway 12.
    Oakmont needs to control this property and determine its long term use. Owning it is the only way.

    • Elaine on March 4, 2019 at 9:40 pm

      Jeff – I disagree with you when you say, “I think an outside buyer might have a run at running a golf course, but failure is inevitable….” The golf courses are in a gorgeous location and with the right ownership and management the operation could be very successful. Perhaps the right buyer would determine 2 courses aren’t sustainable and adjust accordingly, and/or would know how to capitalize on the incredible location and opportunities inherent in the property. Do you know if this acquisition of a private golf club by ClubCorp is succeeding or failing?
      http://www.golfincmagazine.com/content/clubcorp-acquires-santa-rosa-gcc
      http://www.clubcorp.com/Clubs/Santa-Rosa-Golf-Country-Club/Our-Story

      Let’s step back and see what putting the OGC assets on the market produces in the way of a buyer that truly knows the golf industry and has great business acumen, which OVA and the current OGC owners clearly do not.

  7. Bonnie Lind on March 4, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    I am totally against buying the Oakmont Golf Course or any other FOR PROFIT business. We have lived here for 15 months and already our dues have gone up twice- We all know that deferred maintenance on our major buildings is going to require loans for remodel, and once more our dues will go up again–When will it all stop ? As someone once said, at a board meeting, we are a retirement community, not a country club !

    Since the OGC does not seem to be able to manage itself and financially survive, then it should be sold or find a management company who does know how to succeed in the golf business. For the OGC to threaten us with selling to contractors or others who would build housing down the fairways is simply blackmail of the worse kind. With a cousin who is a golf pro, a brother in law who lives on a golf course in Texas and a husband who was born and brought up on a golf course who all say, they have never ever heard of such a thing–buying into a commercial business in the neighborhood. They were all adamant that such an arrangement would be ludicrous. They all agree that golf is not a dying sport. The Pro lives in New Zealand, my brother in law in Texas and my husband in England— a good, wide cross section of golfing around the world.

    Forcing homeowners here to pay for the operation of this golf course and club will bring dire consequences and division into a community which we all bought into for our retirement, love of the country side and enjoyment of our hard earned savings for things we love—– not buying out commercial enterprises we didn’t ask for

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