In reality there is no way of knowing what newer residents want. Just because some new residents put a great deal of money into remodeling their homes doesn’t mean that they want an expanded Berger Center, subsidies for the OGC. or higher dues. They may have chosen to live in Oakmont because of the beautiful setting in the Sonoma Wine Country or because of the magnificent state parks. Many new home owners are just as disinterested in golf and pickleball as many long term residents.
Those living in the newly purchased remodeled units are paying higher property tax and may have mortgages on their homes. Not every new Oakmont resident had a highly appreciated Bay Area home to sell. Much of Oakmont remains “affordable” housing — 1,570 units of multifamily housing in duplexes, tri- and quad-plexes. Not all new residents can afford elegant hillside homes with views. Not every new resident in Oakmont is a multimillionaire.
The way to find out if residents want an expensive, discretionary new facility is for the membership to vote on it. The OVA BOD could have saved a great deal of money and prevented a huge amount of conflict by preparing preliminary plans for the proposed Central Office building and pickleball courts on the putting green and then calling for a vote. Simply prepare conceptual designs for the project, get a cost estimate and present it to the OVA membership.
We need the bylaws to be amended to call for a vote of the membership before pursuing expensive, discretionary, new facilities. Unfortunately residents have little idea what the directors they vote for will propose once they are elected. The directors have unlimited control over how our mandated dues are spent even when they make proposals that were never discussed during the campaign. I suspect that what happens in Oakmont has little to do with the attitudes of newer, more affluent residents. It has to do with small “insider” groups lobbying for facilities that they personally want and with directors who prefer to listen to their personal cliques of friends than to ask the membership what is important.