Letters to the Editor June 15, 2017
Oakmont’s OVA Board needs institutional memory
Professionals in the field of Organizational Development have long recognized the value of institutional memory in preserving the mission and integrity of varied organizations. The current “pickleball” controversy of Oakmont demonstrates the need for institutional memory there.
The past three Boards of Directors sought to build pickleball courts. Based upon consultation from a sound expert, the Central Activity Center (CAC) was selected as location for the courts.
Very recently there has been a change in the Oakmont Village Association (OVA) Board. Opponents of the CAC pickleball project, by a slim margin, gained control of the Board of Directors, campaigning that Oakmont could not afford this recreational amenity. A “slate” of candidates campaigned on this basis, notwithstanding that previous boards had concluded appropriate OVA funds were available and sufficient for construction. Immediately upon taking office, the new board terminated an existing contract to build the pickleball courts at the CAC.
This board, violating the intention of three predecessor boards, intends to remove two of the East Recreational Center tennis courts and replace them with four or six pickleball courts. Many homeowners living near the East Rec Center are outraged at this attempted “end run.” The sound of multiple pickleball courts in that location would bring a noxious noise intrusion to neighboring homes. These homes sit above and contiguous to the tennis courts. The noise of pickleball, far louder than tennis, would echo up the “bowl” created by hills both east and west of the proposed courts. The quality of life and monetary value of these homes would suffer accordingly. Any who doubt this claim of auditory noxiousness need only to go stand near the current pickleball courts and listen for themselves to what the neighbors would experience.
There remains a solution consistent with the judgment of three previous boards. Build the courts near the CAC as originally planned and allow the tennis players to retain what they have enjoyed for years – four courts at the East Rec Center. To proceed with the plan of placing the pickleball courts at the East Rec Center would violate the integrity of decisions, promises and contracts made by previous Boards of Directors, while ensuring continued strife.
The space is available at the CAC, and the OVA funds are available for construction. The CAC is the appropriate site. Build the courts there.