Oakmont’s OVA president quits, questions board transparency
Outgoing Oakmont Village Association president Gloria Young resigned from the community’s governing board, effective March 10, becoming the fifth director to quit during a tumultuous year.
“I just felt it was the right time for me to step down.” Young said.
The resignation came four days after Young, in a rebuke to fellow directors, told a board meeting that some business that should take place in public had instead been conducted during closed executive sessions at the expense of transparency.
Young told the board “much confusion” had resulted from “a majority of directors putting some business on executive meetings agendas” that should be discussed in public.
Executive meetings are held regularly to discuss contracts, personnel and legal issues.
Young moved from her seat at the board table to the podium, where she read a prepared statement dealing with the Berger Center, and the Oakmont News and OVA’s Communications Committee, in addition to the transparency comments. She then left the meeting for a prior commitment.
Young was in her final month as a director. Five board members are being elected from a field of nine candidates in voting that ends April 2.
“When board business is discussed behind closed doors it creates the appearance of a board that is not transparent to the members,” Young said. “I hope the new board can make sure this doesn’t happen ... and that our issues should be discussed in open meetings so that our members can actually hear the thought processes of the directors.”
She did not specify any issues, but did call for the new board to thoroughly consider recommendations from the Berger Action Committee (BAC) for either remodeling or replacing the Berger Center, Oakmont’s largest event venue. A BAC presentation listing six options last month was quickly followed by a motion by Director Lynda Oneto to proceed with a basic remodel and upgrading of Berger’s facilities. Oneto’s motion carried 4-2.
Later, Director Karen Oswald said of Young’s comments about transparency, “She made a choice. It’s her choice.” Oneto had no comment. Vice President Greg Goodwin said it was hard to hear Young from where he was sitting, and wanted to watch a video of the meeting before commenting.
In her remarks, Young called an Oakmont News story about a forum for OVA board candidates “blatantly biased” and said that she regretted that some candidates were unfairly portrayed in the article. She said it would not have been published if it had been submitted as required to the OVA manager. No stories for the paper’s March 1 issue were submitted for approval, she said.
Young called for the Communications Committee to be reconstituted under new leadership.
The board later appointed Yvonne Fraeunfelder as the committee chairman, replacing James Foreman, who had resigned. Fraeunfelder became the committee’s third chairman in the past year.
Young spoke of her resignation in a telephone interview with the Kenwood Press while unpacking in a new home at Varenna.
“I have a lot on my plate right now,” she said. “There were board meetings and executive meetings being called, and I couldn’t be there.”
Young was the fifth OVA director to resign during a year that has seen sharp community debate over a now-canceled plan to build pickleball courts near the Berger Center, various plans to remodel or replace the Berger, repairs to the East Recreation Center, and operation of Oakmont’s newspaper. Three OVA treasurers have also resigned, along with the association’s attorney – although he later returned. The OVA manager quit in July, triggering a several-month search for a replacement and pulling board members more into OVA operations. A new manager started in January.
“It’s been a very difficult and challenging year,” Young said. “I’m exhausted.”