The Kenwood Press
News: 09/01/2019

Small claims lawsuit filed over golf club sale

Alec Peters

In the aftermath of Oakmonters voting for a dues increase that would in part finance a purchase of the Oakmont Golf Club’s golf courses and facilities, a former Oakmont Village Association (OVA) board president has filed a small claims action in Sonoma County.

After a month-long voting process, ballots were counted on whether to approve a monthly dues increase of $23, $17 of which would go towards a potential financial transaction with the Oakmont Golf Club (OGC), a private corporation.

Votes were counted on Aug. 8, with 1,968 in favor of the bump in dues, and 707 against. Oakmont turnout was 84 percent.

Current dues are $75 per OVA member per month, and that will rise to $98 a month. An Oakmont-wide vote was required because the proposed dues increase was over 20 percent of the current dues.

Former OVA board member Ellen Leznick filed the small claims action Aug. 12, which asks for a total of $5,943 for various violations of the Davis-Stirling Act, the law which governs condominium, cooperative, and planned unit development communities in California, as well as attorney’s fees.

Specifically, Leznick alleges that there were violations of Davis-Stirling pertaining to the election process, improper notice of an OVA board meeting, denial of access to OVA records as required by law, and improperly charging opponents of the dues increase, the Oakmont Alliance, $150 to use an OVA meeting space at the East Recreation Center.

In addition, Leznick is seeking an injunction to stop the OVA from entering into a financial contract with the OGC, as well as the proposed management contract with Advance Golf Partners, the company OVA would like to hire to manage the two golf courses, restaurant, and other facilities.

Leznick also wants the court to void the results of the election.

A small claims court date has been scheduled for Sept. 30.

In response to the filing, OVA board president Steve Spanier said, “The OVA board believes none of Leznik’s claims have merit and looks forward to providing proof of that on September 30.”

Though the vote on the dues increase was not close, Leznick and others in the Oakmont Alliance have argued that the vote was unfair because the Alliance was blocked from getting its views out via official OVA channels, thus the Oakmont community was not allowed to make an informed decision.