Kenwood Press

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Letters to the Editor: 03/01/2014

Letters to the Editor

Cassell for OVA Board

Dear Editor,

On or around March 1, Oakmont homeowners will be receiving ballots and related information for the upcoming Board of Directors election. There are three positions to be filled and I am one of the candidates.

I have been an Oakmont resident since 2002 and a regular attendee at OVA board meetings. I have served on Oakmont committees including Architectural, Landscape Improvement, Nominating, and Emergency Preparedness. I recently chaired the Pythian Road Ad Hoc Committee and was the project manager for the new sign at Pythian road and Hwy.12. I am also a volunteer grant-writer for Wildlife Fawn Rescue.

When retiring, I chose Oakmont for its quality of life, wide range of activities, beautiful setting, and exceptional value. Over the years many people have worked to make it this way and I want to help keep it this way. I am dedicated to transparent, fact-based decision-making, polite, respectful discussion, and openness to divergent opinions.

Your vote will be appreciated.

Suzanne Cassell

A vote for Cassell

Dear Editor,

The community of Oakmont is about to elect three new members to its Board of Directors, while residents are still reeling from bitter, unresolved arguments over proposed facility construction and replacement.

At this time, we are fortunate to have as a candidate Suzanne Cassell, who offers a fresh approach, objectivity, relevant background, and decision-making skills that can help heal the community and move the decision process forward.

Suzanne has attended the Board’s monthly meetings regularly since she first moved to Oakmont 12 years ago. She is involved in many community activities and has served on half a dozen Oakmont committees over the years. Throughout, she has demonstrated the ability to listen, analyze facts, and create consensus.

Perhaps most importantly, Suzanne is not a “one-issue candidate.” She is offering to serve in order to maintain what she describes as Oakmont’s “wide range of activities, its lovely setting and facilities, and its exceptional value.”

Suzanne has promised to look closely at all the competing needs and proposed projects, reexamine the estimated costs and availability of funds, and listen with an open mind to all points of view before committing to a plan. She will be an excellent addition to the Board, and her election can help the community return to more neighborly and constructive decision-making than has been the case in recent months.

Judy Burness

Support Altman and Scott

Dear Editor,

The Oakmont Village Association’s bylaws state the corporation’s “specific and primary purpose is to provide athletic and recreational and club facilities for the use of the members of the corporation and their guests.” It is this very statement that has drawn so many to Oakmont.

Unfortunately, over the years, maintenance tasks too numerous to mention have been deferred or overlooked. The East and West Recreation centers and Berger Center all have expensive issues needing attention, including but not limited to a crumbling balcony and locker rooms, asbestos in ceiling and floor tiles, and unpermitted cabanas. The list is very long.

One of the reasons that these projects have not been completed is that the Board is made up of volunteers who devote countless hours overseeing many projects but simply do not have the time or resources to complete these projects in a timely manner. Yet, even with very full plates, our current Board was considering constructing an office building in the middle of our recreational facilities to the tune of $1.1 to $1.5 million dollars. The Board of Directors and statements from the treasurer indicated that there are funds available to complete all projects. This is debatable because estimates on how much it will cost to renovate and enhance our facilities within required current codes are yet to be requested. Were this huge sum of money to be spent on the office building, it wouldn’t be available to complete the long list of needed repairs on our aging and deteriorating buildings nor would it be available to expand, modernize or meet the recreational, social and cultural needs of our changing resident base.

At the Feb. 18 OVA board meeting, we learned that the cost of the building would be $1.67 million with additional unknown costs. Because of that dollar amount, Mr. Taylor announced that the price of the building now made the project “unrealistic.” Most everyone seems to think that “unrealistic” equates to “dropping plans.” I do not, and I don’t want anyone in Oakmont to think that there will not be a building on the greensward until we officially hear the words uttered: “plans dropped.”

There are two candidates running for the OVA Board who agree that we need to do first things first: repairs, then discussion and analysis of what the membership needs and wants. I urge your support of Andie Altman and Alan Scott. Come meet them at Candidates’ Night: March 5, 6:30, Berger Center. All Oakmont residents and their invited guests are welcome.

Harriet Palk

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