Kenwood Press

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Guest Editor: 03/01/2017

Oakmont’s fiscal situation – setting the record straight

By Susan Millar, Oakmont resident

Oakmont has never been more fiscally sound than it is now. We have a comprehensive reserve study that tells us exactly where we need to go and what we will need to spend, and we have the funding mechanism in place to get us there. This is Oakmont’s long-range plan.

This year’s OVA Board elections are very important. There are four individual candidates who have come together to make sure Oakmont stays on track as the best active adult community we can be. They call themselves Moving Forward 4 Oakmont.

Here’s why they have my enthusiastic support. I have been on the OVA board and currently chair the Oakmont Community Development Committee that works to ensure compatible development around us that impacts property values and the lifestyle that we all enjoy. Now more than ever, experience and understanding of the board’s responsibility and authority are critical to all of us.

Frank Batchelor, Stephanie Curry, Bill Lucker and Al Medeiros will be stewards who respect Oakmont’s traditions and character, and most of all the diverse needs of all who live here. They know membership dues must adequately fund daily operations, repairs and maintenance, remodel or build new projects when appropriate and meet the long-range goals of the reserve study. They know gathering the collective expertise of the many knowledgeable Oakmonters brings about the best and most cost-effective results on our projects. They know that professional managers like Cassie Turner and Rick Aubert are among Oakmont’s best assets and save all of us money.

Moving Forward’s opponents have put out numerous unfounded allegations, while at the same time demonstrating a profound ignorance about a director’s responsibility and how budgeting and finance have to work in a homeowners association like Oakmont.

It has been alleged that OVA is faced with $2 million in deferred maintenance. Wrong. The $2 million is actually scheduled maintenance projected over the next several years and is a part of our rolling 30-year reserve study. As equipment and facilities age, monies have been set aside to address the replacement and repair of those items. Nothing is being deferred.

It has been alleged that the remodel and repairs to the west Rec Center were $1.3 million, way above original estimates. True. But the opponents fail to tell you why. Once work started, it was clear that the swimming pool, spa, and cabana needed replacing as well, which added approximately $300,000 to the project. Also, items needing repair weren’t discovered until the project was underway. For example, the City of Santa Rosa required that low flush toilets be installed. After they were installed, sewage backed up onto the locker room floor because the drainage pipes located underneath the concrete floor were not sloped sufficiently. Of course, the Board did what it had to do – it authorized additional monies to remedy the problem. This is what happens when you remodel old buildings.

The same issues are before us with the Berger. The board will have to decide the best and most economical solution. A highly credentialed volunteer committee is now in place to help us find the answer. A recent editorial stated that the Board is “seriously” considering $6-10 million to remodel the Berger. Pure fantasy. The options for the Berger are far from being quantified by the committee of experts, let alone the board.

What Oakmonters should really be concerned about is the hidden agenda that these opponents have. They want to turn the clock back. They want to reopen the issue of building a Multi-Sports complex, which has already been approved and permitted by the City of Santa Rosa, and which has already been funded appropriately from home developer impact fees, not dues. The opponent agenda will cause the Board to spend considerable money to buy out the Multi-Sports complex contract and we will have two more years of discord, disharmony, and angry rhetoric.

These opponents to Moving Forward were fielded by a very vocal but small group of dissidents. The individuals of Moving Forward are prepared to deal openly and honestly with the issues facing the Association. Understanding that emergencies are not planned and that priorities can shift due to changes outside our control, they come to the board without a personal agenda.

We live in one of the most beautiful areas in the United States – lovely countryside, great climate, close to major metropolitan cities, good medical service, great restaurants, all located in Sonoma County. We also live where much attention is given to preservation of open land and a rural atmosphere. Many people who are looking for a new home are attracted to Sonoma County, and Oakmont must be diligent in maintaining our position as one of the best senior communities in Northern California.

Yes, Oakmont is in better financial shape than we’ve ever been, with plans in place to take us far into the future. Oakmont is moving forward. Why would anyone want to go backward?

Readers may submit articles on topics of local interest for The Guest Editor column. Email

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