RMA hears motorcycle protest, approves $5,000 for community center architect
The Rancho Murieta Association board of directors heard from unhappy motorcycle owners on the North, approved funding to hire an architect for the community center/pool project, and acted on proposed rule changes at Tuesday's meeting.
North motorcycle rules protest
Half a dozen motorcycle owners on the North told the board they want CC&R restrictions lifted so they have the same right to ride to and from their homes as motorcycle riders on the South have. Speakers said the CC&Rs regarding motorcycles were unequal and asked for variances to be granted. They pointed out that variances are granted to park multiple vehicles in the driveway, which is also prohibited by the CC&Rs.
Some talked about the problems of transporting their motorcycles by trailer to their homes, and the vandalism and wear-and-tear the expensive equipment are subject to while parked in the Gazebo lot.
President Jim Moore said the motorcycle issue comes up on a regular basis. He suggested the group work with the general manager to get the matter placed on next month's agenda so it can be explored by the board.
Funds approved for community center/pool architect
The board authorized the hiring of an architect for the community center and pool project, capping the cost at $5,000 and making the hiring contingent on the property owner's acceptance of an offer for a 14-acre site on Escuela Drive across from Stonehouse Park. The board authorized a $3,000 appraisal for the property in November. The purchase would be contingent on a membership vote of approval for the project.
The $4.5 million project would be financed, operated and maintained by RMA members and requires an affirmative vote by the majority of the membership to proceed.
In 2010, the board authorized spending up to $7,000 for a brochure about the project that was sent to members. Based on positive response to a short survey in the brochure, the board formed an ad hoc committee to explore the project. The tenure of the committee was extended through 2012 at last month's board meeting.
At Tuesday's meeting, Director Sam Somers Sr. inquired about the cost of a voting package that would help to sell the project to voters. General Manager Nick Arther said the ballot would cost $500, while Assistant General Manager Danise Hetland estimated the total cost to prepare, print and mail the voting packet at $5,000 to $6,000.
Stonehouse Park lighting
Last August, Director Randy Jenco cited the playing field lights at Stonehouse Park as the reason for developing a use policy for Stonehouse Park, saying the RMA wants to rein in the use of the lights so neighbors aren't "kept up all night."
Instead, the policy that went out to the membership for a comment period seemed to be more about using the lights than turning them off. The notice that accompanied the policy reads, "The purpose of this new policy is to allow residents the ability to reserve a space and use the lights at Stonehouse Park for private events."
At Tuesday's meeting, the policy was sent back to the Maintenance Committee because of questions that were raised during the comment period about the cost of lighting the park. The board was told more lights are planned.
Maintenance Manager Rod Hart announced the purchase of LED floodlights at the January Maintenance Committee meeting. Hart said he and General Manager Nick Arther came up with the idea of installing motion-activated lights on existing light poles on the playing fields and floodlights on the walkways and snack bar area that would be on all the time. The lights on the field would go on when the big lights shut off to accommodate smaller groups that don't need all the field lighting and for clean-up work after Little League games, Hart said. The lights range from $300 to $600 in cost, with funding coming from the Maintenance operating budget.
Hart told the committee the lights were part of an effort "to accommodate as many people as we can but yet have control over costs and control over the lights."
To gain control over the existing lights, Hart said codes for the computer-operated light system will be changed and the lock for the older field lights would be changed.
- The board approved committee rosters for 2012.
- After a lengthy discussion about how motor vehicle rules are enforced, the board voted to send changes in the rules that would reduce the maximum fine of $500 per incident to $300 to the membership for public comment. The changes will come back to the board for adoption.
- Also being sent out for public comment: Rules for the dog parks that are being constructed at Stonehouse Park and rules for using common area that are intended to address complaints about offensive behavior.
RMA is spending $5000 on a project that has not been voted on and has a strong possiblity of failing. Are you people out of your minds?
The $5000 is in addition to the $3000 already spent. Our Country Club membership is at the lowest it has ever been due to the economy and now RMA wants to add more costs that some individuals will not be able to meet. This is in speculation that the membership of RMA will approve going forward with a community center. Again, are you people out of youir minds?
Here we go!!!! The RMA BOD is spending membership money on this project that has little or no chance of passing as it will require ll61 yes votes. In the history of RMA the only time even 1161 members votes was on the TV issue and approximately 900 of those votes were gathered by a committee walking the streets collecting proxies. I can appreciate how nice it would be to have such a facility, however; now is not the time. When we've had the number of foreclosures that have taken place within the gates doesn't the BOD realize the economy isn't good and isn't improving very fastl?
The BOD has spent alot of time and money on this item that started with the wishes of one board member. When on the BOD I was assured other than the original $8,000 ther wouldn't be any monies spent until it was approved by the membership. The BOD needs to stop this now and have the membership vote on approval or disapproval of this project. Unless this happens the BOD will continue spending our dues which will be throwing dollars down a rat hole.
ARE THEY OUT OF THEIR MINDS?
Dick, I absolutely AGREE with you.....Are these board members rich or just not getting it!!!! Many members have posted that this is NOT the time to be spending money on this project....many loosing their homes, can't pay their obligations, lost jobs......holy cow folks, look around...times are tough and we DON'T need to start spending OUR money on this now.
Take a breath folks, we don't all make $100k a year out here......and you just got through raising our dues.....
I GUESS IT'S TIME I BECAME THIS BOARDS WORST NIGHTMARE
TO THE RMA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
You have embarked on a quest of building a Community Center for the Rancho Murieta Association. In your efforts to do so you have selected a committee that is comprised of members, all of who seem to have the same united goal. To most this would seem reasonable, but as you have proceeded I wonder how objective this committee has or can be? The numbers used from the GM's survey were presented in a totally bogus way. Saying 75% of the community was in favor was a misrepresentation. It was 75% of responding members which actually represented only approximately 12 to 25% of the membership. Seeing how you need 1161 yes votes for approval, using the respondent numbers you'd get only approximately 280 yes votes.
When this quest started, as board members, we were assured no membership monies would be spent beyond the original $8,000 for the introductory brochure. You now have approved and additional $8,000 and I'd point outof the $16,000 total so far hasnot been passed through the Finance Committee for examination prior to being presented to the BOD for approval. Additionally you have approved entering in to a purchasing agreement for a property that has an estimated cost of $200,000, which is outside the boundaries of the RMA, which by the way has no water right from CSD.
In the original presentation to the membership it was estimated this project would cost approximately $3,600,000. If that figure is still good, what would be holding up having the membership vote on this issue with a clasue of "Not to exceed $3,600,000? If you get the needed 1161 yes votes then you could proceed with the approval of the membership. If you don't vote at this stage of the game, will we be really suprised when we discover the BOD has spent an additional $25,000 to $30,000 on a project that didn't have a snow ball chance in hell of passing to begin with?
How this is being handed and presented by the BOD to the membership seems very similar to how the Mayor of Sacramento is pushing the down town Arena and that can only be describd as "Smoke and Mirrors.
If this is the right thing for the membership, at the right time, then by all means allow us to vote on it now and you will have the correct answer as to the desires of the membership.
Plain and simple, the membership has enough information on this project to make a informed decision. Prior to spending another dollar, put the community center project to a vote!
**Prior to spending another dollar, put the community center project to a vote! **
One of the most sane things I've read all day.
Add another voice to the above comments. Regardless of how one feels about the community center, it makes no sense to be spending such money on projects that appear to not have a chance in heck of getting through.
I AGREE, STOP THIS NONESENSE AND PUT IT TO A VOTE NOW.
Why do we continually see RMA BODs promoting agendas of the few, wasting our monies in these efforts, and in this instance on a project that will never be approved by the membership. WAKE-UP BODs!!
However beneficial you think a recreational center would be to our community, you are wasting precious funds and energy on a ill-timed project!
HOW many years have you been working on a new design for the North gate. What happened to that project? Why not finish it!! It is long overdue, and much needed.
You want to buy some land, purchase a small portion of the land adjacent to the "members entrance" and build a new security building and visitors entrance there.
PUT IT TO A VOTE NOW!! PLEASE!!
Even though the RMA is not technically a government, it is a governing board of a corporation. The same old saying holds true that you get the government you deserve. The decision to continue the work of the Ad Hoc committee and continue to spend money albeit small amounts could doom what could be the worthy efforts thusfar. It is up to the RMA board to present to the membership what the proposal they have been working towards in a deliberative and well thought out fashion. I believe they have a site and with the architectural representation they should have the information, both visual and costs, necessary for the membership to make an informed decision on this momentous project. While it is every members right to voice their opinion I would also encourage the BOD to wrap this up sooner rather than 6, 9, or 12 months down the road. The clouds are gathering.
I am not willing in any way to ok spending 4.5 million dollars without the opinions of AT LEAST one professional. I don't know if we will get a snack bar and a parking lot for 4.5 or if we can get everything we want, and I won't vote until I do know.
It seems that several of you are against it no matter what, and that is your prerogative. It is also your prerogative to speak out openly against it, but it is unfair and unreasonable to expect that since you speak loudest and most often (and I can tell you are speaking the loudest because you use ALL CAPS THE MOST) that you are the only ones who are right. That is not the case.
Last time I checked, RM was fully 50% under the age of 50 and more than 20% under age 20. Do we give the 20% the right to vote? Maybe we should. Maybe the voting power should be based on the nubmer of residents of a home, and not the number of lots. That would mean that I get four votes, because there are four of us that would use the facitlity, and many homes would get one or two. Of course I'm being facetious, but to make the point that even if we go by voting membership, we are not likely to get an accurate representation of the numbers in favor of or against.
Yes, these are hard times. Yes there are foreclosures. Yes membership is down. This is also the best time to buy, if you have the means, the best time to build because labor price and availability is unprecedented. We can get more for our dollar, and add value that will only increase the attractiveness of the community. Can you tell me that if you knew that RM had a community center and pool and that we allowed folks to <gasp> ride their motorcycles to their homes! that you would have chosen a different place to call home?
I voted for new, younger board members in hopes that they would represent me (and 50% of the population here) that has not historically been represented in the demographics of the board. I'm not saying that our interests weren't considered, but I feel like they are more likely to be similar with a younger board. I'm a working stiff. I own a small business and don't have the time to volunteer to run to sit on the board. At some point I will, and I hope that I can be fair to my constituents, and to keep my personal opinions in check. It's upsetting that one of the most vocal opponents was a long time board member. It shows me that this was exactly what didn't happen.
In short, I am vocalizing what I believe to be a common, and indeed maybe prevalent, opinion on the community center, firmly in support of the current and past actions of the board, and particularly the action to ask a professional for help.
You may state your opinion and I may state mine. I am against a community center at this time. I think the time has come for a vote prior to any more funds being released for this project. As I understand, $16000. has already been spent. I do not believe that RMA is so financially sound that they can spend money on a project that has not been approved by the membership. So lets settle it....Vote
Just wondering how much longer this will draw out and how much more it will cost. That was $5000 additional dollars toward this project that could have gone toward making RM North look presentable to visitors and those of us who have not given up.
As for the motorcycle issue... Has anyone been able to look into the legality of 2 separate sets of rules for the same association? I was a rider but sold my bike. I see how well the gazebo parking lot is kept and how people are allowed to "linger", I couldn't trust that anyone would protect my assets even that close to the front gate. Honestly, this is 2012. Gas prices are going to sky rocket, our bikes are no louder than some of the hot rods and things will never get better at the gazebo... it's time for some equality in the CC&Rs for the North and the South.
Dick Cox, we need you back on the board!
Can this community really afford to spend all this money on appraisals and architects, not to mention all the time (money) spent by RMA staff exploring this gigantic project during these unpredictable times? I think not! The possible purchase of 14 acres on which to build it? I think not! It's time to "get real" and either put this to a vote of the members or put it to rest. In my opinion, the board needs to start thinking of ways to CUT expenses, NOT increase them.
Mary Lou Craig
No motorcycles on the North: You knew what the rules were before you purchased your home here. So you buy your home and now you want to change the rules. COME ON MAN! That's like buying your house next to LA International airport then complaining about the noise. COME ON MAN!
Next, the community center and pool: You moved in without a pool and a gym, but now you want this. The problem with that is, you want your nextdoor neighbor to help YOU pay for YOUR receation. COME ON MAN! If you want a gym, why don't you join the one across the street and you pay the dues. Don't ask for a handout from your nextdoor neighbor. If you want a pool, put one in your yard and you pay for it. Don't ask for a handout from your nextdoor neighbor. COME ON MAN! I moved in here for the golfing. I am a member of the RMCC and "I" pay for my recreation. I don't ask my neighbors who don't want to golf to help pay my dues. COME ON MAN! Yes a pool and center would be nice for the community and so would a bowling alley, go carts, shooting range, drive-in movie theater,etc. This isn't Disney Land, so let's be realistic and try to maintain and enjoy what we already have and can afford! Maybe if we combined RMCC and RMA and raised our monthly dues to say approximately a $zillion a month maybe we could have all the recreational things everyone wants, and then just maybe we could change the name from Rancho Murieta to Murieta Land COME ON MAN! Mike Carney
It's very difficult to understand how the board would send out a proposal to the members, setting a usage fee, without first checking into what the hourly electrical costs are to operate the lights on the soccer fields. The discussion back and forth at the last RMA meeting told us all that , Rod Hart didn't even know what the hourly costs are and that he would check into it and get back to the board with the answer. Over two weeks ago, I called our general manager, Mr. Arther, and asked. He has not yet gotten back to me. This proposal leads me to believe there are outside teams, perhaps adult teams, perhaps not, perhaps outside childrens' teams, not related to little league and any other childrens' leagues, who want to use the fields. If that is so, then they are the ones who should pay for the light usage in addition to having a user fee to use it and cover the costs of maintenance after use. I have played in tennis leagues for many years. It's understandable, if it is reciprical, we have a home game and invite the opponents to use our courts, they have a homegame and we use their courts. That's the way it works in little league or any other childrens' leagues. I question the rule "Member-sponsored Non-Rancho Murieta groups". What does that mean? Again I will state, our dues keep increasing each year. There have got to be controls on costs!
As I see it, a total of less than 10 people have commented negetivley on this article regarding a community center. That is less than 1/2% of the homes in RM. If this is as large an outcry against a community center we are going to see I would say the community center is a slam dunk. This is absolutely the best time to enhance our community and provide additional services for RM with construction costs at a minimum.
Look at the community center as an investment in your own home. I can't think of a single person who may want to move to RM that is going to say, " we love the community but they have a community center and pool, we would never move there."
I applaud the board for their thoughtful and reasoned approach towards this project and support going forward with the next step.
***As I see it, a total of less than 10 people have commented negetivley on this article regarding a community center. That is less than 1/2% of the homes in RM. If this is as large an outcry against a community center we are going to see I would say the community center is a slam dunk. ***
We know that often what is written on the websites don't reflect the thoughts of the community as a whole, so those conclusions really can't be made.
However, if this is a slam dunk, putting it to a vote now would certainly help redirect critics. If it's not a slam dunk, maybe best to find out now.
I am against a community center at this time. Some residents may be on the edge of bankruptcy or foreclosure and another raise in dues could push them over the brink. I doubt if those residents would care if there is a pool or community center as long as they can hold on to their homes. I don't know of many (or any) who are getting raises or COLAs yet the cost of living continues to rise at a rapid pace. Every year we have a dues increase not to mention the annual SMUD increase. I think this is a bad idea.