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A membership vote on whether to proceed with the sale of Rancho Murieta Country Club passed with 95 percent member approval, the club’s board of directors announced Tuesday night.

“Today’s results clearly have shown the the club’s membership realizes that a change of ownership with Bob Husband and Bellagio Road is the best way to improve the golf courses, facilities and offer a swimming pool and wellness center to our members,” Vince Lepera, club president, said in a statement.

The club announced last month that a Southern California golf-industry veteran had emerged as a potential buyer for the club. James A. (Bob) Husband, representing a small company called Bellagio Road, had offered to loan the club the money to buy out its lease, the club said, and the club would subsequently sell its operation to Husband for $1.

The club held three membership meetings a month ago to outline the terms of the deal, attracting about 500 members. Members received ballots in early March, and voting closed Tuesday evening.

The club operates under a 55-year lease that expires in 2028. The present North developers purchased the club land, but not the club, in 2013, when they bought out the Pension Trust Fund of Operating Engineers’ Rancho Murieta holdings.

The club has already given formal notification of its plans to the land owners. Agreeing on a price – or taking the issue to binding arbitration to reach the price – will follow.

Part of the sale requires Husband to spend at least $2.5 million for a pool/wellness center and general improvements.

Here is Lepera’s full statement Tuesday night:

The board of directors of RMCC is extremely pleased with the results of the question of whether RMCC should purchase the club and resell it to Bob Husband and his company, Bellagio Road.  With a very large turnout, the vote was overwhelmingly approved by our membership by 95%.  

We believe that there is a very clear signal from our members that the RMCC board needs to finalize the purchase so that the club can move forward with the cash infusion and capital improvements we so badly need.

Today’s results clearly have shown that the club’s membership realizes that a change of ownership with Bob Husband and Bellagio Road is the best way to improve the golf courses, facilities and offer a swimming pool and wellness center to our members.

RMCC should be able to increase membership and improve its viability, and restore its place as being the premier country club in Northern California.

The board is anxious to continue moving forward with the current ownership group so we can keep the process going.

This vote does not ensure that the deal will go through. There are still several steps to completing the transaction, but with the support of the membership through this vote the board and Bob Husband are ready to finalize the deal. 

Finally, we are grateful for the votes and trust that our membership has expressed with this overwhelmingly positive vote.

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Vote count on club ballots

Later Tuesday night, the club followed up with the actual vote count. It was divided between full voting members and members with a quarter-vote participation. The totals looked like this, according to the club:

Total vote
Yes: 422
No: 17
Votes for quorum: 3

Full votes
Yes: 359
No: 14

Quarter votes
Yes: 253 (divided by 4 equals 63 votes)
No: 11 (divided by 4 equals 3)

Some 65 percent of club members voted, the club said.

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