Crooked River Ranch Roundup
Candidates Forum held July 18
By John Bowler
At deadline, it appeared highly unlikely that further evaluation of holding Independence Day celebrations on an alternative Saturday when the Fourth of July occurs mid-week will be discussed any further by the Crooked River Ranch Club and Maintenance Association.
The sponsors, including the CRR-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce, Lions, Artists and Crafters Guild and homeowners association all say they are satisfied with the results and disinclined to interrupt busy schedules to discuss them further.
Besides, there really is no effective method to determine whether better attendance at scheduled events would be enhanced by holding them on the actual Fourth of July no matter what day of the week it falls on.
Add to that only a limited amount of dissatisfaction has been expressed with the current arrangement by an equally miniscule number of Ranchers. A few expressed the hope that in the future some official Ranch observance of the nation's birth can be implemented on the actual anniversary that doesn't interfere with fundraising events on an alternative date.
Ranch Administrator Judith LaPora asked, "How about expanding on our Independence Celebration float theme and mentioning the strong usage of the pool, the many groups and individual campers staying at our RV park and the successful ... recent golf tournament 'Rally for the Cure' for breast cancer research? It raised $2,600 for a very good cause -- all examples of good things happening at the Ranch."
Work session highlights
The recent resignation of CRR Club and Maintenance Association Director Gale Day and the difficulty of attracting Ranchers to run for nomination to the board of directors prompted a discussion about board duties during a recent homeowners association meeting.
The conversation centered on the significant time demands and workloads directors assume once elected. The board pondered publicly if there was a real need for two monthly meetings plus executive sessions, which of late are held almost automatically following both HOA monthly meetings.
No conclusion was reached, but an effort was made to have the most recent work session have a distinctly different look than a monthly board meeting, e.g. limited discussions on motions and fewer decisions made that could hold until the next monthly meeting.
The goal is to at least cut down on the length of work sessions and it appeared to have been achieved.
The following matters were considered July 9: Candidate Forum format, which was approved; Budget/Audit Committee recommendation regarding next year's audit report; action to prevent further vandalism on the Ranch; the nine-hole disc golf course (not expected to be a significant income producer); forming an ad hoc committee for use of the tennis courts once repairs, which are well on the way, are finished; the future of the Communications Committee; and trail rides that were cancelled until next year.
Little news has been published in recent months about new sources of Ranch income, an alternative exit and evacuation route, or the stalled community center proposal, all of which were rated important needs in the past.
There has been little evidence of long-range planning or attempts to define Ranch objectives for the future by the current board as it enters its final month in office.
The board seems to have had its hands full with resignations and current issues. The unduly long recession has kept most people preoccupied with making current ends meet and little time or inclination left to worry about the future. Lengthy recessions aren't conducive to spawning long-range plans.
That raises the question of the need for resumption of an official planning function, which had been operative for many years until recently as well as a separate public relations function.
Resumption of both would help when a consensus of Ranch opinion is so difficult to achieve on practically any issue that comes up. HOA member votes typically result in a split of votes on both sides of any issue.
A recommendation from an independent Rancher bore fruit this past week through action of LaPora, who approved publishing free brief obituaries for Ranchers who have recently passed away in the new Telegraph newsletter. How to submit them will be spelled out in the forthcoming August issue.
The recommendation was prompted by the recent passing of Ranchers Carol Holcomb, Bill Heisler and Ruthanna Warnock. They all were active Ranch volunteers, who performed important service to the Ranch over many years through the Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club and Seniors, respectively. It was felt their memories deserved honoring publicly.
A Candidates Forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at MacPherson Park.
The introduction of four candidates for as many board openings will be chaired by HOA President Ben Johnson and include opportunities for attendees to question them.
All four are shoo-ins for election, but the forum will allow Ranchers to see how each stands on Ranch issues and policies discussed. If anybody thinks a candidate is wanting and is interested in running for the board, nominations from the floor are accepted at the annual meeting for inclusion in the voting under the following conditions submitted by Johnson:
"Any member of Crooked River Ranch Club and Maintenance Association 'in good standing' is eligible to apply for an open position on the board of directors or Architectural Committee ... 'In good standing' is defined as having all dues current according to board policy and having no outstanding county code or CC&R violations at the time of application. Applicants need not be a member of the association, or be CRR residents."
"In addition, voters can write in individuals on the ballot who were not nominated from the floor at the annual meeting -- any write-in securing enough votes to fill a slot would also have to meet the dues and CC&R stipulations."