Crooked River Ranch Roundup
Annual meeting almost flawless
By John Bowler
The Crooked River Ranch Club and Maintenance Association's annual meeting for 2012 was held on the Saturday before Labor Day this year, instead of the Saturday of Labor Day weekend as in previous years.
Despite an earlier date and earlier time (it started at 9 a.m., rather than the usual 10 a.m.), the meeting's durability of purpose and format was confirmed by an almost flawless program carried out in weather that would have been hard to improve upon.
Given the reason for its schedule changes -- to provide a more convenient date for residents and absentee owners alike to attend and encourage their attendance -- the number of attendees, estimated at roughly 60 to 70, was not a discernible increase over recent years.
For that matter, it was decidedly less the 200 or so who regularly attended the meeting in more turbulent times. The best date to hold it was again debated at some length when it came time during this meeting to set a date and time for next year's event as stipulated in the bylaws.
Confirming the board's satisfaction with this year's revised schedule, the 2013 meeting will convene at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, per the motion passed at last Saturday's event.
As for increasing attendance, the availability of donuts, breakfast pastries and coffee this year, instead of the previous years' hot dogs and soft drinks, didn't seem to have a measurable impact on how many attendees showed up.
What seems to have the most effect on annual meeting attendance is the number and degree of controversies prevalent in the community.
When they were numerous and severe, as they seemed to have been in the Ranch's early years after incorporation, attendance at the annual meeting was in the low hundreds and the atmosphere was sometimes confrontational. That was true at many regular monthly board meetings in older days, too, according to veterans of Ranch meetings.
The newness of the Ranch and its rapid growth of population in early years, its distinctive topography and location were also factors in residents being more eager to assemble and find out how things were going, as well as learn the community's prospects for successful future growth.
With fewer serious controversies being debated and a track record of success firmly established, residents apparently don't take as much interest in the more perfunctory day-to-day tasks of administering community operations.
This year's meeting is a good example. Favorable performance results and feelings abounded in presentations by officials from both the Ranch and Jefferson County. What may also help at this time is that the Ranch seems to be thriving when much of the rest of the country is struggling with a continuing recession.
The Ranch had a cash surplus again in fiscal 2011-2012, which ended April 30. The Telegraph, a revised format of the Ranch newsletter, has been well accepted, the tennis courts have been rebuilt and improved, the new administrator lauded for her smooth assimilation into Ranch governance, and dues collection issues have improved substantially.
Both the RV park and golf course are performing well and the staff is doing their job as evidenced by the award of Employee of the Year to Brie Cisneros of the CRR Maintenance Department. Ranch organizations overall are thriving according to their spokespersons.
Crooked River Ranch is not without its challenges, or devoid of controversy, but it is afloat and on course with residents mostly supportive in the face of a struggling national economy and armed forces still suffering casualties in Afghanistan.
Most Ranchers seem to agree life here is on a fairly even keel and acceptably pleasant. At least that was the prevailing outlook at the 2012 annual meeting.
The Ranch HOA meeting was immediately followed by the annual meeting of the Ranch Water Co. That would not have been possible two years ago, when the two organizations were generally in conflict much of the time.
The CRR Water Co. has completed a turnaround of virtually 180 degrees in the past two years, and now operates successfully in harmony with its own members and the Ranch HOA as noted by the presidents of both organizations.