Crooked River Ranch Roundup
Association president sums up past yearBy John Bowler
Crooked River Ranch Club and Maintenance Association President Ben Johnson last week summed up what he considered the most significant accomplishments by the association in 2012 and looked ahead at the organization's major objectives for 2013.
The full text of Johnson's message will be printed in the January edition of the Ranch newsletter, the Telegraph, but the following is a summary:
Johnson first cited hiring Ranch Administrator Judy LaPora as the 2012 decision "that was one of the most important to me personally," adding that, "She took on the wide range of issues we face."
That included Lapora's working with the Communications Committee to develop the proposed concept of the Telegraph to replace the CRR News -- the newsletter in circulation at the time.
LaPora also coordinated with Phyllis Carlin of the CRR administration staff while the latter was assuming management of the new Telegraph format newsletter, including publishing, advertising and distribution of it monthly.
Johnson said that project has "succeeded beyond our expectations," including the Telegraph becoming well-accepted by the community and more profitable than ever before. He also praised the volunteers who each month assemble and mail the Telegraph and called the project "a tremendous continuing team effort."
Turning to 2013, Johnson said, "A major goal for next year will be working more closely with Jefferson County and Deschutes County on code enforcement -- I see this as a critical element of seeking to clean up the Ranch and part and parcel of our effort at CC&R (covenants, conditions and restrictions) enforcement, since many of the complaints we get are actually violations of county codes."
The association has scheduled a special meeting with Jefferson County commissioners and key staff at 5 p.m. Jan. 21.
"We will specifically discuss efforts at working together on code violation enforcement and abatement, and increasing law enforcement visibility on the Ranch," he said. "Selecting CRR's representative on the Jefferson County Economic Development Advisory Board is also on the meeting agenda. It will be in the Juniper room and open to the public."
Another Ranch bright spot in 2012, according to Johnson, has been increased volunteerism, which resulted in the election of four new directors to the association board last September and many more volunteers added to important Ranch committees such as: Phase Reps, Budget/Audit, CC&R Review and Publicity committees, all of which have benefitted with increased personnel.
Johnson took pains, however, to emphasize that all Ranch committees need more volunteers and he encourages residents to fill out a volunteer service request, which can be accessed at www.crookedriverranch.com or picked up at the administration office.
The long overdue rebuilding of the tennis courts was completed, as well as the addition of new office space in the administrative area, which was refurbished with new carpet during the past year, he said.
Regarding priorities to be tackled in 2013, he named approving and implementing an economical and efficient budget proposed by the Budget/Audit Committee, followed by "a need to continue to improve the image of the Ranch to attract new businesses, residents, guests and visitors."
Mentioning his third priority, Johnson commented, "We also need to work to improve the security and safety of our residents and properties."
"Promoting the Neighborhood Watch program is one thing that we are doing in that vein," he said, adding that he would like to be dispensing information every week on the Ranch website about crimes committed in the community and "investing in additional video surveillance."
For his last item, Johnson said, "We have also scheduled a town hall meeting to discuss the process of enforcing CC&Rs. I will be looking for public input as well as explaining how we are organized to evaluate complaints -- including keeping complainants informed of the progress -- and how to enforce those that are judged to be valid."
The meeting will be held Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m., in the Juniper Room.
Overall, Johnson feels that exchange of information between the community and the association board improved last year, but more can be done to improve communications and feedback, which is being planned. That includes improvement of the Ranch website and continued expansion and improvement of the Telegraph.
Johnson emphasized that the 2013 plans were simply talking points that would be refined through scrutiny from the association board and Ranch administrator. They should not be construed as a final, well thought out set of objectives for next year, until they are formalized.
Happy New Year!