RANCHO SANTA FE — The same day ballots were counted to fill three vacant board seats for the Rancho Santa Fe Association on June 11, a new agreement was formed outlining how the cost to operate the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club restaurant would now be divided by both the club and the Association.
Before this agreement, the golf club was exclusively responsible for these costs even though all Covenant residents could dine there regardless of having a golf membership. Also decided was having a joint committee to direct those restaurant operations as well as possible restaurant renovations in the future.
During the discussion, outgoing RSF Association board President Ken Markstein said the clubhouse restaurant was a community asset for every Covenant member.
“Because the amenity is shared by all members of the Association, the board determined it would be forward thinking and fair to share the costs and supervision of the restaurant,” Markstein said.
The president of the golf club board of directors (and new Association board member who will take his seat in July 2019), Bill Weber, reminded Covenant residents the golf club was celebrating its 90th anniversary.
Weber shared that current golf membership enrollments exceeded cancellations. Additionally, he said its reserves were healthy and financially stable.
While there was an eye to the future with a possible restaurant redesign, Weber said that short-term priorities were focusing on improving both food and satisfaction for residents. Weber then acknowledged RSF Golf Club Manager Brad Shupe, whose goal is to build a “solid team” including Food and Beverage Manager Chris Sarten and the arrival of Executive Chef Aaron Burns of Pebble Beach Golf Links following the close of the US Open in June.
Board director Rick Sapp outlined the backstory on how the cost sharing concept surfaced from a committee that was initiated in December 2018. It consisted of six individuals. Three of those individuals were Association board directors while the remaining were from the board of the RSF Golf Club.
Sapp explained that while net profits and losses would be shared between the Association and the golf club, the Association’s exposure would be limited to a fixed amount of $300,000 for the 2019 to 2020 budget.
Sapp went on to say that while the club would manage the daily operations of the golf club, it was recommended that a newly evolved joint committee would oversee the operations of the restaurant. This would consist of two Association board directors, one member appointed by the board, a total of two board members of the golf club, and a member appointed by the board of the golf club, the Association manager and the golf club manager.
A couple of Covenant residents in attendance at the board meeting said while they were in support of the agreement, there should be a member of the oversight committee who isn’t a golf club member since more than 70% of the community were not golf club members.
Board director Mike Gallagher agreed with the suggestion for both transparency and inclusion. “The best efforts should be taken to ensure two members of the committee are non-golf club members,” Gallagher said.