At its meeting Tuesday night, the Rancho Murieta Association board of directors voted to allow members to rent the RMA Building for any legal purpose under an existing policy and eliminate a long-standing practice of refusing its use for candidates who are running for elected office. The resolution is intended as an interim measure, pending a review of building-use policy and practices by the Recreation and Governing Documents committees.
RMA member Steve Mobley brought the issue to the board after he was denied the use of the building for “an ice cream social meet-and-greet” he wanted to host for Sacramento County sheriff’s candidate Jim Cooper. “I reviewed the policy and I could find nothing barring, banning or prohibiting political use,” he told the board.
President Jim Moore said staff was only carrying out “what has been our practice for many, many years.” He added that he agreed with the practice.
Director Candice Koropp said the interim building-use policy is simple -- RMA members can rent the building “for any legal event, period.” Just because a political event is held in the building, it doesn’t mean the RMA is endorsing it, she said.
Steve Mobley wants to hold a gathering for Sacramento County sheriff's candidate Jim Cooper.
Director Randy Jenco said he thought prior boards had a reason for adopting the practice. “These things usually come from some problem that cropped up,” he said. Jenco said he learned of the practice when he contacted Assistant Manager Danise Hetland about the use of the building on behalf of Cooper’s opponent, Scott Jones, before the June primary “and I was told the same thing that Mr. Mobley was told, that it wasn’t available for that purpose. ... I listened to her, it made sense to me. ... I think I agree. I think you open up a can of worms.”
Koropp responded, “It is the members’ building and they should be allowed to have it” for lawful uses, a view Director Vicky Lentz supported.
Director Dick Cox, who has posted comments in favor of the change, said he was unaware of the prohibition, adding, “It’s not written down anywhere.”
Koropp made the motion to allow any lawful use of the building by members and eliminate the practice of barring candidates for office. It passed on a 4-2 vote, with Jenco and Moore opposed. During the break that followed, Lentz said the interim measure would allow Mobley to resubmit his application to rent the building.
Election, annual meeting set
Jim Moore and Martin Pohll, the unopposed candidates for two seats on the board, will take part in a Candidates Night scheduled for Oct. 14. Moore served on the Murieta Townhouses Inc. board with Pohll and predicted he will be “an outstanding board member.” The annual meeting and election will be held at the RMA Building Nov. 18.
Community center/pool update
General Manager Nick Arther said 580 of the 2,300 surveys sent to members about building a $3.8 million community center and pool were returned, and about 75 percent are in favor of proceeding with the project. After discussion, the board decided to move forward with a feasibility study that addresses possible locations, amenities and costs, and a more detailed survey of the membership. Director Randy Jenco said an approval vote by 50 per cent of the membership plus one would be needed to build the project.
Dog park plans
The board approved a dog park feasibility study to be funded by the Rotary Club. The project was discussed in the Parks Committee last year and, at that time, RMA staff suggested two locations, one on the North and one on the South. General Manager Nick Arther said Tuesday that possible locations for the park will be discussed “in infinite detail” before any decision is made.
The board approved a three-year contract with Access2Go that will triple RMA broadband bandwidth for an additional cost of less than $100. The RMA now pays $5,563 a month for 45MB of bandwidth, which will increase to $5,655 a month for 150MB under the Access2Go contract. The additional bandwidth will facilitate phone service, movie downloads and other Internet services. Costs related to broadband are paid by customers of the service.
The board will consider funding a restatement of the CC&Rs in the 2011 budget. The budget workshop will be held 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at the RMA Building.
Driveway parking variances were approved for lot 868 on the North and lots 447 and 361 on the South.
The board approved a $304,000 contract with Teichert Construction for this year’s asphalt rehabilitation work, the funds to come from reserves.