Outgoing board members look back

RANCHO SANTA FE — New officers were elected at the June 17 meeting of the Association. Tom Lang will be president, Deb Plummer will be vice president and Jack Queen will be treasurer. It was the last meeting for Tim Sullivan, Bill Beckman and Kim Higgins.
Each was interviewed afterward to talk about their experiences on the board, about what they are proud of and what still needs to be done.
“I am especially proud of how well the board got along and how easy it was for us to work together,” Higgins said. “The staff told us that we were an extraordinarily congenial group. I heard that many times. That made it easier to get work done.
“While I was serving I saw the approval of the expansion of the Village Church and the Roger Rowe School, kind of big changes in our community,” she said.
“We worked hard in the aftermath of the fire. I was missing for a semester because I had breast cancer. I am back. I am fine and it was a great way to jump back into the community. Everyone was so kind and supportive.
“I actually feel that everything is in such good hands with our newly elected board members. I really am going to leave it to them. I feel confident they will be able to take it from here,” she said.
She said she came to the Association wanting to do her part for the community.
“When all was said and done, I got way more out of it than I had to give,” she said.
“When I ran, I asked a lot of people who I knew to give their names in support of me and I am still very grateful for that, helping me get elected, enabling me to end up having such a positive experience. Being elected enabled me to meet so many more people who I now consider friends.”
Higgins said now she will have more free time to spend with her three grandsons.
“I hope to stay involved in some way,” she said.
Bill Beckman said he thoroughly enjoyed being on the board.
“It was such a great year,” he said. “We brought so many things to fruition. We went after it. We worked together and it was an enormously successful year. I loved being on the board. It was a pleasure to serve our community. I think it is the best way to serve the community broadly.”
He said when he joined the board three years ago, there were a few things he wanted to accomplish.
“The No. 1 goal was to get a structure set for underground utilities — my absolute No. 1 and it remained No. 1,” he said. “I am so pleased to have a mechanism set up and ready to go.”
He said the project that started five years ago died once before he got on the board.
He was happy to breathe life back into the project because he said he knew that it would have an enormous impact on the Ranch over a long period of time.
Another major project was Village Park.
“Let’s renovate the park, make it more user-friendly and more beautiful, he said. “What seemed like a simple, straightforward project took on a life of its own and was three years in the making,” he said. “One of the complications was the attack of the lerp psyllid, a nasty little insect that killed tree after tree.”
He said he was also proud of seeing the Osuna Ranch project coming to fruition and finding a permanent home there for the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol Office.
Beckman said he hopes the new board won’t lose track of fire preparedness and reforestation of the ranch.
“Reforestation came up more recently,” he said. “We had the first lerp psyllid attack in 2002. It killed thousands and thousands of trees. A predatory wasp was introduced in 2003 and the lerp psyllid went into remission. It came back just gang-busters last year. They were killing trees right and left. This year it became obvious we had to do something. The lerp psyllid is winning the battle.”
The board decided to bring in other varieties of trees so that if one fell victim to insect or other illness, the others would be spared.
“I am pleased with what we did on the board to launch the reforestation effort,” he said.
Tim Sullivan said his labor of love was the trail system.
He said he was chairman of the Trails Committee before he was elected to the board, so he has spent at least six years being involved.
“I continue to believe we have the finest trail system in the country without question. I believe it will continue,” he said.
Also one of his pet projects was finding a permanent home for the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol. It appears it will be on the Osuna Ranch, he said.
“Bill and I were very involved in that for a year and a half or two years,” he said.
The reforestation of the Ranch was another major issue as well, as providing the possibility for the undergrounding of utilities and a fire preparedness plan.
“We have sent out tips of precautionary tips to the members,” he said.
Sullivan said he enjoyed his time on the board.
“We had a great board, particularly this past year, and it was a pleasure to work with them,” he said.
He said he thinks the association is in good hands, with Tom Lang at the helm as president.
Now that he has more spare time he has plans.
“I’m going to ride my horse more and try to become a better golfer, but I don’t know after how I played today,” he said wistfully.

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