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Ranch looks at long-term projects

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Association revisited its strategic plan development program at its May 6 meeting and the directors were full of ideas about projects to identify in their long-range planning that will preserve and enhance the unique character of the Covenant.
Director Tom Lang said once identified, the topics should be prioritized in order of importance of what should be accomplished in the next two years, five years and so on.
“When ideas don’t get implemented, they get fragmented,” he said.
In a suggestion for the board, Director Tim Sullivan said that listing priorities might ensure that what is successful now continues in the future, and used trail maintenance as an example.
Sullivan said that hiking and horse trails in the area are maintained regularly and are the finest in the county.
“I would like to re-energize the community about our public school so we won’t live parallel lives,” said Director Kim Higgins, referring to a need for the school and community to interact.
Board President Bill Beckman said the long-range plans should include re-forestation, fire preparedness, broadband access, utility availability and more community collaboration among the local organizations.
Dick Doughty said traffic should be a priority along with trying to buy products and services in bulk to cut costs. Deb Plummer said the open space topic should be re-examined closely.
Her comments came after the board voted earlier in the meeting to make the final payment on the Osuna Ranch loan. In June 2006, the Association purchased the Osuna Ranch to be used as open space for just under $12 million. Since then, the economy has been on a downturn.
“If they knew then what we knew now, they would have never put us in this much debt,” Plummer said.
The long-range planning began in 1990 when the Association established the Rancho 2000 Task Force to prepare the first planning document. Ten years later in 2000, the Association again established a committee to prepare a subsequent long-range plan. Now the 2010 Task Force prioritized the top three topics as traffic, political involvement and open space.
After a mini-retreat in January, additional topics discussed were broadband access, a new patrol facility and environmental sustainability.
The next step will be to name a committee to get to working implementing the ideas.