Article from The Rancho Santa Fe Review
On Aug. 6, the Rancho Santa Fe Association board voted unanimously to appoint Alex Kaiser to an open seat on the finance committee. The board’s decision to support Kaiser was in conflict with the finance committee’s recommendation as the board members said they sought to bring more diversity to the committee.
The finance committee interviewed two candidates for the position: Philippe Charat and Alex Kaiser. The committee voted 4-1 in favor of appointing Charat, and Treasurer Kim Eggleston represented the one vote for Kaiser.
Eggleston said he voted for Kaiser because he’s a member and past president of the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Cub and is actively involved in business. Eggleston said Kaiser owns a small business lending company and analyzing finances is what he does every day, making him an ideal fit for the committee.
“I’m a big proponent of Alex,” Director Mike Licosati said, echoing Eggleston’s endorsement.
Licosati said Kaiser is a 13-year resident of Rancho Santa Fe, a father of four who has been very involved on the Association’s broadband committee and volunteered to serve on the Association board, although he was not selected as a nominee.
“The finance committee includes five golf club members currently, which is not representative of the community,” Licosati said. “Seventy-five percent of the community doesn’t belong to the golf club … we want more diverse views.”
He said there is a large group of people in the community who are like Kaiser — who have children and jobs and may not always have time to attend meetings and volunteer.
“I think it’s very important not to disenfranchise those members,” Licosati said.
Some residents in the audience objected to the board’s decision to overrule the committee’s recommendation. One resident questioned why the finance committee even voted if it would not be considered. The resident also said it seemed unfair that no one got to speak on behalf of Charat’s qualifications.
Eggleston said the interview portion was very brief, and the resumes the board received were truncated. He said he thought Charat was selected over Kaiser because Kaiser mentioned resigning from the Big Brothers Big Sisters board to focus on other issues, and the committee looked upon that negatively.
Residents also had concerns that Kaiser has been a strong proponent of the Covenant Club, but Eggleston assured people that the finance committee is “apolitical.”
Director Fred Wasserman, whose departure from the finance committee created the open seat, said both candidates were very good and that Charat has an extremely successful business record.
“Alex does provide some balance to the finance committee, representing an age group that has not been represented,” Wasserman said.