Help For People For Whom Dues Are a Challenge

Last Updated: 07-09-19

Marty Thompson

The search is on for someone inspired to lead a project to help Oakmont residents who struggle to afford their OVA dues, sure to rise next year regardless of whether OVA buys the golf club.

President Steve Spanier told a board town hall July 8 it’s “an opportunity for someone with a passion for helping those who are having trouble affording dues payments.”

He said the board had been looking since the 2018 election for a way to help make ends meet. Spanier said an idea came to him as members are deciding a significant dues increase to fund an Oakmont Golf Club purchase.

Oakmont bylaws, which are hard to change, call for a single membership class, with one dues level. Property transfer fees don’t offer much relief, as state law allows an association to collect only for the paperwork involved.

His proposed solution draws on an idea for a program begun some months ago to help residents suffering from loneliness and depression. Legal liability concerns made that impossible for OVA. Anne Marie Sui-Yuan found an organization to absorb the risks, and volunteers now work through that program to visit and comfort residents who are lonely and depressed.

Turning to dues affordability, Spanier said “I’m asking all of you here today, and all other Oakmonters: who among you has a passion for that which … let’s call it The Robin Hood Project?”

He listed the job criteria as “a motivated self-starter with a bit of financial acumen and a passion to help Oakmont.”

The idea is a monetary fund to which all Oakmont residents who wish can contribute, one-time, monthly or occasionally. The fund would be distributed to those with a need. Need would be determined by criteria set by those administering the fund.

As an example, Spanier said if 500 residents contributed an average of $5 a month each for a yearly total of $30,000. That could provide 100 people with $300 of dues aid per year. He noted that plan would wipe out the proposed $23 monthly dues increase proposed for next year.

Spanier invited those interested in “championing one of the most important humanitarian efforts in Oakmont” to contact him at his personal email address, stevespanier@sonic.net.

Spanier’s announcement was greeted with applause, and several people raised their hands as a show of interest.