Move to Open Indoor Facilities Tabled; Election Results

            Amid concern about a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Sonoma County, the Oakmont Village Association board tabled a resolution to open OVA’s Fitness Center as soon as July 15. The unanimous action at the board’s organizational meeting followed the July 6 counting of election ballots.

            Director Noel Lyons, heading up a committee exploring the issues involved in opening indoor facilities, recommended no action be taken on the resolution until the regular board meeting July 21.

            Board President Steve Spanier immediately supported Lyons’ position, calling the resolution to open the Fitness Center and other indoor areas “premature.” He cited a new report by 200 world scientists citing how easily the virus can spread through the air. Spanier said opening indoor facilities was “too big a risk,” adding that people “wouldn’t necessarily wear masks.”

            The board discussion followed a strong statement by resident Harriet Palk. Citing a recent increase in virus cases in the county, she said: “If ever a stay-in-place order needs to be in effect, now is the time.” Opening indoor facilities, she added, has “the potential to open the door for a COVID-19 outbreak in Oakmont.”

            There was also a discussion of how much demand there is for opening the Fitness Center. Lyons said he has heard from people who use the center everyday that they won’t return until there is a vaccine. Director Heidi Klyn estimated that about one in four residents is anxious to have the center open.

            The board unanimously approved a resolution requiring residents to sign a hold harmless agreement before using any indoor facilities. This would relieve OVA of liability should someone contract the virus.


            There were no surprises in the 2020 board election results. Ballots had been held uncounted since COVID-19 prompted shutdown of much activity.

            Makeup of the board is the same as last year, with Spanier as president, Tom Kendrick, vice president; Klyn, secretary, and Elke Strunka, treasurer.

            The four board members were unopposed and all finished in a close group. Spanier, Kendrick and Jess Marzak were elected to two-year terms. Marianne Neufeld, with the fewest votes, will serve for one year.


            Results of 2020 OVA Board election:

Steve Spanier – 1,311 votes
Tom Kendrick – 1,309 votes
Jess Marzak, – 1,229 votes
Marianne Neufeld – 1,223 votes
(All re-elected)