Public Comment #28 (Ward)
Public Comment - Tahoe Donner Marina Appeal September 2013
Public Comment #28 (Ward)
10/1/2013 8:57:05 AM
10/1/2013 8:57:04 AM
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1 <br />Laura Dabe <br />Subject:FW: Tahoe Donner Marina Improvement Homeowner Comment <br />From: T. Michael Ward [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] <br />Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2013 10:25 AM <br />To: Jenna Endres <br />Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org <br />Subject: Tahoe Donner Marina Improvement Homeowner Comment <br /> <br />To: Town Council, Town of Truckee Re: Tahoe Donner Marina Improvement Homeowner Comment <br />Cc: TD GM Robb Etnyre & BOD <br />From. T. Michael & Sharon Ward <br />15344 Wolfgang Road, Truckee, Ca <br />Ten years ago when we purchased our vacation home in Tahoe Donner, we did so partly because of the wide variety of <br />amenities, some public, some private, for the homeowners. We realized that these were subsidized by annual dues, and <br />felt it was a good investment for value received. <br />In particular, we love the trails and the Marina, Cross Country Skiing and often enjoy the Lodge for dinners. We knew <br />were not going to take advantage of golf, but that ws ok with us. <br />The annual fee structure at TD includes many elements of cost; management, depreciation, etc, and 25% for future <br />capital improvements. This latter portion of the funds is like a tax that gives the government (Tahoe Donner management) <br />the ability to fund capital projects without seriously consulting the membership, save through attending board meetings <br />(which absentee members have difficulty doing regularly). <br />So, what are some of these so-called capital improvements, and why have they been selected? <br />I have attended a few board meetings over the last year, and at one of them asked GM Robb Etnyre about the Cross <br />Country Ski improvement. Specifically, I asked how he thought planned increased revenue would offset the cost of capital <br />to do that project. He replied, we don’t do that, we’re trying to make first class amenities that our members want. <br />I’ve been a management consultant for many years (never in the public sector), but am amazed that the policy and <br />strategy does not consider the cost of capital, nor ROI (Return on Investment) considerations. I guess as long as one can <br />tax the members without complaint and gather capital, it is not germane. However, I think it must be. <br />Further, the drivers for improvements are not only first class-ness, but crating ways to increase revenue. This seems to <br />be management’s highest calling, to have amenities cover as much of their costs as possible (save capital and land costs) <br />in order to reduce support required in annual fees. I guess members complain about too much subsidy, but do not <br />complain about the 25% going into the development fund. <br />So, we are steadily chipping away at the uniqueness of Tahoe Donner for the members, in the name of making more <br />revenue. <br />Examples of this are: <br />One, the large white tent that is up all summer in front of the Lodge, there for weddings, (how many? How much <br />revenue?), but ruin the view from the Lodge dining room. Taking away membership value for a small increase in <br />revenue. <br />Two, the very expensive rebuild of the Cross Country Ski and Equestrian center. When I x-country ski, I go outside and <br />into the country, not spending time in the lodge. They overlooked fixing up the old one in favor of building a first class
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