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Four new directors make their debut on Laguna Woods Village board

Four new directors joined Laguna Woods Village’s Golden Rain Foundation board for their inaugural meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

Those newly elected are James Hopkins, Gan Mukhopadhyay, Jon Pearlstone and Sue Stephens.

A call to fill four vacancies followed the resignations in June of Pat English, Joe Fitzekam, Beth Perak and Annette Sabol Soule. Collectively, they cited issues with leadership and misconduct within the board as their reason for leaving.

The terms will end in 2022 for Hopkins, 2021 for Mukhopadhyay and Pearlstone and 2020 for Stephens.

A seven-year Village resident and Good Neighbor Captain, Hopkins comes from a background in accounting, financial and operation management as well as entrepreneurship. He lives in Third Mutual.

Mukhopadhyay, an 8-year Village resident, currently of Third Mutual, is a civil and geotechnical engineer. He’s a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and has held various management positions and has worked on projects across 12 different countries.

Pearlstone, a one-year Village resident who most recently served as a director and treasurer for the Third Mutual board, has 20 years’ experience in business consulting, employee benefits program design, employee negotiation and education as well as 10 years’ experience in residential property development and management.

During the meeting, directors unanimously elected Pearlstone to serve as the GRF board treasurer.

A Mutual 50 resident of two years, Stephens joined the board with 25 years managerial experience in state and local government as well as seven years in auditing operations.

One seat with a term ending later this year remains open.

An election will be held to fill the vacancy left by James Matson’s departure from the GRF board, President Bunny Carpenter said.

COVID-19 update

Village Management Services CEO Jeff Parker reported a rise in the city-wide COVID-19 case count — a total of 41 as of last Friday, up from 39 — among county numbers that are otherwise dropping.

According to the California Department of Public Health, Orange County’s testing positivity percent decreased to 8.9% from last week’s 9.1% and 9.3% the week before. The state’s threshold is set at 8%.

The case rate remains high, at about 125 cases per 100,000 residents — surpassing the state’s threshold of 25.

“We still have a ways to go, but that number has come down dramatically — two weeks ago that number was in the 200,000 range,” Parker noted. “We’re still headed in the right direction.”

Parker added that there has also been a decrease in the hospitalization rate. On a three-day average, there has been an 8.6% decrease in hospitalized patients, with 35% of ICU beds and 54% of respirators available to incoming cases with escalated symptoms.

He noted that testing rates have increased since the conversion of the Anaheim Convention Center to a drive-thru testing center, which opened mid-July. Operating Wednesday through Sunday, the center can handle 1,000 appointments on a daily basis, he said.

“(COVID-19 is) still around. It’s still prevalent,” Parker said, advising residents to stay vigilant.

Small club fee

The GRF board passed a resolution that will halve the annual fee for small clubs from $50 to $25.

As defined in a VMS staff report, small clubs are those with less than 50 members.

Of the Village’s 254 clubs, 136 of them are considered to be small clubs.

VMS estimated a $3,400 decrease in annual revenue from the approved reduction, a staff report stated.

Post-approval, the $12,700 annual revenue generated from club fees will fall to $9,300.

“What you don’t see here is the total cost,” Carpenter said, noting the cumulative cost of club room fees and rollover fees for reservations in addition to the annual fee. “The charges ended up costing these small clubs up to $150 to $300 more than they normally pay. It really hurt them.”

Refunds are to be processed for the 41 small clubs who have paid their annual dues, a staff report stated.

The board approved the resolution 7-1-1 upon second reading. The resolution takes immediate effect.

Source: Orange County Register

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