Kooi, Crawford elected to Lake of the Pines board

By: Jim Ruffalo, Special to the Journal
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In picking up more than half the votes cast, Rick Kooi finished first in the Lake of the Pines board of directors election. Kooi, who came to prominence by organizing the referendum to repeal recently enacted lake-usage rules, garnered 511 votes among the 1,017 ballots cast by eligible homeowners association members. Brigitte Crawford, an 11-year resident of LOP, wound up second with 451 votes. The two top vote getters were promptly sworn in after the results were announced at Saturday's annual association meeting. They succeed Ralph Kendrick and Garrett Musch, neither of whom placed their names for re-election, although Musch mounted a late write-in campaign and finished sixth. Each summer in the 2,000-home gated community, located in southwest Nevada County, roughly one-third of the seats on the association's seven-member board of directors are open. Next year, three seats will be open. Once Kooi and Crawford were on board, they joined remaining board members in re-electing Chuck Lautrup as board president. "These should be fine additions to our board," Lautrup said, adding that Kooi "certainly has a following," while Crawford has immersed herself in LOP politics for more than a year. Kooi referenced that following, admitting that the lake rules referendum was a prominent issue, but claimed that "there are bigger things to worry about." He said that finances and proper management were his top concerns, adding that "we really need a system to objectively measure performance of management." Lautrup agreed that this was not a one-issue ballot, and while confessing that his unanimous re-election made him feel good, he said the glow will be temporary because "there's a lot of work to do, especially in bringing everyone back together." Crawford said she hopes some of that work will include improving communications within the walls. "In fact," she said, "I didn't even know I had to be at (Sunday's) meeting until I got a late-morning phone call from a friend. "Communications needs to be our top priority, through the use of computers, our TV station and newsletter, and the newspaper, and I'm hoping that will be two-way communication." Lautrup said he would meet with the two new members to bring them up to speed on board and association matters, and that the two had already expressed an interest in visiting with LOP's various departments.