Crooked River Ranch Roundup

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Ranch residents meet for a First Friday Night event.When July morphs into August each summer as it did this past week, the prevailing warm days usually are uninterrupted by rain, except for the occasional thunderstorm. It’s a perfect time for the vacations many Crooked River Ranch residents take to far flung vacation spots away from the community, leaving it pretty well devoid of official activity.

For stay-at-home Ranchers, it’s an ideal time to relax or catch up on neglected reading in the absence of pressure from colleagues or the press of community deadlines and duties.

By contrast, for the ladies of Crooked River Ranch’s Publicity Committee, the “dog days of summer” as this period is often called, are an opportunity to make plans for fall and winter community activities.

Members of the committee gathered in the Juniper Room of the clubhouse at 3 p.m. Aug. 1, to do just that. The meeting was led by the committee chairwoman, Jean Cochran, who had previously announced her resignation from the committee, to be effective in September. She reminded members at the outset of Thursday’s meeting that it was her last one and a new chairman would have to be elected before adjournment.

The other members of the Publicity Committee in attendance were: Cheryl Sinnott, Paulette Nordin, Hope Johnson, Sheila Cisneros, Earleen Arthur and Diane Knox.

Also present was the Ranch Club and Maintenance Association's secretary, Paula Bartolomei, the appointed homeowners association board liaison to the committee, and Gail Day, a former HOA board member, as well as former chairwoman of the HOA Communications Committee, the forerunner of the Publicity Committee.

Day had been invited to attend Thursday’s meeting by Cochran, who asked Day to share with current Publicity Committee members the wisdom she had accumulated as an HOA board member and Communications Committee chairwoman.

Day made several points after Bartolomei reminded the attendees that the Publicity Committee’s primary mission, as outlined by the HOA board, is to promote Ranch facilities and events, such as the golf course, RV park, Steel Stampede and national holiday celebrations including Christmas and Independence Day among others.

Day initiated her comments by observing that the Ranch was blessed with outstandingly beautiful surrounding scenery and wide open spaces, as well as bountiful facilities, including lodging, restaurants, golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, hiking trails, rodeo grounds, basketball court and ball diamond, which few other Central Oregon residential areas can claim.

Day recommended that the Publicity Committee have a well-structured plan in place to accomplish its mission, including a flyer as a promotional centerpiece, as well as billboards, and an up-to-date informational website.

She advocated that the Publicity Committee concentrate support on at least one major community goal per year, such as a community center. Day added that goal should be promoted three times in three different ways — a variation of the marketing mantra that has been quoted in this column.

After thanking Day for her remarks and advice, which she said were very much to the point of the Publicity Committee, Cochran led off with the meeting’s business agenda by asking new member Cheryl Sinnott to distribute printed samples of the promotional Ranch brochure she had produced.

Sinnott complied while acknowledging helpful committee support, especially from Cisneros and Bartolomei. Sinnott’s full-color brochure was well received and applauded by the rest of the committee. Bartolomei promised to show it to the HOA board to elicit their comments and support.

Next, Paulette Nordin disclosed an outline of plans for a Valentine’s Day weekend, including two nights lodging at the Sunview Motel, and dinner at the Sandbagger restaurant for a set price. The cost of $200 for the package was debated and left for further investigation and compilation.

Cochran then proposed that any Publicity Committee member who misses three monthly meetings in a row will automatically be removed from committee membership as HOA board members are if they are absent for three successive meetings. That passed unanimously, after which Sheila Cisneros was elected Publicity Committee chairman, starting in September.

Sinnott declined to be nominated for the position, because she said she felt too new as an HOA and committee member and uninformed about Ranch history and protocols. She pledged her support to whomever was elected committee chairman, as did the other committee members.

Committee member Knox introduced Kerry Dunn, a Native American Ranch resident, who Cochran suggested Knox invite to the meeting. Cochran told the Pioneer she recognizes there is considerable diversity in the mix of Ranch membership and she doesn’t think enough recognition is given to that fact in the course of Ranch governance. Dunn made a few observations about the committee’s mission and left after a brief stay.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to discussion of other upcoming events, such as monthly First Fridays, the Seniors' auto show Sept. 20, Halloween, and Christmas.

Cisneros wants to upgrade Christmas decorations from income derived from First Friday Nights revenue collected. She showed samples and costs of lighted Christmas theme figurines. The committee was somewhat enthusiastic, but no firm decision was made about ordering them after almost two hours of deliberations.

The matter was deferred for further consideration at the September meeting.

The Ranch Publicity Committee meeting dealt with complex plans for a number of important upcoming Ranch events, which have significant impact on Ranch annual income. Committee members were not all initially in agreement about which plans were the most workable and in the best interest of the Ranch.

They discussed their differences and listened to each others’ objections and recommendations attentively and respectfully. Eventually they arrived at a consensus on most plans without rancor or turmoil. If they couldn’t all agree, decisions were postponed until more data could be gathered, which would clarify the right decision.

Any observer present had to be impressed with how well the Publicity Committee worked together last Thursday to accomplish its mission. The meeting adjourned on a positive note at 4:45 p.m.


In the July 24 Crooked River Ranch Roundup, Herb Parker was incorrectly identified as Herb Powers. The Pioneer regrets the error.

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