Oakmont to hold recount in election that empowered pickleball foes

It appeared for a moment that the staggeringly divisive and complex pickleball controversy at Oakmont might be settled by the election that bestowed control of the homeowners’ board to a new majority opposed to building courts in the heart of the senior-citizen haven.

Instantly upon taking office, members of the new, four-person majority on the Oakmont Village Association board acted to suspend work on a pickleball complex alongside the Berger Center. Those directors intend to initiate, at the board meeting next Tuesday, the process of terminating the contract for construction of the courts.

But wait.

More than 30 Oakmont residents supportive of the pickleball project asked OVA management for a re-count of the election ballots. In a notice to Oakmont residents, OVA attorney Malcolm Manwell wrote that some of those who sought a re-count “called into question the procedures used while votes were being counted.”

A re-count has been set for Monday, the day before the OVA directors now in power plan to set to work to relegate the pickleball project to history. The re-counting of the 1,897 ballots cast by Oakmont homeowners is to begin at 9 a.m. Monday in the West Recreation Center.

OVA staffers have tried to ward off allegations of partisanship by looking for non-Oakmonters willing to come do the counting. Attorney Manwell wrote in his notice that if enough non-residents can’t be found, “volunteers within the community will be requested.”

Oakmonters happy with the first ballot tally note that it was overseen by a CPA and that the counters included equal numbers of friends and foes of the pickleball project.

The original tabulation had project opponent Greg Goodwin beating proponent Al Medeiros by just six votes. So it wouldn’t take much of an adjustment in the tally for the anti-pickleball-court majority to be told it will be reduced to the minority.

You can almost hear the howls.


A BOOK DRIVE for kids was going well enough at the various Kaiser Permanente medical facilities in Sonoma County.

Then a nurse at the main Santa Rosa center, Carlton Scott, made his donation to the literacy campaign, organized by United Way. Carlton kicked in 680 children’s books.

He donated 17 boxes of two mirthful, rhyming books he wrote and illustrated himself years ago: “Little Big Wolf” and “Grin’s Message.”

Carlton said there was a time he actively promoted and distributed his books, but these days he’s too busy as a nurse and a part-time instructor at SRJC to tend to his avocation as a self-published author.

To imagine the books going from the cartons to the hands of children pleases him.


THE CURTAIN FALLS on the long, creative and life-altering teaching career of Carl Kraines, for 15 years the theater director at Maria Carrillo High.

On Saturday, students much grateful to him will host a little something special: a farewell Cabaret Night that will occupy the school’s stage and feature “mocktails,” dinner and what should be one rocking, bittersweet show. See more at brown?

Kraines, who’ll retire at the end of the school year, is a musician and actor likely to miss the kids greatly and slow down only a little.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and

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