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Association Elections Return Three Veterans to the WCA Board

Gathering for the Westchase Community Association’s (WCA) annual meeting on Sept. 10, Westchase Voting Members cast ballots for three open seats on the board of directors.

In the shortest annual meeting in recent memory, three board veterans − Joaquin Arrillaga, Ken Blair and Dyan Pithers – were reelected when they ran without opposition.

The annual meeting was preceded by VMs’ monthly session, which wrapped up in under five minutes with only one agenda item. The item was to approve the appointment of Voting Member Ruben Collazo (The Shires) to the Variance Committee, which hears appeals of Modification Committee denials under particular circumstances. VM Carlos Quiros (Villas of West Park Village) commented, “I am very happy to see Ruben involved.”

The 23 VMs present voted unanimously to approve the appointment.

Immediately following the monthly meeting, Nancy Sells, chair of the Nominating Committee, took over leadership of the annual voting members meeting from WCA President Joaquin Arrillaga, who then took a seat in the audience as a candidate for the board. During the annual meeting, board members are elected for two-year terms. Running for the three open seats were veteran WCA Directors Joaquin Arrillaga, Dyan Pithers and Ken Blair, who had previously announced their candidacies. While Stockbridge VM Joe Odda had also announced his intent to run last month, he subsequently pulled himself out of consideration for health reasons.

Sells read VMs three pages of election rules and procedures and then requested any new nominations from the floor. When none were made, Collazo moved to save time by voting to elect the three candidates without following the normal process. The normal process involves a question and answer period where candidates field VM and audience questions prior to balloting. Collazo’s motion was quickly and unanimously approved.

Following the balloting, which saw the reelection of the three candidates, VM Carlos Quiros (Villas of West Park Village) reiterated a concern he has shared in the past. “We as a group of voting members elect them and then a year goes by and I can only name three people in this room that attend board meetings,” he said. “We have the power to elect or remove but we never attend the meetings. Go to the board meetings. See how they perform so that next year, when we meet again, we will have a much better sense of what they do.”

Sells, who serves on the board, agreed. “Yes,” she stated. “I would recommend [everyone] go to at least one or two meetings to see how the decisions are made.”

VM Kathy Carlsen (Glencliff) added, “I have been to a few board meetings and I learned an unbelievable amount of information and I have also been going to some of the Community Development District (CDD) meetings and learning about the different roles that everybody plays. It is surprising what happens right under our noses. This is a huge community with so much going on that I don’t think people realize.”

Arrillaga concluded, “We started putting the board meeting agendas on the WCA site last month so that you can forward them to your residents.”

Sells closed the meeting by thanking the various board members and VMs who helped with the election process. VMs adjourned at 7:27 p.m.

By Brenda Bennett

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