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Homeowner Chided for Threatening WCA Board and Staff

A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy attended the Jan. 12 meeting of the WCA Board after a resident, appealing a fine, threatened board members prior to the session.

Opening the meeting, Westchase Community Association (WCA) Directors unanimously appointed West Park Village residents Phil Rainaldi and Carlos Quiros as alternate members of the Modifications Committee.

WCA Directors then addressed fine appeals. A Brentford resident told the board that she had lived in her house since 1993 with the original landscaping, consisting of one row of plants, and had never received a violation notice until last year. She said she tried to call the association for months before finally talking to Association Manager Debbie Sainz, who told her what she needed to do. She said she thought she had corrected the violation but then got a second notice. She said she again talked to Sainz, who she said told her that the landscaping was OK yet then she received a notice that she was being fined $1,000. She complained other homeowners didn’t have two rows of plantings yet weren’t cited and that the violation notices were confusing.
 
Director Rick Goldstein responded that he had three issues with the resident’s many recorded phone messages. He reminded her that everyone on the board served as a volunteer and spent time away from their families to keep the community nice and to protect homeowners’ investments. He said he took umbrage at her messages belittling the board and association employees and would not accept her being obnoxious and swearing at WCA staff. He told her that if she felt like she had not been getting a timely response, she could have contacted any of the board members. Admonishing her for leaving threatening messages about the safety of employees and board members, Goldstein stated the deputy was at the meeting because directors did not know what she would do after her most recent message. His motion to censure her for the record received unanimous board support.

Director Brian Ross than made a motion to uphold the resident’s appeal and rescind the fine. Director Joaquin Arrillaga asked if the violation was corrected before it went to the Covenants Committee. Community Association Manager Charlotte Adams said the committee did not think so because the second row of plants was not solid. Directors voted 5-2 in favor of Ross’ motion rescinding the fine, with Arrillaga and Goldstein casting the dissenting votes.

All voted in favor of Arrillaga’s motion to reduce the fine for a Greens homeowner by 90 percent but reinstate the fine and take away rights to use the facilities if the remaining portion of the fine, $100, was not paid within 30 days.

Directors all voted in favor of Ross’ motion to not impose fines for three homes where the violations had been corrected, uphold the maximum fines and suspend facility use for two homeowners who had not corrected their violation, and impose the maximum fines and suspend facility use for 13 homeowners but then revoke the fines and suspension provided the violation does not reoccur within three months. One other fine was tabled until the February meeting.
 
Goldstein, chair of the Government Affairs Committee (GAC), told the board that he had met with a group of concerned citizens to explore forming a consortium of concerned neighborhoods to monitor and seek information about any potential developments being planned for 120-acres of undeveloped land across from the Tampa Bay Downs racetrack.

Director Chuck Hoppe asked if the proposed Citrus Park Dr. expansion was going to be voted on in February. Former GAC Chair Joe Odda said that everything they had been told indicated that the project was going to be approved by county commissioners then.

Sainz updated directors on repairs to the West Park Village and Westchase Swim and Tennis Center pools and parking lots and directors approved hiring off-duty officers to police traffic during the 25th anniversary celebration at Glencliff Park.

Ross asked if anyone had gone back to the Costco developer to make sure they had followed their agreement with the WCA and was told that Collazo and Goldstein were meeting with a representative from Costco the following week. Ross also asked if the Nathan Lafer recipient had been notified yet and was told no but that he would be and that a presentation would be set up. Goldstein asked that Lafer’s widow be notified.

At the December 2016 WCA meeting, WOW Board Treasurer Ken Blair told the WCA Board that the WOW would like to file for non-profit status with the IRS. Board Secretary Keith Heinemann asked Ross about an email he had sent expressing concerns about the proposal. Ross said that WOW Board President Jon Stein was researching the concerns. Ross said his main concern was if the change would have unintended consequences in the future. “WOW’s efforts in expansion may prove to be very successful,” he said. “If the purpose changes to being a charity, could a future board decide to sell the magazine off for charitable purposes?”

Ross said this would steer away from the magazine’s original purpose of being a high quality publication. WOW committed to addressing Ross’ concerns at its next quarterly board meeting.

Heinemann added that WOW had presented Bellamy Elementary with a check for $37,000 from proceeds from the Great West Chase race, which was a record amount. All voted in favor of his motion to congratulate the WOW.

Goldstein said that he would be talking to a developer about potential townhomes being built on Tate Lane in West Park Village and the possible annexation of the townhomes into the WCA. Ross reminded him that the board had taken the position several years ago that they did not want Montague Street to connect across the train tracks. Odda suggested the board keep an eye on the project.

The next WCA Board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 9, at 7 p.m., at the WCA Offices at 10049 Parley Dr.

By Marcy Sanford

Posted 16 January 2017

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