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Honoring Veterans and Remembering the Holidays

On Veterans Day I had the most fortunate opportunity to attend Oldsmar’s annual Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Park in Oldsmar.

There was quite a turnout. I counted over 200 people on that sunny, warm day. But more important, the ceremony itself was thoughtful, dignified and well executed. It left me wondering if wasn’t time that Westchase should host a Veterans Day ceremony of our own in 2018. Let me know what you think. I’d be especially interested in knowing if you would volunteer for a committee to plan and run such an event. Email me at

By now you should have received your Westchase homeowner’s association annual assessment reminder, along with a copy of our budget. As you can see from our budget, there is no fat in this organization. Every penny of the $275 assessment has a purpose for the common good. And every penny is carefully scrutinized by me, our treasurer, Forrest Baumhover, our vice president, Rick Goldstein and our property manager, Debbie Sainz. This organization is a well-managed, well-oiled machine.

But this machine depends on you to keep things moving along by making a timely payment of your annual assessment. Fortunately, we ultimately have to mail very few late notices to unpaid accounts. And even better, we have very few delinquencies. But it does happen. Be aware that in those cases that are late to extremely late, I have seen legal costs, late fees, interest and penalties add up to hundreds and even multiple thousands of dollars. My question is this: Really? Why?

Why would anyone allow a $275 annual assessment get away from them to the tune of several thousand dollars? It leaves me shaking my head in utter disbelief when it happens. As president it is my obligation to collect on those assessments. And trust me when I tell you that is pains me terribly when I have to pull the trigger on legal action, up to and including foreclosure. It is so unnecessary and so stressful on the parties involved. Including me! I get no joy out of doing that part of this volunteer job. So please don’t let this happen to you. Please mail your $275 payment on time.

Last, I want to wish you all a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah and a happy New Year. It seems that the older I get, the faster time flies. It seems like yesterday that I took down last year’s tree and packaged up all the recyclable gift wrapping materials. Our most valuable asset isn’t our homes or our nice cars or our 401Ks, is it? It is the time we’ve been given with our loved ones.

So I wish you peace and joy with your loved ones this holiday season. And may you experience many, many more happy holidays to come.

By Ruben Collazo, WCA President


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