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VMs Discuss BOCC Road Repaving Rejection

Tackling their only old business item, Voting Members gave final and unanimous approval to a paint selection change for the Townhomes of West Park Village at their Jan. 12 meeting.

Afterwards WCA Board President Joaquin Arrillaga announced that Westchase has a new community resource officer, Hillsborough County Deputy Hugh Alter. Arrillaga stated Alter had called him to invite the community for a Coffee with Cops meet and greet. It will be held at the Westchase McDonald’s on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 9 a.m. Everyone is invited.

VM Gerald Pappa (The Greens) then launched the group into a discussion about his proposal that Westchase residents hold a quarterly drive for Metropolitan Ministries. Pappa passed around a clipboard where those interested in helping could sign up. He explained he was soliciting for volunteers as a resident rather than as a VM. When VM Mary Griffin (Single Family Homes of West Park Village) asked how he proposed to let the residents know about it, Pappa responded, “Once we get the committee together, we will discuss marketing, invite someone from the WOW, and have subcommittee chairs for people who live in given communities.”

VM Alternate Alan Shabott (Abbottsford) asked if there was a bylaw or rule that banned the WCA from officially participating in or sponsoring the activity. Arrillaga explained, “We don’t get involved in charities or religious groups.”

Pappa reiterated, “I am a resident of Westchase and have been for 18 years. What I am talking about here tonight has nothing to do with me being a voting member. It’s just me as a resident asking for help from our community.”

Announcing he would be retiring his VM seat this month, VM Carlos Quiros (Villas of West Park Village) then addressed the group saying, “I would like to say goodbye. There was an e-mail from Nancy Sells about something that happened at the last board meeting. You choose the directors but you don’t attend the meetings. You don’t see how they conduct themselves or how much they contribute to the benefit of Westchase. Except one of two here, no one else attends.”

Quiros has brought this up at many meetings over the years but VM attendance has not increased.

Sells’ e-mail, sent to VMs prior to the meeting and shared with WOW, was critical of an unnamed WCA director. VMs, however, did not take up any discussion about Sells’ communication and Sells, who was present, remained silent.

VM Ed Fugit (Glencliff) said he was glad to see a letter in the VM packet explaining the status of road repairs in Westchase. In the letter, WCA Director Joe Odda explained that he had attended the Dec. 16 Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners meeting to request the repaving of Westchase roads but the BOCC designated no funds to do so. [See related article, BOCC Drops Ax on Westchase Road Repaving Hopes.]

VM Ruben Collazo (The Shires) said, “In the Shires we have potholes. I admire Joe for all he is doing.” Collazo suggested that it might be time for Westchase to become more vocal and aggressive in their efforts. VM Eric Holt (Radcliffe) agreed, saying, “I respect Joe. He is a great diplomat. But if we want it, we should go after it. In the short term, it can be addressed the way Joe suggests, but I am with Ruben. We need to get very vocal.”

Griffin, however, countered, “We can send 10,000 emails and there is no technical way for it to come up again. The budget has been done for this fiscal year.”

Closing out the discussion, Arrillaga announced that legal counsel would conduct VM training at the next meeting and that all VM alternates were invited to attend.

VMs adjourned at 7:42 p.m.

By Brenda Bennett

Posted 16 Jan 2016


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