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WCA Board Addresses Violation Fines; Selects Good Neighbor Award Recipient

In addition to reviewing violation fines, the Dec. 8 meeting of the WCA Board saw directors select Harbor Links/The Estates resident Mark Ragusa as recipient of the 2016 Nathan Lafer Good Neighbor Award.

During the open forum of the Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors meeting, WOW, Inc. Board Treasurer Ken Blair told directors that WOW would like to file for charitable, non-profit status with the IRS. He said that while the WOW was a not-for-profit organization, it did not have a 501(c)3 designation with the federal government and that the designation would save WOW approximately $4,000 a year in sales taxes while organizing events like The Great West Chase. Blair told the board that all net revenue generated by WOW was donated to charitable organizations or given to WOW scholars for scholarships.

As part of the discussion, Director Brian Ross asked that the WOW Board share any professional advice they receive about the change so that the WCA Board would not have to incur any cost. Blair said they had not contracted anyone formally but did not foresee needing any funding from the WCA Board.

Referring to the potential change in status with the IRS, WCA President Ruben Collazo said, “It is my understanding that any donations given to WOW would be tax deductible.”

Blair told him he was correct; ultimately, no board member objected to the WOW Board moving forward with the change.

WCA Vice President Rick Goldstein, Board Secretary Keith Heinemann, and Director Joaquin Arrillaga were absent from the meeting.

A Fords resident attended the meeting to appeal his violation for not having two rows of plants. He said that after he received his first violation he planted four plants in a row and did not hear anything else until about four months later when he received his second notice, which he ignored. When he received his third violation, he said he sent pictures showing the plants but no one responded to him and then he received a notice from the Covenants Committee. He said he then went to the Covenants Committee meeting to ask what he should do but no one there could tell him. After he received a notice of his fine from the board, his neighbor suggested he talk to Debbie or Charlotte and he said Debbie drew a picture for him showing him exactly what he should do, which he had a landscaper do the next day. All voted in favor of Ross’ motion to waive 90 percent of the fine and to have the resident pay $100 for costs accrued by the WCA.

A Harbor Links family also attended the meeting to appeal their fine for a basketball hoop left out overnight. The husband said that he was travelling on the night in question and that his son called to tell him that a storm was coming in and asked if he should bring the hoop in, to which the father replied, “No.” He said the hoop was too heavy for his wife to carry. The resident acknowledged that the hoop had been left out at least once before.

Director Forrest Baumhover said that he could not see a basketball hoop in the pictures from the first two violations and stated that he thought that if the WCA was holding residents to a high standard, their proof of violations should also be held to a high standard. Ross said that he had looked at the picture and agreed but that the resident had acknowledged that the hoop was left out and he made a motion to waive 90 percent of their fine. The motion failed 2-2 with Baumhover and Director Chuck Hoppe casting the dissenting votes. All, however, voted in favor of Baumhover’s motion to waive the fine if it does not reoccur over the next three months.

All voted in favor to accept a Greens resident’s offer to pay $100 plus cost of legal expenses ($181.49) in the matter of his fine violation appeal.

Directors also unanimously voted in favor of Ross’ motion not to impose fines for 14 homes where the violations had been corrected, uphold the maximum fines and suspend facility use for three residents who had not corrected their violation, and impose the maximum fines and suspend facility use for nine residents but then revoke the fines and suspension if the violation does not reoccur within three months.

Community Association Manager Charlotte Adams reported that the West Park Village pool would be closed the first two weeks of January for repairs and the pool and tennis courts at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center on Countryway Boulevard would be closed the last two weeks of January for work.

Each year WCA Board honors one resident who has gone above and beyond to make Westchase a better place with the Nathan Lafer Good Neighbor Award. Directors considered five nominations and agreed that all were very worthy recipients, but after discussion, decided unanimously to give the award to Harbor Links/The Estates resident Mark Ragusa, who, Ross said, has been involved with every group, committee, or organization in Westchase as well as Westchase soccer and the local Boy Scout Troop. Ross told the board that Ragusa was moving in December and that he thought now was the time to honor him before he left Westchase.

All board members also voted in favor of year-end gifts for staff and non-staff.

The next WCA Board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 12, at 7 p.m., at the WCA Offices at 10049 Parley Dr.

By Marcy Sanford

Posted 9 December 2016

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