Advertise in the WOW | My Account | Log In
New User Registration | Search | Contact Us

WCA Board Hires New Swim Team Company; Declines Consideration of Charity Tennis Tournament

At their Sept. 6 board meeting, WCA Directors decided to temporarily hire a new company to oversee the Westchase swim team and declined to approve a charity tennis tournament.

Changes to the Swim Program: About 10 residents attended the Westchase Community Association (WCA) September Board of Directors to speak during the open forum. Many had attended the previous evening’s contentious meeting when WCA President Ruben Collazo announced that the association would be replacing Coach Alex Richardson and his TBAC club with Pipeline Swimming.

Overall parents said they were supportive of Richardson and upset about the process in which he was removed and the new program put in place. “It was rash to decide which program you were going to use without talking to families and getting bids from vendors,” said Greens resident Tracy Christensen. “We would like some input as to what we would like in place and to see that you’ve looked at other vendors and teams.”

Greens resident Jason Weir said, “My daughter has been swimming with the program for one year since we moved here from Chicago. We need to keep a program in place. We moved here because of the program. I think Alex is a great guy and hope you’ll make the right decision.”

Later in the meeting Director Joaquin Arrillaga made a motion to accept the contract with Pipeline (which would be in effect through Dec. 31) with the caveat that the WCA look for another more permanent company with help from a committee of residents.

Board Treasurer Forrest Baumhover, who has two children who participate in the swim program said, “I asked Ruben to let me talk since I am in a unique position of being on the board and being a swim parent. I’m sorry, but Alex is not being rehired.” He went on to say that he struggled with wanting parents to know enough to feel comfortable with the board’s decision but not sharing too much personal information. “When the board asked me as a swim parent what to do, I said, ‘We cannot shut the program down,’ We spent a lot of time trying to make sure that Pipeline is someone we’d be comfortable with for the short term.”

Baumhover said he’d like to see a committee formed to help the board decide which program they should go with beginning in January. Christensen said, “If we’d heard this last night instead of giving the floor to a new club, things would have gone a lot smoother.”

“My daughter is finishing up her senior year and will not swim with Pipeline,” said Vineyards resident Ann Parker. “You’ve already lost the older kids because at their level, they had to go ahead and find another program.”  Parker, however, she said that she would be happy to volunteer to make the program stronger and get more parents involved.

All directors voted in favor of Arrillaga’s motion.

Budget Approved: All director voted to approve the 2019 WCA budget which will reduce residents’ assessments by $1, from $275 to $274.

Davidsen Middle School Dismissal Traffic: Director Rick Goldstein, who also serves as Government Affairs Committee (GAC) Chair, reported that Hillsborough County had completed their traffic study of the intersection at Montague Street and Linebaugh Avenue and that they had adjusted the timing of the stop light in the afternoon during Davidsen Middle School’s dismissal. He said this should help with congestion on Montague in the afternoon but pointed out that Linebaugh would likely continue to have congestion issues until the median work further down the street was complete. He nominated Tania Baumhover to be a member of the GAC Committee and all directors voted in favor of her nomination.

Homeowner Appeals: Directors agreed to give a Greens homeowner until the end of the month to fix the painted walkway at his house. The homeowner said that the walkway issue was uncovered when he was taking care of a tree violation. He asked why, since the sidewalk had been painted before he bought the house, had the previous homeowners not had to fix the violation. “I don’t see how this is my responsibility. I will fix it but don’t think I should be responsible for a past mistake.”

Director Brian Ross suggested that the area had not been visible from the street because of the previous homeowner’s landscaping. Directors all voted in favor of rescinding 90 percent of the fine and reinstating the homeowner’s use of the facilities as long as the violation was corrected and 10 percent of the fine paid by Oct. 11.

Garage Sale Signs Available: “I’ve had various neighbors ask about the garage sale signs you used to be able to pick up at the swim and tennis center and put on Linebaugh or Countryway to promote the garage sale,” said Board Secretary Keith Heinemann. He asked if it was possible to do that again. All voted in favor of Arrillaga’s motion to allow Community Association Manager Debbie Sainz to spend up to $250 for two signs per village. 

Tennis Tournament Request Denied: Collazo turned the end of the meeting over to Director Ashley Wait-Woodcock, saying that she had requested the Westchase Open Tennis Tournament be put on the agenda. “I’d like to make a motion for the tournament to be allowed and to continue with the [Westchase Open] trademark turned over to the Westchase Charitable Foundation (WCF), who will run the tournament as they see fit and I volunteer to be the go between for the board and the WCF,” said Wait-Woodcock.

However, no one on the board seconded her motion and so it died. WCF President Sean O’Donnell departed the meeting in frustration.

In a subsequent outburst that caused WCA Director Rick Goldstein to threaten to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Radcliffe resident Eric Pogue, one of the main organizers for the 2018 tournament, expressed his disbelieve and dismay that the board would kill the tournament. “You’re upset because we trademarked the event and you don’t like me. All I want to do is raise money for charity. I don’t understand,” he said.

A WCF recipient who was in the audience in support of the tournament said, “I’m a single mother with a disabled child. The WCF supported me and helped me. You talk about community. but they are what community is about.”

When WOW followed up on the matter after the meeting, WCA President Ruben Collazo stated that the association would welcome the opportunity to hold a charity tennis tournament in conjunction with the WCF but was unwilling to do so under the event’s current organizers. When WOW discussed the matter with O’Donnell, he confirmed the offer.

By Marcy Sanford and Chris Barrett, Publisher

Posted Sept. 8, 2018


Please login or register to post a comment.