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WCA Board Names Officers and Presents 2015 Good Neighbor Award

The Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors welcomed two new board members at their Sept. 10 meeting and appointed officers for the new year. Directors also posthumously awarded the year's Good Neighbor Award to Glencliff's Kathy Carlsen. The award was accepted by her husband, Ken Morris.

On Sept. 8 Westchase Voting Members (VMs) elected Berkeley Square resident Brittany Riefler and Woodbridge resident Rick Goldstein and reelected veteran director Joaquin Arrillaga of The Greens to the WCA Board.

The new board’s first order of business was to elect its officers for the year. Arrillaga was reelected as president of the board; Brian Ross was elected vice president; Ruben Collazo was elected treasurer; and Keith Heinemann was reelected secretary. Joe Odda was reappointed as chair of the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) and Heinemann was reappointed as the board’s World of Westchase liaison.

After the meeting was officially called to order, Arrillaga awarded the Nathan Lafer Good Neighbor Award posthumously to Glencliff’s Kathy Carlsen. The Nathan Lafer Award was established in 2006 to honor Westchase residents who have helped and volunteered in the community to improve Westchase’s quality of life .

Carlsen, who passed away unexpectedly in March of this year, was Glencliff’s VM and a WCA director. Arrillaga said, “Kathy took the board position head on and brought many good ideas to us. Her death was a loss to everyone. The board would like to recognize everything she did for the Westchase community.”

Carlsen’s husband, Ken Morris, accepted the award.

Odda reported that the last Transportation for Economic Development/Go Hillsborough transit meeting at the Upper Tampa Bay Library had been the most well-attended meeting of all the ones Hillsborough County has held. He said that 73 people attended the meeting and that 35 of them were from The Shires. He thanked Collazo for his help in getting residents of The Shires to attend the meeting.

Odda went on to say that the county had two lists of transportation projects that could be funded, depending on whether voters approve a half-cent or full-cent sales tax increase. He said that the expansion of Citrus Park Drive and repaving of Westchase roads were on both lists. He also said that two transit projects the WCA actively opposed did not make it on either list: the proposed widening of Linebaugh from Dale Mabry to Sheldon and the proposal to connect Tate Road in West Park Village to Montague Road on the other side of the train tracks. Odda said that Westchase residents had been some of the most vocal ones in the county and that helped to get the projects important to Westchase residents funded.

Odda encouraged Westchase residents to attend a meeting if they had not already. For a list of meetings, visit http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/ted

Addressing budget matters, Senior Community Association Manager Debbie Sainz reported that expenditures were under budget for capital improvements, replacement of items, and future capital improvements.

Due to recent amendments to the Florida Statutes, the WCA Board, rather than the Covenants Committee, must now be the first association entity to examine and determine homeowner fines for unresolved deed restriction violations. If the fines are levied at the WCA meetings, it is then up to the Covenants Committee to accept or reject the levied fine. Homeowners facing the fines may attend both meetings.

The board first addressed a violation in Glenfield. The homeowners said that the instructions in the letter telling them to plant trees were not specific enough and that they thought they had complied with the rules. They had, however, only planted two palm trees when Glenfield guidelines hold that they should have planted three palm trees or two WCA approved trees. Arrillaga told them they also needed to put a request before the Modifications Committee before they planted anything. He suggested they talk to Community Association Manager Charlotte Adams, who could help them determine which trees to plant and guide them through the steps they needed to take. All voted in favor of Ross’ motion to impose the fine on Oct. 15 if the violation remained uncorrected and the yard was still out of compliance.

All board members voted in favor of Ross’ motion to impose the $1,000 fine for six homeowners who had not corrected their violations. All board members also upheld Ross’ amendment to suspend use of the Westchase facilities for the homeowners.

All voted in favor of Ross’ motion to remove the fine for Radcliffe homeowners who had corrected their violation by painting their mailbox but to also send them a letter letting them know that, due to the quality of the paint job, they would likely be receiving another violation notice in a few months.

All voted in favor of Ross’ motion to uphold the fine for three homeowners unless the violations were corrected by Oct. 15.

Turning to other topics, directors also voted unanimously in favor of Collazo’s motion to adopt a new employee handbook.

All voted in favor of Ross’ motion to approve a proposed agreement with A.D. Engineering Company to help determine what should be done to comply with Hillsborough County requirements for drainage issues at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center tennis courts.

At a previous meeting directors had asked Sainz to find out what Greenacre Properties did or recommended doing to protect forms and personal information that the WCA keeps on file electronically. Sainz said that they had recommended Tresorit. Collazo said that while Tresorit was one of the top-of-the-line cyber security companies, the interface could be complicated. He said it would not be his choice because it was not user friendly. Riefler asked if they were only backing up waiver forms. Arrillaga responded that in addition to the waiver forms, they also scanned and kept drivers licenses and birth certificates on file. Riefler asked if they could not just keep a document from an employee stating that he/she had seen the correct documents but was told that legal counsel had advised the WCA to keep all the documents on file.

Arrillaga suggested that Collazo work with Sainz and Adams to find a system they feel comfortable with and Collazo added that the board needed to determine an overall philosophy for how they wanted to manage data.

Ross suggested the board set up a committee to determine their policy. All voted in favor of formulating such a committee and named Collazo and Cynde Mercer to the committee.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 8, at 7 p.m., at the WCA Office Building at 10049 Parley Dr.

By Marcy Sanford

Posted: 11 Sept 2015

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