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WCA Board Selects Officers for Coming Year

Following Sept. 11 board elections, the new Westchase Community Association (WCA) board of directors met on Sept. 13 to choose its officers.

And a tie vote for WCA president led to postponing the meeting until 9 p.m. when the tie-breaking vote could be cast by WCA Director Keith Heinemann, who was in the air flying to Wisconsin during the earlier session.

Convening at 7 p.m. under Westchase Association Manager Debbie Sainz, WCA Director Rick Goldstein quickly nominated Ruben Collazo as president, stating in his position he has had to make tough, challenging and unpopular choices. He added, “Our jobs as leaders mean being introprospective and that’s the mark of a good leader.” 

Goldstein added he felt Collazo listens to those around the table and how issues will impact residents.

When incoming Director Shawn Yesner asked the responsibilities of the president, Collazo responded, “Take polls of the community, take phone calls from VMs and third parties and diffuse situations as they occur,” he said. “I have personal relationships with most of the voting members and  committee chairs and I acknowledge their ‘thank yous’ and hugs from constituents.”   

Collazo added, “That’s my job and I want to continue that job.”

When directors voted on the motion, the board split 3-3, with Collazo, Goldstein and newcomer Michele DelSordo voting in favor and Directors Ashley Wait, Joaquin Arrillaga and Yesner opposed.

While emphasizing his personal respect for Collazo, Arrillaga stated he was concerned about the perception the community had of the board following recent decisions. “At this time, we need change in the president position,” he said.

When Director Wait weighed in, stating that at the chaotic and heated election meeting, nobody took control of the session, Collazo clarified that, as a candidate, he wasn’t chairing the session but it was Goldstein’s responsibility. Collazo added that the meetings he has run have historically proceeded smoothly.

Responding, Goldstein  said, “It was an angry group.” Goldstein added they were “not interested in decorum.”

When Wait nominated Arrillaga for president, the board saw the same 3-3 split. They then adjourned until Heinemann’s plane could land and he could telephonically joint the session.

When the board reconvened at 9 p.m., Goldstein again quickly re-nominated Collazo. When Sainz asked who was in favor, Collazo, Goldstein and DelSordo again voted aye.  With Heinemann silent on the phone, Sainz asked if he had heard the vote and asked how he wished to cast his. Heinemann paused, stated he had been thinking over the matter for the past five hours, suggesting directors had discussed a possible change prior to the meeting. Heinemann ultimately stated he would vote for Collazo, making the vote 4-3 in favor.

When Wait nominated Yesner for vice president, a position previously held by Goldstein, the vote failed 3-4 in the same split, with Wait, Yesner and Arrillaga in favor.

After Collazo nominated Goldstein for vice president, Goldstein was appointed 5-2, with Collazo, Goldstein, Heinemann, Arrillaga and DelSordo in favor and Wait and Yesner opposed.

The rest of the board’s officers saw unanimous votes, with Yesner elected treasurer, Goldstein reappointed chair of the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) and Heinemann elected secretary and WOW Member, the WCA’s liaison to WOW.
Taking over the gavel, Collazo stated, “Thank you, everyone. I really appreciate the vote of confidence.”

Collazo then asked board members not to discuss board business prior to their Oct. 11 monthly meeting, when they will begin discussions about the possible adoption of a sunshine motion, which would require all board business, with few exceptions, to be conducted in public meetings. Collazo suggested the practice would have a downside. “Those meetings get very long,” he said. “Based on the agenda, we will probably have a three to four hour meeting.

Heinemann closed by apologizing that his trip to his fiftieth high school reunion delayed the meeting.

Directors adjourned at roughly 9:10 p.m.

Editor's note: This article has been changed slightly from the original to clarify Rick Goldstein's remarks when he initially nominated Ruben Collazo for president.

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