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WCA Board Tackles Communication, Transportation and Tennis Building Name

The Westchase tennis program, the best way to reach residents through e-mail communications, and the possibility of Citrus Park Drive being extended were the main topics at the Aug. 14 Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors’ meeting.

During the open resident forum Swim and Tennis Committee Chair Kyle Roberts thanked board members on behalf of the Westchase United States Tennis Association (USTA) team captains for their help in making the program successful. 

Director Joe Odda told the board that he had reached out to about 20 neighborhoods encouraging them to become involved in the lobbying effort to expand Citrus Park Drive. Board Vice President Ken Blair asked Odda what type of response he had been getting and Odda replied mostly neutral at this point. Odda also said WCA President Nancy Sells and he attended a Transportation for Economic Development (TED) policy and leadership group earlier in August. He said he was pleased with the county representatives’ responses to questions about the possibility of Citrus Park Drive being expanded. “They have done a lot of research on the project. They seem to be very excited about it moving forward. It is one of 344 projects that have been approved. The next step is the county will survey the community. They should start reaching out in October.” Odda added that more information about the meeting and the project could be found on Hillsborough County’s Web site.

Community Association Manager Debbie Sainz reported that palm scanners would be installed at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center now that summer camps were over.

Sainz also gave board members an update on two e-mail communication tools she had been reviewing. She said that Mail Chimp was easier to use than Constant Contact and would allow the WCA to send up to 2,000 e-mails a month for free. When questioned by Blair about the fact that there were 3,500 households in Westchase and they could therefore easily exceed the 2,000 limit, she said that they would be setting up different groups and accounts for the communications – one for residents, one for tennis program participants and one for swim program participants. Blair suggested she also divide the lists by neighborhoods. West Park Village Voting Member Carlos Quiros reminded the board that according to a 1997 WCA resolution World of Westchase (WOW) was the official publication of the Westchase community. Sells replied that WOW and the WCA were two separate entities.

Glencliff Voting Member (VM) Kathy Carlsen asked the board when the WCA budget would be available. Sells said she would be e-mailing it the next day. Carlsen asked if the budget would be available online; Sells said that historically the budget had not been posted online. Later in the meeting all board members voted in favor of posting the proposed budget online.

During the meeting Sells also presented members of the WCA’s Costco Committee with a plaque in honor of their hard work with the project. “They spent hours, days, and months working on this project to make sure it was a win-win for the community and we’d like to thank them for their hard work.”

All directors voted in favor to ratify a motion they agreed to in June to waive the rule that at least 50 percent of the membership of Westchase USTA tennis teams must be residents. All also voted in favor of several proposed tennis rules amendments. Residents can now only reserve one court per day for two hours up to three days in advance and any member of a USTA league must play a minimum of two matches during a season.

Board members then turned to a discussion of the name of the new tennis building to be constructed at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center tennis courts on Countryway Boulevard. Director Dyan Pithers, who was absent from the meeting, had sent written communication to the board requesting that the building no longer be referred to as the tennis cabana because, she argued, it was more than a cabana – it was an air-conditioned building. Pithers instead said it should be called the tennis clubhouse. Blair asked how the association had referred to the building in the grant request to the USTA and he was told it had been referred to as the tennis cabana. Blair suggested that they continue to refer to it as the tennis cabana to the USTA but make sure the Westchase community knows it is more like a clubhouse than a cabana. All, however, voted in favor of his motion to leave the name as it is for now.

Sainz reported that the WCA’s legal counsel had recommended they hire a structural engineer to oversee the building of the Tennis Cabana and all voted in favor of hiring the engineering firm KWA.

Sainz said that the roots of the palm trees next to the tennis courts in West Park Village are damaging the courts and the trees need to be removed before the courts can be resurfaced. All voted in favor of hiring M&M Tree Service to remove the trees.

The WCA’s contract with their auditing firm, Bashor & Legendre, LLP, is up for renewal. Odda said that their request for an automatic increase of $500 each year seemed heavy. Sainz said they had not had an increase in their fees in three years and that their original proposal was much less than the other auditing companies. Blair agreed with Sainz that their fees were very reasonable. All voted in favor of Arrillaga’s motion for Sells and Sainz to talk to Bashor & Legendre to see if they would agree to a five-year contract with the cost for the final 2 years remaining at the third year price and for Sells and Sainz to have the authority to hire the auditing firm if it agreed to the terms.

According to the newly revised Westchase governing documents, neighborhood VMs will be elected to two-year terms instead of a one-year term with half of Westchase’s neighborhoods holding elections one year and the other half the next. With the board charged with selecting which neighborhoods will hold elections in the first round, Arrillaga suggested beginning with neighborhoods currently without a VM and then taking the highest populated and the lowest populated neighborhoods to keep it even. Quiros suggested that the WCA board attend the next VM meeting to explain their reasoning and decide on the neighborhoods that would go through the first cycle of voting this way. Board members voted 5-1 in favor of Arrillaga’s motion with WCA Secretary Keith Heinemann casting the dissenting vote.

Board members approved Glencliff’s budget and Blair’s reappointment as Glencliff’s accounting contract. Blair abstained from the vote.

The meeting ended with Arrillaga saying he would like to publically recognize the WOW Scholarship recipients. “They are kids who are doing a great job and we are very proud of them.”

The next WCA meeting is scheduled for Sept. 4 at the WCA offices at 10049 Parley Dr. At that meeting the board will review and approve their 2015 budget. The WCA board will also hold a special meeting on Sept. 11 in the same location to appoint its officers following the Sept. 9 board elections.

By Marcy Sanford

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