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WCA Board Votes to Replace Pool Chairs; Ties on Resident’s Fine Appeal

The Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors heard requests from two residents during the open forum of the August meeting.

The first, a resident of The Vineyards, told board members that she had lived in the neighborhood for 17 years and had just recently received a violation notice because her air conditioning unit was not shielded on all sides although her landscaping around it had always been the same. She pointed out that the unit could not be seen from the street only if someone parked and walked down the sidewalk between the houses. She said that her AC company had told her she needed to keep one side open, so they could access it for repairs and because it was not healthy for it to be covered on all sides. She pointed out that because of the layout of the neighborhood that the guideline should be amended using common sense. Board President Ruben Collazo said that the Voting Members (VMs) were the group who could change guidelines, not the board, and that he would ask them to look at it. He also told her he would ask the documents review committee to contact her.

Shires Resident Eric Pogue, who was instrumental in organizing last winter’s Westchase Open Tennis Tournament, said he wanted to petition the board to use the tennis courts for another tournament. Collazo said that since it was not an agenda item, the board could not discuss it, but that Pogue could have two minutes to talk about the tournament. Pogue said that the tournament had raised more than $15,000 for the Westchase Charitable Foundation (WCF), which provides financial help to families who are facing financial difficulty due to a family illness or tragedy. He said that he had trademarked the name of the tournament so that the money would always go to the WCF but that he believed there were some hard feelings on the board because of that. He stated he still hoped that the board would consider letting the tournament use the tennis courts for the event. Bridges Resident Patrick Duffy told the board that he had participated in and donated his services to the tournament and that it, “represented the best of what Westchase is,” and that he hoped they would be able to do it again.

A representative from Dwight Darby & Company, the association’s accounting firm, presented the board with a review of the 2017 draft audit. She said that the association was doing a good job and that since WOW was no longer consolidated, the WOW did not need an audit along with the WCA. Board Secretary and WOW liaison Keith Heinemann asked if WOW had retained the firm’s services and was told that no, the magazine did not have to have an audit at all.

Board Treasurer Forrest Baumhover’s requests to use $7,997 from the vending machines’ reserve funds (the machines are no longer owned by the WCA) to help pay to replace the metal roof at the West Park Village pool cabana was approved by all board members as was his motion to fully fund the increased deductible for geothermal equipment and $18,000 to replace deck chairs at both pools.

A fine appeal from residents of Chelmsford was tabled until next month because board members could not reach an agreement. Baumhover told board members that he was friends with the residents and that when they first received the violation notice, they came to him asking for advice about what they should do. He said he walked them through how to fix everything but that when the correspondence from the association came, one of the owners was in the hospital and that was why everything was not taking care of in a timely manner. He added that every violation was now corrected and he made a motion to waive their fine. Director Joaquin Arrillaga, however, said, “in the past we have reduced the fine by 90 percent. Everyone has hardships and reasons, but if we go this way, it could be looked at as us discriminating against others.”

Arrillaga made a substitute motion to waive 90 percent of the fine and the vote was tied 3-3 with Arrillaga, Heinemann and Director Ashley Wait voting for and Collazo, Baumhover and Director Rick Goldstein voting against; Director Brian Ross was absent. Baumhover said that he could not recall any time when someone had been in the hospital and that the board had imposed the fine. Arrillaga asked, “Once open, where do we stop?”

The vote for Baumhover’s original motion was also tied. Collazo’s motion to table the vote until the next meeting when all board members were present was approved by all.

Government Affairs Committee Chair Rick Goldstein said that he was talking to the county about changing the timing for the traffic light at Montague and Linebaugh so that traffic would move more quickly during the drop off and pick up times for Davidsen Middle School. He also reported that construction on the extension of Citrus Park Drive should begin in spring of 2019.

Community Association Manager Debbie Sainz reported that employees had been busy cleaning and updating the facilities. Her request to fund Movies in the Park for $695 a month for six months for the 2018-19 season was approved.

Collazo reminded board members that it was their duty to inspect the facilities but asked that they not bring private contractors with them and that they bring any concerns to the board president and not give directions to association staff.

By Marcy Sanford

Posted Aug. 14, 2018

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