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WCA Boards Hears from Seniors; Revokes Pool Use RIghts for Homeowners Ignoring Pool Party Rules

Members of the Westchase Seniors Group livened up the June 13 Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors meeting.

The seniors attended to ask the board to consider revising a 2011 board decision that limited their use of the meeting room at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center. Prior to June 2011 the seniors had a standing reservation for the second Saturday of each month, did not pay a deposit, and could keep the room until 9:30 p.m. In June 2011 they received a notice that they could only reserve the room two months in advance, must pay a $150 deposit, and had to leave by 8 p.m.

Members expressed frustration that they have had to hold meetings at different restaurants for the past two years. Several members pointed out that this was difficult for some in their group and that they were not able to have speakers or special programs. West Park Village resident Carlos Quiros said, “There is a standing motion, from August 2001, which sets hierarchy of who can use the main activity room and I feel it would be great if we follow it. There have never been limitations for the use of this activity room by WCA members . . . these are Westchase seniors; very few of them play tennis . . . and they pay the same assessment as those members who use quite frequently the tennis courts without paying additional money. Why are the seniors being charged extra to use the activity room?”

Vice President Dyan Pithers made a motion to allow the Westchase Seniors Group to hold their meeting the second Saturday of every month (unless there is a conflict with a paid rental), without having to pay a deposit, for a maximum of six hours as long as the meeting ends by 8 p.m. WCA President Joaquin Arrillaga amended the motion to include the Westchase Artists Society and Westchase Girl Scout troops as long as 50 percent of the troop members are Westchase residents. Pithers accepted his amendment and all board members voted in favor.

A Bridges resident approached the board and said she had lived in The Bridges for 16 years and had recently begun receiving violation notices for cars parked in front of her house despite the fact that the cars did not belong to anyone in her family. She had already talked to Community Association Manager Charlotte Adams, who, she stated, had waived her fine, but the resident wanted to know what could be done about the parking situation. Pithers told her the parking restrictions had always been part of Westchase deed restrictions and Arrillaga advised her to take her concerns to the Covenants Committee.

The Modifications Committee reported cases where they have denied homeowners’ requests to paint their porches because the WCA does not allow painted porches. There are, however, many Westchase houses that have painted porches because they were originally built that way. The Modifications Committee is considering making changes to the rule.

Treasurer Nancy Sells reported that 85 households still have not paid their association fees; therefore, the WCA’s law firm will be sending them a notice of a lien on their properties. She also said that 44 properties in Westchase have been sold in the past two months, a higher than anticipated number, and so the capital contribution budget is higher than originally estimated for the year.

All board members voted to approve the re-appointments of Bill Flood, Don Costello, Heather Greeley-Hessefort and Hank Muller to two-year terms on the Covenants Committee.

Government Affairs Committee Chair Ken Blair said he has sent letters to the Department of Public Work asking them to conduct a survey of the streets in Westchase since many need to be repaved. He also sent Westchase Voting Members a copy of a FAQ about the new Garbage Can Rollout and asked them to forward it to their constituents.

Senior Association Manager Debbie Sainz shared the bids and information she’s received from Rapid Systems, Verizon, and Technology Partners for equipment to amplify the wireless signal at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center so that it will be available throughout the facilities. After some discussion, board members agreed they needed more information on the quotes. All voted to allow Director Edward Santiago and Sainz to choose which vendor to use after they acquire more information for comparison.

Board members voted to approve the purchase of seven Samsung tablets to be used for board materials. The tablets will be kept in the West Park Village office and will only be used during meetings. Board members will receive reports and information for their meetings via e-mail and may print the materials if they wish. The same information will be loaded onto the tablet for use during the meeting. “This is a way for us to save money and paper,” said Arrillaga. “In the past six months we have spent $1,100 on color copies.”

Sainz estimated that two-thirds of that $1,100 was for committee and board packets.

Program Facilities Manager Kelly Shires reported that people had been playing soccer-tennis on the tennis courts. This sport is a combination of soccer, volleyball and tennis and involves players attempting to kick a soccer ball over a net. Shires said that currently there is nothing in the WCA rules that would prevent people from playing this on the tennis courts since it is technically “tennis.” Board members agreed that the soccer balls could cause damage to the nets. They amended the rules for the tennis courts to read, “Use of the tennis courts is limited to only playing tennis and no other ball (shall be used) or sport shall be conducted on the court, excluding WCA programs.”

Shires also reported that many people have been abusing the privilege of holding birthday parties at the community swimming pools by saying they aren’t having a party to avoid paying the $50 fee but then obviously having a party; not cleaning up food and drink spills; bringing people in excess of the 30-person limit; and having piñatas and outside entertainment at the party. “One of our biggest concerns is being understaffed when someone shows up to have a party without notifying us first,” said Shires.

Arrillaga suggested that applications be available at both facilities for people who show up and are obviously having a planned party but have not made a reservation. They then can be asked to pay the $50 fee. All board members voted to approve a new policy that the names of residents who do not follow the rules and guidelines for hosting a party at either community pool be sent to the board, which will revoke their swim privileges for six months.

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, the association’s law firm, has requested a pay increase in their hourly rate and the fee they charge for sending notification letters. Pithers felt that their request of a 15-percent increase was too high. Sells pointed out that their rates had not changed in five years and that they provide excellent service. All agreed that Arrillaga would renegotiate their fees and bring the revised request to the August meeting.

The board voted 6-1 (with Arrillaga casting the dissenting vote) to amend the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center job descriptions and staff organizational chart.

All voted in favor of Sells’ motion to close the West Park Village offices July 4-5 in observation of Independence Day.

The next board meeting will be held Aug. 8 at 7 p.m.

By Marcy Sanford

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