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WCA Directors Appoint Ruben Collazo to Board

Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors approved a new tennis program and, breaking their May deadlock, appointed Shires Voting Member Ruben Collazo to the open director seat at their June 11 meeting.

Board Vice President Ken Blair was absent from the meeting.

Several Westchase tennis players attended the meeting to ask directors to approve a new doubles tennis league called A League of Our Own Tennis (ALOT). The directors’ approval means the players will put Westchase’s name on the waiting list to get approved for the fall season. Director Brian Ross asked Westchase Swim and Tennis Center Operations Manager Kelly Shires if he anticipated any negative feedback from Westchase’s United States Tennis Association (USTA) players. Shires said that he thought all the USTA players would appreciate the new league and that it would be a positive outcome. All directors voted to approve Ross’ motion to approve the new league based on the standard resident/non-resident program rules and fees.

All directors voted to reappoint Bill Flood, Charlie Stephens, and Don Costello to the Covenants Committee. Heather Greely-Hessefort has resigned from the committee.

Government Affairs Committee Chair Joe Odda, also a WCA director, reported that he had recently attended a Transportation for Economic Development (TED) policy leadership meeting. He said the group discussed the following priorities for the county’s transportation plan: fixing and maintaining current roads, relieving traffic congestion, doubling transportation services, and making the roads safer for walkers and bikers. He said that later this summer the county would begin a new series of meetings where residents could express their views on which projects were the most important. He said that since there are more than 350 projects that the county is considering for funding, it is important that Westchase residents attend the meetings to let the county know that the extension of Citrus Park Drive north of Westchase should be a priority.

Odda went on to say that he has been asked what the status is on getting the roads in Westchase repaired. He said that the county had evaluated the condition of the roads in Westchase and that on a scale of 0-100 (with 0 being the worst), Westchase scored in the 70s. He said that Westchase residents need to continue to remind county officials that the roads in Westchase are in need of repair.

The Nominating Committee annually identifies candidates to run for election to the WCA board. This September there will be three seats up for election. All directors voted in favor of appointing Keith Heinemann as the chair of the Nominating Committee and Carlos Quiros and Bill Dennis as members. Later in the meeting, Collazo also volunteered to be a member of the committee.

New tennis courts and the WCA’s new Tennis Cabana are being built at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center. As part of the renovation new USTA QuickStart courts are planned for the current site of the sand volleyball court. WCA Manager Debbie Sainz reported that there are wetlands next to the volleyball court and that the construction of the tennis courts was being put on hold until the county approved it.

Sainz also reported that since January, 122 houses had been purchased in Westchase and that the first week of the Westchase Activity Camp was completely booked.

Last month directors reached a stalemate in their attempts to appoint a new director after the death of Director Kathy Carlsen. Board President Joaquin Arrillaga reported that he had checked with the WCA’s legal counsel and had been assured that except for the written ballots, directors had followed proper procedure. Arrillaga also told directors that Nancy Sells had pulled her name from consideration.

Board Treasurer Dyan Pithers made a motion to appoint Brittany Riefler. The motion failed, however, 2-3, with Ross, Arrillaga, and Heinemann casting the dissenting votes.

All board members then voted in favor of Ross’ motion to appoint Collazo. Collazo has served previously on the board, including a stint as its president.

Pithers encouraged Riefler to continue to get involved with the community and to volunteer. Ross and Arrillaga echoed Pithers’ sentiments.

Keffer Norris, manager for private equity group BRC710, asked the board to forgive the $1,000 fine against a home in The Shires that his company recently acquired through a bankruptcy. Norris said the home was owned by another group, REO710, and that his company had acquired the property 45-60 days ago. He said that weeds had been removed and the lawn fertilized and that his company would remodel and resell the property, not rent it out. Pithers asked Norris if his company did due diligence on the property and Ross said the fine should have been handled at closing. Norris replied that since it was a bankruptcy, there was no escrow, everything went through the courts, and that the lien documents were not provided to the court. Pithers said that due diligence could and should have been done and recommended the company always complete it prior buying property in an HOA. Pithers went on to say that Shires residents had had to deal with the mess for nine months. All directors voted against waiving the fine.

Arrillaga commended the recently announced WOW Scholars and their families and said he would like to congratulate them on their achievements.

Based on Sainz’s request for resident/non resident fee and refund policy clarifications, all directors voted to approve Pithers’ motion that the fees for programs be based upon the resident status at the time of purchase and Ross’ amendment that language to that effect be added to the WCA’s refund policy.

Arrillaga showed directors a proof of a brochure for new residents developed by Bridges Voting Member Cynde Mercer with input from the other Voting Members (VMs). The brochure gives an overview of the Westchase community’s amenities, services, governing groups and rules and will be given to new residents. Arrillaga said the brochure’s photographers, Bridges resident Patrick Duffy and West Park’s Richard Hector, had worked very hard and done a wonderful job.

At their June meeting, Arrillaga told directors that since the volleyball court at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center was going to be turned into a QuickStart court there would not be a gated outside area to take campers attending the Westchase Activity Camp. He said the suggestion had been made to use the area behind Tennis Courts 5 and 6 and he presented directors with estimates to clear the area of trees and brush and install a fence. Ross suggested that the matter should be brought before the VMs and no director made a motion, so no action was taken.

Arrillaga reported that Shires had taken it upon himself to clear the area, it looked great and the kids at camp had been able to use it. He also said that since construction had not begun on the QuickStart court, they were still able to use the volleyball court. He went on to say that the VMs had a lot of ideas of how the area could be developed for residents’ use.

Ross said it sounded like there were a lot of ideas and the board made the right decision to take this to the VMs.

The WCA Board will not meet in July. The next board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. at the WCA Offices, located at 10049 Parley Drive.

By Marcy Sanford

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