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WCA Board Interviews Tennis Program Vendors

At the Oct. 8 WCA Board of Directors meeting heard from three parties interested in managing the Westchase tennis program.

During the Westchase Community Association (WCA) open forum, West Park Village resident Andrew Newman told the board that he would love for his family to be able to use the pool more but that his kids hated going to the community pool because they can’t throw balls or bring toys. “I think it is a shame because it is a beautiful pool and would like it to be more user friendly.”

Board President Shawn Yesner replied, “Part of the reason we don’t allow balls is because of the potential of a ball hitting people but kids can bring toys. One of the things I want to do is make people think they can go to the pool and have fun.” He added, “We are in the middle of reviewing swimming facility rules and may have an opening on the committee if you are interested.”

Later in the meeting Newman was appointed to the Swim Facilities Rule Review Committee along with West Park Village resident Michele DelSordo.

At the request of the board, Directors Joaquin Arrillaga and Jim Brinker along with Westchase residents and tennis players Moira Konyk and Nicole Tamulski reviewed three vendors’ proposals to manage the Westchase tennis program – one from tcurrent Westchase tennis pro Roberto Calla, one from AB Tennis and another from Tennis Connection. All three attended the meeting and were allowed seven to ten minutes to present their proposals to the board. Arrillaga asked each to discuss how they would balance junior and adult tennis, how they would promote the programs, what types of socials they would plan and how they would handle different levels of players especially with regard to clinics. He also inquired about the stability of their coaches.

Calla said it was always good to have a court for beginners and another for people already in leagues and competitions and observed he would use social media and emails to promote the programs. He added, “With the kids and junior program we always work on character and the goals with adults are fun, exercise and to meet new friends. The most important part to make a tennis community for Westchase is quality instruction.” In response to Brinker’s question about how he would handle pickleball players request to use the pickleball/tennis courts during lessons, Calla said that to help the juniors prepare for competitions, all six courts were needed.

Westchase residents and founders of AB Tennis Alex and Christine Bogdanovic said, “As residents we think it is important that we reach out to others and do surveys to see what programs would be of interest to understand how many people are participating and what programs they would want.” In response to Yesner’s question about the tennis/pickleball courts, Alex said he would make sure he knew how many players would be coming so for example, if he only had eight people on a given day, he would only need three courts and would let Facilities Manager Kelly Shires know that the other courts could be opened up for resident play. Alex continued, “My goal is to have a lot of different programs for a lot of different levels. You don’t want too many kids or players in each group because then the quality will be compromised. We would have a ratio of four to six per court with a maximum of six courts so that everyone receives attention.”

The Tennis Connection, run by David Freiman, currently manages the tennis program at Fishhawk Ranch. Freiman said they would focus on getting participation at all levels and that they had enough coaches to accommodate everyone. “We have extra people to work with all the different players. It might be a little overstaffed in the beginning. We give beginning level, mixed adult classes and toddler classes. We try to create programs for everyone. We can offer lessons in the mornings and evenings to accommodate everyone’s schedule and have enough coaches in place to hit multiple markets at one time.” In response to Yesner’s question about the pickleball/tennis courts, he said, “We have worked with a lot of HOAs and CDDs and it’s all about balancing. We would work with the manager and find out when groups are playing now. We are able use just five courts where we are now.” He went on to say that he would be interested in helping to create pickleball programming. He added he had the technology in place to communicate with residents.

After the presentations, Yesner told the board that after last month’s article in WOW, four other groups had expressed interest in managing the tennis program and asked if the board wanted to hear from them as well. Director Eric Holt replied, “Are we in a rush? I think we should listen to others who have expressed interest. I think we should keep the search open and ask the committee to make a final recommendation to the board after reviewing the others.”

Arrillaga and Brinker agreed that they could evaluate more in the next few weeks as long as Tamulski and Konyk stayed on the committee. All directors voted in favor of tabling the discussion to allow the committee to conduct further interviews and present a recommendation for a tennis contractor at the November meeting.

A Fords resident told directors that she had made a mistake in not communicating with the HOA regarding her violation for Queen palm trees that needed to be trimmed. “My mistake was not notifying the HOA of what my intentions were. I called to get quotes to have the trees trimmed and didn’t handle it quickly enough.” She said she was having the trees removed because the cost to trim them a few times was equal to the cost of having them removed. She said that when she submitted the modification and received approval for it, she had assumed that stopped the fine. Holt asked her if removing the trees was going to create another violation down the road in regards to required minimum number of trees and Association Manager Debbie Sainz told her she would need to plant one more tree but also needed to submit a modification for that. Director Dale Sells said, “The Modifications Committee meets next Tuesday. If you could tell us what type of tree, we can get it approved then.” All voted in favor of waiving 90 percent of the fine as long as all work is completed by Nov. 2 and the $100 balance is paid by Nov. 12 meeting.

All also voted in favor of waiving 90 percent of a Shires resident’s fine for dirty sidewalks.

Sainz reported that she was working with Sherwin Williams to get the Westchase approved color palette added to their website.

DelSordo was appointed to the Covenants Committee.

Arrillaga told directors that the Master Plan Committee had been reactivated and that Sells and he would have something to present to the board in January.

The meeting was only scheduled to run for three hours on Zoom and since directors had had an hour-long executive meeting before the regular meeting, they were not able to get to every agenda item before 9 p.m. Thus, continued discussion about pickleball/tennis court usage was tabled until the Nov. 12 meeting.

By Marcy Sanford

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