WCA Directors Keep Oct. 3 Garage Sale; Discuss New Swim Team Vendor Pitch

Directors heard from residents asking for permanent pickleball courts and decided to go forward with the October community garage sale at the August Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board meeting.

During the open forum of the meeting, which was held on Zoom, Radcliffe residents Sylvia and Tom Johnson and Bridges resident Andrew Amenta thanked the board for the combination pickleball/tennis courts but asked them to consider dedicating the courts to pickleball. Board President Shawn Yesner asked for the topic to be added to September’s meeting agenda so that the board could get information about costs and hear opinions from the Westchase community.

Community Association Manager (CAM) Debbie Sainz said the office had been receiving phone calls asking if there would be an October garage sale. Yesner said he didn’t see any problem with it as people would be able to wear masks and social distance. Director Eric Holt agreed, “I think since it is outdoors and people can social distance, it would be okay to do it. Those that don’t want to participate, won’t and those that want to, will.” Since the spring and fall sales are regular events, directors did not have to make a motion in order schedule the fall one for Oct. 3.

Directors waived 90 percent of a Wycliff homeowner’s fine for illegal parking in the street, with the understanding that if another parking violation occurred in the next 90 days, the full $1,000 fine will be reinstated.

A Fords resident told directors that landscaping improvements at her home had been delayed because she was having pavers installed and it had been very difficult to find anyone who could get the materials or do the job. She said landscaping companies had recommended she wait to have the pavers installed before putting in new plants. Directors waived 90 percent of her fine and agreed to give her two more months to improve the landscaping at her home.

All directors approved the reappointment of Dan Haigy and Jo Ann Gratt as full members of the Modifications Committee and Forrest Baumhover and Cynthia Hutton as alternates.

Holt reported that progress was being made on moving Westchase’s board election to electronic voting. He said Sainz would send out a link to give people the chance to test the ballot and determine who is having problems, that Harbor Links Voting Member (VM) Terrance Maloney was going to put together a training video for VMs and that Director Heather Greeley-Hessefort was planning to reach out to candidates to practice on Zoom and show them how the breakout rooms would work.

Sainz told directors that the vending machines at both facilities had been removed and that she was talking to vending machine companies about replacement options and getting information about retrofitting existing fountains to hands-free bottle filling stations. She said Facilities Manager Kelly Shires has installed a small plastic drop box where residents could leave paperwork such as modification requests Monday through Thursday.

Yesner said he had received a request from Clearwater Aquatics expressing interest in leasing the pool on Countryway from January 2021 to December 2021. Their proposal to take over the swim program included paying at least $150 more than the current provider, Pipeline Swim. But several directors pointed out that it was not just a matter of which company would pay more to use the facilities. Director Dale Sells said, “The information Michele sent out showed the program is doing very well under Pipeline. I have no interest unless there is dissatisfaction among the current participants. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Clearwater Aquatics, but I don’t think we should go through the exercise unless the people in the program are unhappy.”

Greeley-Hessefort agreed and added, “Before we talk to another group, we would also have to get swim parents’ input. The last time they felt left out.”

But Holt countered, “Unless there is a reason we would exclude them, I think it is a good idea to listen to their proposal. I would like to see the details from them first and then determine if it is a good idea to listen to them. I think it is our responsibility to evaluate the options that we might have available. I think it would be good for Pipeline to understand that there are other vendors out there. It is okay to give them 15 minutes time. We are missing an opportunity if we don’t listen to them.”

Greeley-Hessefort said, “Normally I would agree but I think there is a lot of distrust because of the past situation.”
Director Michele Del Sordo pointed out that it was the intention of the board to review Pipeline’s performance quarterly and Sells added that the current contract stated the board could increase Pipeline’s fees by 10 percent every January.

Holt made a motion to allow Shires and Sainz to gather information about Clearwater Aquatics program and then amended the motion to put in place an annual formal review of the swim program, including consideration of other vendors. Yesner added that the review should be conducted in advance of January. Del Sordo amended the motion to include a clause that if the association is going to look at other vendors, it needs to assess parents’ satisfaction. “From what we heard from parents before, I know consistency with the swim coach is very important to them,” she said. “The extra money may not outweigh the participant satisfaction and consistency for the program.” Directors approved the motion 5–1 (Sells was opposed, stating he thought the reevaluation trigger should be if participants were unhappy.

Directors ratified the actions they took to close the pools based on employees who were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and voted 5-1 that if any other similar emergency COVID-19 related situations occur through year’s end that the president or vice president be empowered to make the approval for closing without getting full board approval. Greeley-Hessefort opposed the motion because she thought it should be the Community Association Manager or Facilities Manager making the decision.

In response to Harbor Links resident Yelena Maloney’s question about hiring a lifeguard to open a pool from 7 -10 a.m., Sainz and Shires said they were currently short staffed for lifeguards. Sells suggested discussing the topic at the September meeting and asked Shires to bring more information to the board.

The next WCA Board of Directors meeting will be September Thursday, Sept. 3 at 7 via Zoom.

By Marcy Sanford

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