Two VMs Join Board Committee to Study Budget Savings

The Oct. 12 meeting of Westchase Voting Members saw VMs appoint two members to the newly created Budget Committee and vote to continue holding their meetings via Zoom.

After accepting the minutes from their Aug. 17 and Sept 14 meetings, Westchase Community Association (WCA) Director Eric Holt announced, “Last month the board approved the creation of the Budget Committee.” Stating he and WCA Director Jim Brinker, also a committee member, were looking for two or three VMs to serve on the body. Holt emphasized the goal was not to formulate the budget, which is done annually by the association manager and the WCA Treasurer, but to take a deeper dive into some line items to see if there were ways to be more efficient and optimize the association’s operations. He cited exploring the purchase of a printer rather than the association’s current lease as one possible example. Holt stated the committee would be open to anyone but those with IT or general office management would have valued skillsets.

VMs Mary Griffin (Single Family Homes of WPV) and Rick Goldstein (Woodbridge) volunteered for the committee. Holt asked anyone else who might be interested to email him.

VMs also reappointed Jeff Clemente, Shawn Yesner, Brian Loudermilk, Jim Wimsatt and the committee’s architect to the Variance Committee, which hears appeals of Modification Committee denials under particular circumstances.

Yesner then brought up future meetings and inquired whether VMs preferred returning to in-person meetings or continuing on Zoom. He added he would like to see the group gather in person to hear from Hillsborough County Commissioner Harry Cohen.

Castleford VM Mary Banks stated there were many benefits to remaining on Zoom outside pandemic reasons. She cited convenience, time and fuel savings and the ability of VMs who are traveling to attend. “It’s easier for people to meet on Zoom or do a hybrid thing.”

Ultimately Saville Rowe VM John Pennino made a motion, with Goldstein seconding, to return to in-person VM meetings. That motion, however, failed when it garnered only six VMs in support, with Griffin, Classic Townhomes VM Jim Brinker, Stockbridge Alternate Joe Odda, Stonebridge Alternate Christine Lindsay, Goldstein and Pennino voting in favor and 14 VMs opposed.

Yesner stated they would stick to Zoom in November and would explore hybrid options for December.

Closing the meeting, WCA Director Dale Sells, chair of the Document Review Committee, stated the committee was beginning its review of Westchase rules for updating. He requested that VMs as well as residents submit their suggestions for review as the process begins. He stated he would be sending straw polls to VMs to gauge support for ideas between meetings.

Goldstein briefly updated VMs on his efforts to address turkey vultures and WOW reporter Chris Barrett briefed VMs on proposed maps for county commission district boundaries. When Bridges VM Dawn Gingrich inquired about upcoming guideline amendment votes, Association Manager Debbie Sainz said a vote on existing proposed amendment would occur in November with any second required vote following in July 2022.

VMs adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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