WCA Board Discusses New Notification System and Property Management RFP

Before officially calling April’s board meeting to order, Westchase Community Association Vice President Michele DelSordo gave residents the opportunity to air any issues that weren’t on the agenda. Steve Splaine, a resident of the Greens for more than 20 years and alternate VM, took the floor to ask for the board’s support.

The Greens’ guard house is 25 years old and in need of some care, said Splaine. He explained that although it looks fine from the outside, the walls are crumbling and the floor is worn through on the inside. Splaine said he plans to ask the CDD whether it has any funds available to refresh the guard house, and wanted the support of the WCA board. The five board members present said they supported his request. Shawn Yesner and Blakley Echeverry were not in attendance.

DelSordo called the meeting to order and turned the floor over to WCA Treasurer Dale Sells for his financial report. Sells said nothing was out of the ordinary, and that he planned to talk to a financial contact at Greenacre Properties, Inc. (GPI) about placing some of the reserve money in a CD.

The board members all voted in favor of appointing Rick Goldstein to fill a vacancy on the Modification Committee. He will serve the remainder of a two-year term.

WOW Member Jim Brinker also announced the reappointment of three WOW Board members for an additional two-year term: Jon Stein, Sarah Crisafulli and Joaquin Arrillaga.

Government Affairs Committee chair Eric Holt provided an update on the GAC reception that’s scheduled for Monday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m. at Catch Twenty-Three. He stated that County Commissioner Harry Cohen planned to attend, in addition to representatives from Public Works, Code Enforcement and Neighborhood Relations. Holt told the board that if they wanted any specific issues to be addressed at the reception, they should let him know.

Holt then brought the board up to speed on a situation that a homeowner on Abbottsford had brought to his attention. Tree roots are damaging the resident’s driveway and the surrounding sidewalk, and he had struggled to make any progress with the county on his own. Holt said he had followed up with the county but was waiting to receive something in writing so he could give the homeowner definitive guidance.

Holt also reported that he had been in contact with the district aide to State Representative Karen Gonzalez Pittman, who had expressed their willingness to assist the WCA with any major areas of concern. Holt asked how best to proceed, and board members agreed that he should meet with the aide to narrow the scope of discussion before potentially inviting Pittman and/or the aide to a future board or VM meeting.

The latest updates to the WCA notifications system are up and running, shared Holt. Residents simply need to visit westchasewca.com, and select the “Residential Info” tab. If they scroll down, they can enter their name and contact information to sign up for notifications regarding Swim & Tennis Center News; WCA meetings; Westchase events; safety and emergencies; and/or neighborhood-specific news.

Community Association Manager Debbie Sainz and Facilities Manager Dwight Kilgore have both been trained on the system and are responsible for sending out notifications. Holt then nominated Echeverry to serve on the Notifications Committee, and his motion passed unanimously.

Holt, who also chairs the Exploratory Committee, shared that at the Voting Members meeting held earlier in the week, the VMs passed a motion to send out a Request for Proposal (RFP) to a group of relevant property management companies and solicit competitive bids. The RFP would be part of the process of evaluating whether the WCA wants to renew its contract with GPI, which expires at the end of the current calendar year.

Holt made a motion to move to a competitive RFP for the property management contract, and Board Member Jack Maurer seconded it. Sells expressed concerns about the timing of the RFP. He said that the initial motion that created the Exploratory Committee called for its final report to be completed by November 2022, and it wasn’t done until April. Sells reminded the board that next year’s budget must be finalized by August and submitted by September, and he said he didn’t know how the RFP process could be completed in time.

Holt explained that the work the committee has already done would go a long way toward ensuring the process would run smoothly. John Mogge, Exploratory Committee member, was in the audience and agreed, stating that they would have to limit themselves to a 60-day bid period, which isn’t wholly unusual.

Sells then said that he had carefully reviewed the existing contract with GPI, and it allowed for the possibility of one-year extensions and could be broken by either party with 60 days’ notice. He said these options provided additional time to ensure that the RFP process would be done correctly.

“We have options, but we’re confident we can get it done right in a short amount of time,” responded Holt. “We should target the January 1 date. It’s reasonable and achievable.”

DelSordo put the motion to a vote, and it passed, 4-1. Sells voted against it.

Holt then moved that the existing Exploratory Committee should spearhead the RFP process, and Maurer seconded the motion. DelSordo said she thought that Yesner and Echeverry may want to serve on the RFP committee, and that she thought it would be appropriate to discuss the matter at an additional meeting when all seven board members were present.

Sells pointed out that to be in compliance with the WCA’s governing documents, the board needed to select the members of every committee. The members would then select a chairperson from among their ranks, he said. He stated that the Exploratory Committee’s task had been completed when it submitted its final report, and that a new RFP Committee should be formed, even if it included several of the same members.

The board then voted on Holt’s motion, and it failed, 2-3. Holt and Maurer voted in favor of it.

Joe Odda, Stockbridge alternate VM and Exploratory Committee member, expressed frustration that the board opted to create the RFP Committee from scratch. He said that a lot of time and energy would be wasted by moving forward with individuals who had not been a part of the initial research process. Holt agreed.

“This is going to blow our timetable completely out of the water,” exclaimed Holt. “I’m totally disappointed. We’ve got expertise in this area now. This is unnecessarily delaying something that could be easy.”

Holt then said he wanted to make a motion stating that the existing committee was being formally dissolved. DelSordo seconded it. Sells said he took exception to the term “dissolved,” and Holt amended the motion to say that the committee’s work was done. DelSordo, Sells, and Board Member Jim Brinker voted in favor of the motion, and Holt and Maurer voted against it.

Sells then moved to schedule another meeting of the board as soon as practical (but no later than Friday, April 21) so that all seven board members could be present to approve an RFP Committee, and the motion passed unanimously.

Sainz delivered her manager’s report, sharing that the WCA had officially suspended facility use rights of all residents whose accounts were delinquent by 90 days or more. The action would affect approximately 150 residents, she said. The association’s cyber insurance policy went into effect on March 23, and would be valid for one year, she added.

DelSordo then raised the question of whether to make the Westchase birthday celebration an annual event, and Brinker suggested that it be held every five years due to the time-consuming nature of planning it. The board agreed that an annual event would be too frequent.

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