WCA Discusses Audit and Yard Signs; Approves Westchase Walk-Up Vaccine Site

At the April Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors meeting, directors received a financial audit overview from Michael DeMare of Affinity CPA.

DeMare said he identified no material weaknesses and added that the WCA’s operating fund assets increased by $100,000 from 2019 to 2020. Meanwhile, liabilities remained consistent around $650,000 with $1.5 million in reserves in total assets. He mentioned that while revenue from programs was down $150,000, program costs had decreased by about the same amount.

Directors approved Bennington resident Linda Partin and Greens resident Judy Henry’s request to use the facilities at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center on Countryway as a walk-up COVID vaccine site for two dates to be determined by Partin, Henry, WCA President Shawn Yesner and community association employees and to spend up to $1,000 to hire an off-duty police officer if needed. The vote to approve Arrillaga’s motion passed 4-3 with directors Eric Holt, Jim Brinker and Keith Heinemann casting the dissenting votes. The trio said they were in support of COVID vaccinations but did not think it was something with which the WCA should be involved.

Holt, who has been leading a committee reviewing facilities rules to determine which ones need to be updated and changed, asked the board if the tennis courts at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center on Countryway could open at 7 a.m. on weekdays the same as the pool. His motion to fund an additional hour of staffing so that the courts could open earlier passed 6-1 with Director Heather Greeley-Hessefort dissenting due to potential disruption to neighbors.

Directors waived 90 percent of the violation fine for homeowners in West Park Village and Woodbay because their violations had been corrected but retained 10 percent ($100) to cover fees incurred. When the Woodbay homeowner asked for a listing of the expenses that had been incurred, Yesner said the association did not have that information.

Yesner asked the board to consider what they wanted to do about yard signs. He stated, “Last year we looked the other way for graduation signs, but then other signs started to pop up and people started complaining.” He went on to add that once the association said that all signs needed to come down, people were outraged. “I know of other communities that will allow only graduation signs, only ones made by school, only allowed for specific dates. Do we want to stick to the rules or have temporary rules?”

Greeley-Hessefort responded, “At the last legal training, the lawyer said we shouldn’t pick and choose. So that concerns me. They do have time to put it up in the yard before the association comes around and gives them a violation notice and then the chance to take it down before getting fined.”

Holt added, “I agree with Heather. It’s a slippery slope that if we say one kind of sign is OK, it opens us up to others.”

When Holt asked how long people have after a violation notice to remove a sign, Association Manager Debbie Sainz said that people typically had three to seven days. She recommended the board review a list of all the violation notices and the timeframes and adjust timeframes where appropriate. Arrillaga’s motion to go to counsel to determine if the board needed a resolution stating that the board is not going to temporarily change or look the other way on any rules and has no authority to pick and choose or change the rules passed 6 -1 with Greeley-Hessefort casting the dissenting vote because she didn’t think it was necessary.

The meeting adjourned at 9:14 p.m.

By Marcy Sanford

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