President Shawn Yesner called May’s Westchase Community Association board meeting to order. The board voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda, then Yesner gave the floor to Treasurer Dale Sells so he could give his monthly report.
After receiving board approval at a previous meeting to do so, Sells said he interviewed ten banks as part of his research regarding investing up to half of the WCA’s assets in CDs with staggered maturation dates. He then made a motion to authorize transferring the agreed-upon funds with details to be finalized with assistance from Yesner, Property Manager Debbie Sainz, and a financial specialist from Greenacre Properties.
Board Member Eric Holt recommended using money market accounts with similar interest rates in addition to the aforementioned CDs, and Sells amended his motion to accommodate Holt’s suggestion. The amended motion passed unanimously.
Sells then ceded the floor to Mike DeMare of affinityCPA, who reported that he recently completed an audit of the WCA’s finances. DeMare said he identified no weaknesses, anomalies, or areas of concern.
Holt, who serves as chair of the Government Affairs Committee, reported that Hillsborough County is going to start construction this summer at the intersection of Linebaugh and Racetrack Roads. They plan to create an additional lane, which will hopefully open up the bottle neck for those traveling south, he said.
Holt said he spoke to County Commissioner Harry Cohen at the recent GAC reception, and that Cohen was open to revisiting the possibility of the Glencliff cell tower installation. Holt also suggested that the board consider possible projects for the county’s mini-grant program so there would be time to get everything in place before the application is due at the end of the calendar year.
Both Cohen and State Representative Karen Gonzalez Pittman have expressed their willingness to attend either a Voting Members or WCA Board meeting, said Holt. He asked whether he could invite the two elected officials to upcoming VMs meetings, and the board agreed that he should invite Cohen to the October meeting and Pittman in November.
Board Member Michele DelSordo then asked Holt about the cost of the new street signage that will be installed in West Park Village as part of the fire department’s recent review of the area for safety purposes. Holt said he estimated that the cost could be $70,000 to $80,000, which would be passed along to WPV residents. The board discussed the need to educate residents on the upcoming installation, but Holt recommended that they wait until the county determines when the signs will actually be installed.
Holt, who also chairs the Notifications Committee, said that the next phase in the process would be focused on encouraging and educating residents to sign up for both general and neighborhood-specific text and email notifications. The WOW published an article about the new system, which included a QR code.
Board members discussed posting the QR code at both pools; sending it out through the WCA’s Mail Chimp account; sharing it with all of the VMs; and passing it along to the members of the welcome committee. Holt said the goal is to have 1,000 residents registered by the end of 2023; 212 residents are currently registered.
The 2023 board elections will be held at September’s VM meeting, said Yesner. Holt’s, Sells’, and Board Member Blakley Echeverry’s seats are up for re-election. Yesner moved to appoint Board Members Jack Maurer (who attended the meeting via Zoom) and Jim Brinker to the Nominating Committee, and his motion passed unanimously.
Sainz then delivered her manager’s report. The community’s “W” logo is trademarked, which needs to be renewed every five years, she said. She recently completed the renewal process, which won’t have to be repeated until 2028.
ICAT sent a notice of non-renewal to the WCA as a result of the pending deck repairs that will have to be done at the pool on Parley, reported Sainz. Yesner added that if the WCA could prove that the deck deficiencies would have no impact on the buildings that are on the property, ICAT may reinstate their coverage.
Facilities Manager Dwight Kilgore shared that he’s working hard to recruit lifeguards and camp counselors for the summer. He asked whether lifeguards needed to undergo any specific training to operate the ADA-compliant lifts on the pool deck. Yesner said he was unsure, but would reach out to the WCA’s legal counsel for an answer.
Kilgore asked whether he could investigate the possibility of replacing the current payroll processing system with an updated digital software solution, and the board agreed. He then introduced Linda Senkowitz, a 17-year Westchase resident and professional water aerobics instructor who hopes to teach a class at the West Park Village pool this summer.
Senkowitz hopes to hold morning classes twice a week starting the week of May 29 and running through August 5, said Kilgore. She would pay the WCA for the use of the pool, and charge residents a nominal fee for classes. Non-residents would pay more, he added. Yesner moved to approve the class and to allow Kilgore and Sainz to work out the details with Senkowitz. The board agreed that the course should be permitted this summer on a trial basis, and the motion passed unanimously.
The board then moved on to fines and appeals. A resident of the Bridges whose backyard faces a pond said he’d submitted a request to install an aluminum fence. He hoped to install one identical to those of three of his neighbors whose backyards face the same pond, but his request was denied. He said he had read all of the relevant bylaws and didn’t understand why he was not permitted to install the fence.
Sells said that an appendix to the INSGs was approved in 1999, and the wording of that appendix was unclear. The other neighbors’ requests were mistakenly approved, he said. Yesner said that the Variance Committee likely couldn’t help, but that he would reach out to legal counsel to determine which options were available to assist the resident.
The next topic on the agenda was the Request for Proposal, or RFP Committee. The RFP would be part of the process of evaluating whether the WCA wants to renew its contract with Greenacre Properties, which expires at the end of the current calendar year.
The board discussed the number of members that should serve on the RFP Committee and whether its membership should be limited to only one board member and one member of the Exploratory Committee. Brinker moved to have seven committee members, and said that membership should not be limited in any way. The motion passed 6-1, with Sells voting against it.
Fifteen candidates submitted applications to serve on the committee, and the board agreed that each would submit their seven choices from the list of candidates to Sainz, who would tally the votes.
While Sainz counted the votes, the board discussed the Nathan Lafer Community Service Award. Yesner said they’d received two nominations, one of which was for Sells. Sells withdrew himself from consideration, saying that he and his wife, Nancy, had been selected for the award in the past. Holt said it wouldn’t be appropriate to give the award to the other nominee, since it was no longer predicated on simply being a good neighbor, but on service to the Westchase community at large. Holt suggested tabling the discussion to the next meeting, and the board agreed.
Sainz then announced that the board had voted for the following seven members to serve on the RFP Committee: Jeff Clemente, Echeverry, Rick Goldstein, Holt, Theresa Lanzar, John Mogge, and Michiel Oostenbrink. Sells moved to approve the committee members, DelSordo seconded his motion, and Holt stated that he objected to the motion.
“I think we need to make sure that we have volunteers with a healthy respect for the RFP process and appreciate the value that this brings to the community,” said Holt. “It would be counterintuitive to have someone serve who is on record as being against the process. I think we have other candidates without that bias.”
Rick Goldstein has twice voted publicly against an RFP process, implying that he only wants the WCA to consider renewing its contract with Greenacre Properties, continued Holt. Yesner responded by saying that every candidate brings some bias into the process. Brinker stated that he had voted against pursuing an RFP last year, but still served on the Exploratory Committee and had since changed his mind.
Echeverry agreed with Brinker, arguing that committee candidates are capable of changing their minds, and that all of the candidates would act in the best interest of the community. The board voted to approve the motion, 6-1. Holt cast the opposing vote.
Maurer then reported on the status of the West Park Village pool deck repairs. He said he was getting the scope of work from the structural and geotechnical engineers. Maurer recommended doing all the repairs that the pool needs while repairing the deck, as opposed to completing the repairs in two stages. The work would likely be done in early fall, said Maurer, and ideally would take 30 to 45 days to complete.