2021 Board candidates reveal to HSV TV assessment increase positions
The HSVPOA Board of Directors has the authority to increase monthly assessments in line with inflation by using the Southern Consumer Price Index. For the past few years, this has resulted in modest increases in monthly assessments for Property Owners. According to the HSVPOA bylaws, any monthly assessment increase over the Southern CPI or Special Assessment must be voted on by Property Owners.
There have been questions from numerous Property Owners as to whether the Board will authorize a property owner vote for a monthly assessment increase. Below please find statements the current Board Members made about an assessment increase, most of which were stated in pre-election interviews by the Chamber of Commerce and also other sources. This will give you an idea of where they stand on this issue. (These statements were all made prior to their being seated on the Board.)
Click here to go to the HSV TV website and watch these interviews and more.
JoAnne (Joanie) Corry on an assessment increase
Joanie Corry has stated she will vote in favor of an increase if it is needed. In her interview by HSV TV, Chamber Director John O’Brien, Corry was asked,” Our [Chamber of Commerce] members want to know if you would propose a monthly increase in our assessment? If yes, how much increase would you consider? If no, why not? And would it make sense to have a detailed audit and review of the amenities before increasing an assessment?”
Corry replied, “As you probably know we have a task force that is working on that very thing. And what they are looking at, or analyzing and researching is the infrastructure such as roads, water, sewer, buildings. And so, they are looking into that. They are looking into that deeply. So, when you talk about an audit, I feel that they are going to perform that, maybe not as other people think it should be performed. But they are actually working on that. I believe that they are going to come up with some interesting observations and they will be presenting their findings to the board when they complete everything. I can’t say now if there is going to be an assessment [increase] need or not. I don’t think anyone can until they complete their work. If they come out and say, ‘we do need an assessment [increase], I will support that assessment [increase]. That’s what the Village needs if that is what they say it does.” Click here to watch Joanie’s full interview on HSV TV.
Gary Belair on a monthly assessment increase
When asked in a pre-election interview by HSV Chamber member, Alanna Owen, if he would support a monthly assessment increase, Gary answered, “Yes, is the short answer. We absolutely need one, speaking of an increase. The exact amount is under discussion, under research right now. The Finance and Planning Committee is reviewing the infrastructure needs of the community and as soon as those numbers are available, the committee will make a recommendation to the Board. And the Board will, of course, either recommend that either it be put to the owners for a vote or delayed. But my opinion, it is time.” Click here to watch Gary’s full interview on HSV TV.
Pam Avila on a monthly assessment increase
Joe Stewart of Trademark Realty and Chamber of Commerce Treasurer, interviewed Pam Avila. When Stewart inquired as to Pam’s opinion on a monthly assessment increase, this is her response. Pam said, “That’s a really interesting question. And I am not going to answer it with a yes or no and there is a reason for that. There is a task force in place right now that is studying the finances of the Village, the needs, the financial needs of the Village, the revenue and for someone to sit here right now and to say, ‘yes, we need an assessment increase’ or ‘no, we don’t,’ is really premature. So I am going to wait until I see what their analysis comes up with. I am going to wait until I hear what options they propose, which ones are legal, which ones aren’t before I could ever say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’”
In December, 2020 in Pam’s resume, which was required to run for the Board, she stated, “The Village is at a crossroads – mired in its past history and without a plan for moving forward. We are facing major challenges. We must prioritize and address the infrastructure maintenance that has been put off for far too long – aging roads, culverts, buildings, our water system and more. We need to find better ways to create the revenue to pay for keeping our Village sound and beautiful. Current assessments don’t come close to covering today’s costs for maintaining the Village. But in addition to creating a reasonable plan for assessment revenue, we need other sources of income.” Click here to watch Pam’s full interview on HSV TV.
Chris Jones on a monthly assessment increase
Chris shared his vision regarding an assessment increase with the HSV Chamber Director, John O’Brien. Chris stated, “I think it is important that an audit be performed before any substantial increase or any sort of proposal of an increase. I believe that is what the task force that is already out there is doing. They are performing that audit, looking at those things, looking for future revenue, things like that. But realistically, I do believe that an assessment increase is necessary. Can I speak to how much that should be? No, not really. I don’t have enough information at hand to really make an educated decision for that. But, I do think that the money from Cooper going away, however many years ago that was, we’re really trying to live that same lifestyle that had all of that subsidy, that no longer exist and we really just need to understand that in order for us to keep the livelihood and maintain the infrastructure and do all the things and keep all the amenities, there’s just costs involved.” Click here to watch Chris’s full interview on HSV TV.
Robert (Bob) McLeod on a monthly assessment increase
When Bob was asked the same question by John O’Brien at the pre-election Chamber interview, he replied, “Yes, I think absolutely you need to have a complete audit done on all the areas. You need to drill down to all the details. I don’t think you can determine an increase until you determine what we are spending all the money on and if all the money is being spent properly. I’ve been involved in many cities, states, counties, school districts. There’s always room for improvement. I’d like to hope that there’s not a lot of room for improvement. But if there is, we need to drill down and find it, to begin with. Then we need to take a look at what we need as far as revenue. And then if it doesn’t match, we’re going to have to have an increase. And I have no idea what that increase would be at this point. But we need to take care of back maintenance. We need to know what that is and we need to have an idea of what the costs are, what we’re behind on, how we’re going to catch up and we need to…I think there probably should be an increase. But I don’t know what that is, at this point.” Click here to watch Bob’s full interview on HSV TV.
Tucker Omohundro on a monthly assessment increase
Of course, Director Omohundro was not interviewed by HSV TV as the Chamber only interviewed candidates. Tucker was already seated on the board with two more years remaining to fulfill his term, but it seemed only fair to also include his pre-election stance on assessments. In follow-up questions from the Village Voice in February of 2020, Tucker Omohundro had this to say about an assessment increase:
“If cost of living continues to go up, we have no choice but to raise the assessments. I think we all understand that. I would rather do a special assessment than raise assessments permanently if there was ever a case this made better sense in the long term.” [Click here to read this article.]
Of course, I do not have a crystal ball and cannot foresee the future. What do you think the Directors will recommend?
By Cheryl Dowden, May 10, 2021
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