POA Accused of Nickel and Diming Villagers
At the February 16, 2022 Board Meeting, Vice-chair, Tucker Omohundro, proposed that Staff look at various fees. This was a “New Business” discussion item and no votes were taken on this matter.
Omohundro said he monitors social media and pays attention to a lot of things. Omohundro stated, “we have fees for different things in the Village and we get accused of nickel and diming. I actually think we do a little of that and I’d really like to eliminate that. I am going to ask Staff, with the Board’s support, to look into a few of these things. I am going to hit on a few of them.”
Are All Permits Necessary?
Continuing, Omohundro said, “We charge for example through our permitting and inspections department to change out a water heater. Fortunately, or unfortunately, people will probably go pay to change out a water heater. Me, personally, I won’t do it. I’ll just change the water heater. But a lot of people do go by this. There is a reasoning behind this. There is code to how a water heater is installed. But there is code to just about everything in your house, the way it’s installed. So is your range. But do we get a permit to change a range? Sometimes you just have to maybe let people do what they need to do. There is a code to how you install a receptacle, but do you get a permit to change out a receptacle in your house? I don’t. Not many people would and we don’t ask you to. I am not saying that we should or we shouldn’t. I am just giving you thoughts about it. Painting garage doors and front doors even brought Joanie and me to another point, even painting your own house. We have restrictions on what colors. We have guidelines and all that, yes. But do we really want to charge you if you come down and show the color? You do need to go through the process so we don’t have to catch you painting your door purple if it doesn’t look good in the neighborhood. But why should we have to pay for that? That’s just my thought.
Golf Cart Stickers
Omohundro said, “another thing came up, golf cart stickers…Apparently, and I don’t know if it is a policy or not, but apparently, we’re changing for a golf cart sticker if you run around your back yard with it or in your neighborhood.”
“Golf cart stickers were originally so you could actually use it on the golf course and you actually got a discount for doing so and you just paid a trail fee. We also offer a fee of $600, around that, a year. You pay that and you pay nothing when you use your golf cart on the golf courses. I actually bought that this year and I think it is a great deal. But I promise you, why do I need a sticker to ride around my shop? I don’t think that was ever the intent, but I think it did get to be the intent. And that’s just, again, Tucker’s opinion, wrong,” explained Omohundro.
Do you really want to charge me for my cats? It ain’t happening. I’m not going to go and get a tag for my cats that never leave the house.”
I think Charlie [Brown] eliminated some of that or we talked about it, Pet tags, Charlie’s own reason for having a pet tag is because he is in charge of Animal Control. If they see a dog out on the street, the tag will tell him where to take it instead of taking it to the Animal Shelter. That is a great thing, but why can’t you just put any kind of tag on there? Omohundro said we don’t require proof of vaccinations.” We just charge people $18 a year to register their dog.
When you buy a new car, the POA does not let Property Owners turn in their old window sticker for a new one without paying another $10 fee.
Staff to Look at Fees
Omohundro said he wants GM Hale and the Staff to look at these fees.
Hale said, “this came up a few weeks ago and we are going to take all of these and I’ll bring them back to the Board. But not only these ticky-tack, really?” There is an administration cost of managing and keeping track of these things. There is an upside to looking at how much revenue is being brought in on something like this. Is it worth the time and energy? Does it make any logical sense in what we are doing?” The GM said they have already started making a list to bring back to the Board to determine what kind of adjustments need to be made.
Vehicle Stickers are for Convenience
You are not required to have a sticker on your car. You show your ID to get in…, explained Hale.
Omohundro said that car stickers generate a lot of revenue. The companies that work in the Village must buy a sticker if they don’t want to have someone call them in by phone. It is convenient for them. We make approximately $400,000 a year because you guys and me included, go buy a sticker for our convenience. We are not required. No one has to buy the stickers to get inside the gates. Not even workers. It is about convenience.
Kelly said, “it is a revenue generator, but you are not required. It is a convenience for people that choose to put them on their cars. I agree with you, Tucker. It helps me get in and out and doesn’t put a strain on our guards…”
Coreena Fetterhoff, the Controller, said there is a cost associated with purchasing all of those stickers. It is not all profit.
Cheryl Dowden, HSV People, February 20, 2022
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