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Time for HSVPOA board to get its act together

After hitting a bump, POA board needs to focus on big picture and get the new GM involved; plus fresh virus figures for Arkansas cities

Yesterday’s surprising board decision to fire its chairperson was the first real blemish on the new POA board of directors.

From the most charitable viewpoint, one could suggest Diana Podawiltz was impeding the board because of her dominant personality.  A less charitable view would be this board needs to grow up and consider how its actions will look to property owners before it acts.

Booting Podawiltz out of her chair at the head of the table smacks of the same tactics employed a year ago by the last board and former CEO when they kicked Dick Garrison off the board and threatened to oust Podawiltz.

The overriding notion POA directors have to accept is it is the property owners who elect and dump (by not re-electing) their representatives, not the board or top managers.

What the POA desperately needs today is stability and direction.

It won’t get the former if directors are always looking over their shoulders.  One way to ease this fear would be to adopt a bylaw saying it takes at least five votes on the seven-member board to oust a member.

As to direction, this board has done a good job of meeting the goals set forth as candidates last winter.  They’ve done a good job on transparency and discussing issues in a public setting.

The next and more important step is to draw a vision for Hot Springs Village.  This will take time, but it is the primary task for any board of directors.

The vision should be presented to property owners so they can accept or modify it, and ultimately get behind it so everyone is on the same page.  After the CMP fiasco and years of drifting, Villagers want to know where we’re going.

Governing is always hard and messy.  This board was bound to hit some bumps and it has.

The best thing it could do in the wake of Podawiltz’s resignation is to tell Charles King, the new general manager, it’s time to step up and start being the boss.  He’s been virtually invisible in his first two weeks on the job.

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An updated count of coronavirus cases in Arkansas cities has been released. As of Aug. 10, it shows 57 positive cases have been found in Hot Springs Village, a rise of 13 in seven days.

While the rate of infection – 39.8 cases for every 10,000 people – is still dramatically lower than just about anywhere else, the rise shows we’re still at risk.

The state acknowledges its testing hasn’t been achieving its goals, so the number of cases may actually be higher.

A story in yesterday’s Washington Post said more than 70 vaccines are being developed.  Here’s how they stand:

  • Phase 1 – 15 are being tested in a small number of healthy, young persons to assess the safety and the correct dose.
  • Phase 2 – 3 are broadened to a larger group, including some at higher risk.
  • Phase 3 – 7 are being tested in thousands of people to check their effectiveness and safety.
  • Approved – None have been determined to provide benefits that outweigh known and potential risks.

Stay safe, and wear your mask.  Here’s the latest list:

COVID-19 cases in various places 8-14-2020

By Former Board Director, Frank Leeming, 8-14-20

Click here to subscribe to Frank’s email list.

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