ELECTION 2010: Lakewood Ranch CDD 4 Seat 2

 

ELECTION 2010: Lakewood Ranch CDD 4 Seat 2

 

Date: October 6, 2010
by: The Observer Staff

 
 

In Lakewood Ranch’s Community Development Districts, all three of CDD 4’s supervisor seats are contested. Meet CDD 4 Seat 2 incumbent Anne Fischer and challenger Keith Davey.

CDD 4 SEAT 2
Anne Fischer
Age: Senior citizen
Family: Widow with two sons and four grandchildren
Hometown: Falmouth Cornwall, UK
Education: Business degree from University of Exeter; Licensed real estate broker

Why are you running for a CDD seat?
I am retired. I have the time, desire and capability to give back to my community. I landed in the political arena six years ago when Schroeder-Manatee Ranch asked me to be on Greenbrook’s Homeowners Association while it was still in control. This piqued my interest in local community affairs, and I have stayed active in our politics ever since.

What is your prior experience as a community leader?
Unofficially, I was the chairman or honorary sponsor of many committees. I was a Tsunami Warden for three years, responsible for the well-being of all women and children on Midway Island.

What changes would you make in the CDD leadership in Lakewood Ranch?
I would like board members to be as diverse as possible. Preferably, all five board members would be from different neighborhoods within Greenbrook. We currently have two board members from Vistas. After the election, it could be that three out of the five supervisors would live in Vistas. I would also like to change our meetings to evenings, hoping to obtain more feedback from residents who currently are working.

What is your opinion on the transparency of the CDDs and Lakewood Ranch Town Hall?
I would like the board to be more transparent as I would welcome more input from the residents. I am hopeful that our Town Hall receptionists are able to direct questions and/or complaints to the proper source. If unsatisfactory, more training needs to be given to achieve this.

What do you feel currently are the biggest challenges facing
Lakewood Ranch residents and the CDD board?
The biggest challenge facing our residents right now is the shrinking values of our homes. (As of) last week, there were 62 foreclosures in Greenbrook alone. As time passes, it means increasing maintenance in all our common areas.

Income for the CDD is fairly stable within Greenbrook, which makes how and where our finances are utilized, along with a balanced budget, all the more important.

As a board member, what would you do to increase resident
involvement in the affairs of the CDD or the community overall?
I would like to give our working people more access. Mail-outs are costly (at about) $500 to mail to all residents in Greenbrook. It may be worth the expense if informing residents where and when meetings such as safety and landscaping resulted in better participation, which to date has been poor.


Keith Davey
Age: 61
Family: Married to Barbara; two sons
Hometown: Farmington Hills, Mich. Moved to Lakewood Ranch in 2005
Education: Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan; MBA from Wayne State University
Career: Thirty years with Michigan Consolidated Gas Co.

Why are you running for a CDD seat?
Since I am active in many clubs and organizations, homeowners have contacted me to discuss or resolve various issues during the past five years. Although the CDD assessments paid by Greenbrook residents remain high, many residents have expressed concerns regarding the below-standard appearance of landscaping and lakes, irrigation system pressure problems that have continued for years, and decisions that affect residents that were made without input from residents. I can use my knowledge and experience setting and implementing policies, planning and developing performance-based contracts to help improve the community while controlling costs.

What is your prior experience as a community leader?
I served as president of the Greenbrook Homeowners Association for two years; chairman of the Greenbrook Safety Committee for three years; president of a Michigan Homeowner’s Association for 18 years, which included the responsibilities currently performed by the CDD Supervisors. I also served as president of the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund and President of the Lakewood Ranch Civic Action Forum and as a member of the Advisory Board for Manatee County Commissioner Donna Hayes.

What changes would you make in the CDD leadership in Lakewood Ranch?
Performance measures need to be developed with the community to ensure costs, overall resident satisfaction and quality of services delivered meet (or exceed) the expectations of residents.

What is your opinion on the transparency of the CDDs and Lakewood Ranch Town Hall?
The process for making decisions and resolving problems is not clear and simple. There is confusion between which employees perform CDD functions and those who perform HOA functions. Ultimately, Lakewood Ranch residents will be asked for their recommendations for their preferred method to obtain information. Several cost-effective ideas include meetings at various times (days and evenings) and days (including weekends), using Digital Village files, using the DV e-mail distribution list (or a similar separate list if needed) to send information.

What do you feel currently are the biggest challenges facing Lakewood Ranch residents and the CDD board?
No. 1: The appearance of both the landscaping and the lakes are below the standards that existed when many residents bought their homes. No. 2: Routine maintenance items often need “requests for special attention” rather than correction as part of the normal day-to-day operation. No. 3: The irrigation system pressure problems have continued for years. Finally, decisions that affect residents are made without input from residents.

As a board member, what would you do to increase resident involvement in the affairs of the CDD or the community overall?
I would solicit comments from residents via e-mail, meetings and written requests; attend various meetings (e.g. club and other organizations); schedule meetings at various times to accommodate people who cannot be available during the day; establish committees to research specific problems; and implement changes based on the community’s needs and preferences.

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