VI - Developer/SLCDD Issues
A. Early Years (1975-1995)
In a meeting with Gary Morse in 1985, POA officers were informed that management would no longer recognize the POA as the spokesperson for residents. Management voiced its support of the newly formed Community Improvement Council (C.I.C.). Meetings with management representatives and the POA, to solve minor problems before they became major conflicts, were suspended. At a later time, meetings were resumed between POA representatives and a designated management employee.
In 1991, an unprecedented attempt was made to take over the POA, when a slate of candidates was presented opposed to the continuation of the POA efforts in behalf of residents. The residents involved in the attempted takeover became members of the POA for the two months of November and December, and their dues were paid for by the Developer. These candidates were overwhelmingly defeated by a vote of residents. Some of the residents who were involved in the take-over attempt then formed the Developer supported Villages Homeowners Association (VHA).
B. Mid Years (1996-2004)
Issuing More Bonds - September 2002
The POA is calling for this moratorium after the VCCDD voted, at its August 2002 meeting, to start validation proceedings on three bond issues amounting to $240 million. This includes $120 million for Recreation Revenue Bonds, $100 million for Utility Revenue Bonds, and $20 million for Solid Waste Revenue Bonds. This moratorium would be in effect, until the Section 190 Law that created the CDDs is clarified on the issue of appraisals and resident approvals, or until a voluntary plan addressing these issues, is adopted by the Developer of The Villages.
Inflated Prices north of CR 466 - October 2000
Newspaper articles, over the past year or so, have claimed that the Section 190 law that created Community Development Districts (CDDs) is being abused by developers, who compel their own hand-picked boards to buy developer property at inflated prices, without market-based appraisals, and without the approval of residents, whose monthly fees will be pledged to pay off the 20- and 30-year bonds, issued to purchase these facilities. This practice is facilitated by a combination of advisors, bankers, attorneys, and other operatives, who are exempt from state conflict-of-interests laws, in their dealings with developers.
The Orlando Sentinel's award-winning series of articles in October, 2000, pointed out that in the mid-1990s Villages property valued at $8.8 million was sold by The Villages Developer to The Villages VCCDD for $84 million. The property consisted of, among other things, retention ponds, guard shacks, landscaping areas, executive golf courses, recreation facilities, etc.
C. Current Years (2005-2015)
The Paradise Center
This recreation center, on the east side of Highway 441/27, was deteriorating and an absolute disgrace. It was termite and rat infested, raccoons lived in the ceiling, mold was growing in many places, wallboard and ceilings were falling down, floors were bouncy, furniture was decrepit, and the VCCDD supervisors were almost oblivious to the pleas of residents to renovate. The POA campaigned strongly with Bulletin stories, a survey of residents, and strong advocacy in VCCDD meetings. The VCCDD eventually decided to proceed with a smaller-scale renovation than advocated by the POA, but, nevertheless, suitable. Today, the Paradise Center is beautiful.
Village residents have enjoyed parades to celebrate their favorite holidays for years. The Developer decided to discontinue these parades. As a response, the POA drafted a petition stating: "We cannot understand your reasons for cancellation and we strongly suggest that you make these reasons public." Receiving no response, the POA stepped forward and sponsored the effort to continue the parades.