A Happy Somersett Resident

Posted by Geoffrey Brooks

Pat Gaskill, President of the SGCC, in a letter  dated October 25, to the community concerning  the board election, says that “the biggest threat to the Somersett Community is happy residents not speaking out and taking action”…

As a “happy Somersett resident” I have spoken out and taken action. I have attended board meetings, attended committee meetings, written to the board on various matters in an effort make matters better for all. I am not alone, as other “happy residents” have done likewise. As I have critiqued the current SGCC/SOA lease agreement, I am considered to be “disgruntled”. It seems that only happy residents in Somersett love golf and support a private country club; if not one should move out. The implication was by not supporting a private club all our property values will fall! (NOT TRUE).

At the last board meeting a commentary was made by a resident on the D’Andrea Golf Club “No” vote being due to a disgruntled minority. However, much was left out.

What were the results? 1400 residents were eligible, 200 residents voted YES to pay an extra $28/month, 762 voted NO. . I don’t believe that one can describe 80% of the voters as a “disgruntled minority”.

The owners of the private D’Andrea Golf Club, made a tremendous effort to try to persuade the homebuilders ( Lenar & other builders) and the residents into supporting their cause; providing detailed financial information on the costs associated with owning and running a Golf Course. They explained why this would be a good deal for the residents, listing all the benefits that they would enjoy.

It should be noted that the “lease” between the SGCC and the previous SOA board was cooked up without any consultation with the owners, with no discussion of the financial issues. There were no resident surveys (we now have just concluded one) to show whether the things leased were wanted by the community at large. I thought from a business perspective that it was a terrible deal. There was no guarantee that if private golf course failed, it would remain as open community space (a goal expressed by Tony Fakonas, Board President).

In the case of D’Andrea, the ordinary residents overwhelming voted no on subsidizing a privately owned golf club, a rich persons hobby. Why would each resident give $336 a year to a money losing proposition, where they would gain only minimal rights.

Soon, we were told, there will be community wide presentations on the new Golf agreement, changes to the CCR&R’s, prior to having a community vote. (as stipulated to the Attorney General’s office). This event will occur regardless of who is on the board or elected.

We have 5 candidates for office – we should elect officers who are familiar with the “Workings of Somersett.” It is a time consuming job. We need officers who can apply the appropriate management skills, enable efficiencies that will ultimately lead to lower homeowner dues. Please carefully read all the candidate bios and election information before voting.