Out with the old, in with the new.
Dennis Butler has lived in the Pointe subdivision of the Countryway community for five years. His New Year's resolution was to "get more involved in my community," he said.
Wednesday night, for the first time, he attended the annual master homeowners meeting. With nearly 50 homeowners attending in Lowry Elementary School's cafeteria, the community's hopes for the upcoming year unfolded.
Four seats on the five-member homeowners board needed to be filled, and six candidates applied. Why the healthy number of candidates? It's because the homeowners association created a nominating committee last year.
Candidates James Kannard, Eric Kissel, Mary Mostertz, Roy Quentimeyer, Michael Reed and Chela Thompson introduced themselves to the homeowners at the meeting, sharing their backgrounds and their goals for the community.
The audience gave kudos to all the volunteer board members who had served in the past year. Board president Bill Christy, who has been on the board for nine years, encouraged residents to stay involved.
He then announced the election results: Kannard, Kissel and Mostertz will serve three-year terms, and Reed will serve the balance of departing board member Karin Champion's two-year term. The board will elect officers from among themselves during the next meeting Jan. 19.
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Traffic safety issues were the topic of discussion several times during the course of the evening. Kannard, one of the candidates, noted that a child passenger in a speeding car had recently been killed in an accident in Countryway, and that a woman pushing a stroller died in a separate accident.
"There have probably been a dozen accidents where someone has hit the wall coming into Countryway Boulevard from Hillsborough Avenue," Kannard said.
He wants to see the board work with government agencies on traffic safety issues. "The Sheriff's Office is easy to work with. I would like to get a commitment from law enforcement to come out and monitor, patrol and ticket people."
More than half the candidates thought it was time to start a capital improvement project. They acknowledged the desire to upgrade Countryway to keep pace with the newer communities developing around them.
"A community center with an enclosed air-conditioned space would make a nice meeting room or a place for games," Kissel said, "and a pool or type of water park would keep us in competition for property values" with other developments.
Quentimeyer, a volunteer on the capital improvement committee during the past year, reminded everyone that an activity survey had been sent to all homeowners requesting input on their recreational needs.
"We need people to return those surveys," he said. "We want to spend wisely for the betterment of the community."