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With new member, board gets down to business

A previous split is fixed with a unanimous vote for a new Westchase board member. Then it's on to PODs and protecting the Westchase name.

By LOGAN D. MABE, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 27, 2002


WESTCHASE -- Westchase Community Association directors found one thing they could agree on Thursday night when they unanimously appointed Carlos Quiros to fill a vacancy on the board.

Quiros, who lives in West Park Village, was approved 8-0 to fill the board's ninth seat. The vacancy came about when former director Maria Kletchka resigned. A previous attempt to fill the seat failed when the board split 4-4 on the nomination of candidate Linda Centofante.

Quiros, a Korean war veteran, was born in Puerto Rico and was deputy mayor of San Juan from 1969 to 1976. In 1981, he was appointed secretary of state there.

After retiring in 1988, Quiros worked as the director of the Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation in the Bureau for Food for Peace and Voluntary Assistance under former President George Bush. He also has homeowners association experience, having served as president of a board in Lake Mary in Central Florida.

In other board business, association members came up with a new way to deal with PODs storage containers in the community, and discussed a means for protecting the Westchase name from commercialization.

Until Thursday, PODs were allowed to sit in homeowners' driveways for only 24 hours. After that, they either had to be removed or the resident faced a $100-a-day fine. But most of the offenders are new residents who are rarely aware of the rules governing POD usage.

Director Jon Stein recommended giving homeowners a week before they have to move a POD, and suggested a "user-friendly" letter be sent informing residents of the time limit.

Also, board members asked association attorney Steve Mezer to look into a better way of protecting the Westchase name from unauthorized commercial use. The name and trademark "W" logo belong to the Westchase developer, Terrabrook, which has not come down on businesses that link the Westchase name to their services.

"Right now, it's not ours to protect," Mezer said. "It's been somewhat abused with the developer's acquiescence. They're not protecting it, so it has less value."

Mezer said the only recourse is to sue businesses that have adopted the name, but legal costs could run into the thousands of dollars.

The board voted to have Mezer ask Terrabrook to transfer the rights to the name and logo so the community association could have that option.

- Logan D. Mabe can be reached at 226-3464 or at mabe@sptimes.com

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