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Interim manager named to post permanently

Michelle Kitts, 30, worked for Tampa Palms Owner's Association since May 2000 as the assistant to the previous manager.

By MELIA BOWIE, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 20, 2002

TAMPA PALMS -- The search for a new community manager is over.

Board members with the Tampa Palms Owner's Association promoted Michelle Kitts to manager after the departure of Maura Lear, who helped steer the community since she came on board in 1997.

Kitts, a licensed community manager herself, took over when Lear resigned last month to take a job with Carrollwood-based Greenacre Properties Inc. doing multisite management.

"We looked at all the candidates," TPOA president Bill Edwards said Tuesday. "We're very pleased with the work Michelle's doing and we feel promoting from within is a good idea."

A quorum of three members approved the decision; her salary is $40,000 annually.

Kitts, 30, lives in Valrico and was initially hired by the TPOA in May 2000 to assist Lear.

Her new role will entail much of the same duties -- helping to bid projects and writing newsletters, in addition to the enforcement of deed restrictions.

"I'm very excited," said Kitts, who is in the process of selling her home and moving closer to the area. "There's a lot of challenges out there and I like a good challenge.

"Right now I really need to focus on deed restrictions; they've really piled up," she said. "I want to get the community cleaned up."

Assistant Joeann JnBaptiste was recently hired as Kitts' replacement at the Compton Park office.

Board members said they examined a number of options regarding Tampa Palms' management after Lear's departure.

"One organization suggested they might want to contract out for us . . . but we suspect it would be a more expensive solution," said Edwards. And "there was no applicant better qualified than who we had in-house."

-- Staff writer Melia Bowie can be reached at 269-5312 or

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