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Westchase candidates run on similar platforms

The seven share common ideas for managing the Westchase East Community Development District.

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


WESTCHASE -- Seven candidates are vying for three seats on the Westchase East Community Development District board, but they all seem to be running on the same platform.

At a meet-the-candidates forum Wednesday night, the candidates struck some common themes about changes they would like to see in the way the CDD is run.

The candidates for seat 3 are George Scott Doster and Steve Grossman. Seat 4 candidates are Greg Chesney, Daryl Manning and Lewis A. Patterson, who did not attend the forum. Seat 5 candidates are Susan Edgerley and Ernie Sylvester.

One issue concerned whether the board should consider challenging the CDD manager, Moyer and Associates, by opening the contract to competitive bids. Sylvester liked the idea, saying it would prevent Moyer's group from becoming complacent. Most of the candidates, except Chesney, agreed.

Although Chesney acknowledged there was a "level of discontent" among residents, he said he was not a big fan of the low bidder approach. Instead, he said he would review the company's performance regularly, if elected.

Another issue that got universal support from the candidates was the idea of holding every monthly CDD meeting in Westchase. Now, the meetings are held one month in Westchase and the next month in law offices in downtown Tampa.

Even though Manning, a lawyer in the state Attorney General's Office, works just three floors beneath the law offices where the CDD meeting are held, he said meetings should be in Westchase every month.

And Grossman said he would also try to have the 4 p.m. meetings moved to later in the evening so residents could attend.

Finally, the candidates agreed that CDD officials need to have better communication with residents who call in concerns about service or maintenance. Too often, Grossman said, residents call in a complaint and never hear back from managers about whether the problem was addressed.

-- Logan D. Mabe can be reached at 269-5304 or at mabe@sptimes.com.

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