Shirl Mendonca: LWW Planning Committee needs help |

Shirl Mendonca: LWW Planning Committee needs help

What do an engineer, a strategic planner, a CEO of a major retailer, a marketing VP, a senior financial manager, a human resources/labor relations specialist, a sales consultant, a civil engineer/contractor and a builder have in common?

They have a commitment to Lake Wildwood and are using their 300-plus years of combined professional experience to work on and with the LWW Planning Committee. This group has put in countless hours developing a long-range plan for the future of LWW based on sustainable economics (vs. future borrowing with increased dues to cover debt).

But they need your help, and they need it now.

LWW homeowners will receive a ballot this month asking for approval to use existing facilities money (accumulated through the sale of assets) to help with the remodel and expansion of the Marina Recreation Center. All the money needed for this project is available, but needs your vote to access the funds.

A “yes” vote means the center will be upgraded and expanded to become a true community center. The $1.3 million project will be funded with the facilities fund, the recent $75 assessment and a portion of the capital improvement fund (a set percentage of annual dues).

A “no” vote will leave LWW on a deferred maintenance plan resulting in the possible need for large future loans and dues increases to cover major repairs or rebuilds, as in Lake of the Pines, which now has annual dues of $1,750 versus $1,468 for LWW.

A “no” vote means the facilities fund and assessment will sit idle, earning interest, and only the capital improvement fund (approximately $104,000 per year) can be tapped for “make-do” repairs. A “no” vote also means countless volunteer hours and some expenses to bring this up for a vote each year to minimize even higher long-term costs.

This is just one step in a long-range plan that includes open accountability and scrupulous monitoring of budgets and timelines. Residents will be kept up to date in the weekly community newsletter and in monthly board meetings, where homeowner attendance is encouraged. We hope this will be the first agenda item, so we can listen and leave if we need to.

LWW is not a retirement community and we need to reflect the changing demographics of a younger, more active and more diverse population. With that comes the demand for more meeting spaces and higher-use buildings while keeping fees in line with services.

The dedication, professionalism and enthusiasm of the planning committee and our board of directors put us in capable hands to move forward. By the time our general manager, Bill Haushaulter, steps down in July 2008, after 15 years of service, we should be well on our way to a member-driven community. A fresh new day is coming to LWW. Please jump in and be an active participant.


Got a tip about someone or something in Lake Wildwood? Contact Shirl Mendonca at

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