Wednesday, September 30, 2020
63.9 F
The Villages

Tempers flare as official calls out ‘dictatorship’ in Villages government

Tempers flared Monday morning when a Villages official called for a special meeting to try to wrest control of Villages government from commercial property owners in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

Jerry Vicenti
Jerry Vicenti

Community Development District 7 Supervisor Jerry Vicenti issued the call at the Project Wide Advisory Committee meeting.

“This is really a hot-button and nobody wants to go near it,” Vicenti said as he rolled out a statement he had written the previous night.

Last month, Vicenti and fellow CDD 7 Supervisor Bill Vondohlen voted against an interlocal agreement that would lock in PWAC’s “advisory” status, ceding ultimate power for 20 years to the Sumter Landing Community Development District Board.

Vicenti on Monday called on fellow PWAC members to revisit the resolution which ensures the committee’s subservient status.

“In my opinion we have two forms of government in The Villages. We have the SLCDD board, which consists of owners of commercial properties, a very small minority of The Villages that CONTROLS The Villages government and they don’t have to answer to no one but themselves, are elected within themselves by themselves. To add insult to injury some of them DON’T live in The Villages which controls millions of dollars of the residents funds,” Vicenti said in the statement read aloud to PWAC members.

The SLCDD board is made up of supervisors whose livelihoods are tied to the Developer.

“In my opinion the SLCDD is not a democratic democracy form of government, it’s the definition of a dictatorship,” Vicenti said.

He pointed to the Amenity Authority Committee, which manages amenities north of County Road 466, as an elected body accountable to residents. He said the AAC could serve as a model for what PWAC could become.

Despite his impassioned plea, Vicenti did not receive a second in support of his motion for a special meeting. Instead, his statement drew a harsh response from his fellow board members.

Ken Stoff

Brownwood Community Development District PWAC representative Ken Stoff questioned whether Vicenti’s behavior violated a recently adopted code of conduct. Stoff, a resident of Fruitland Park, is the treasurer for the Holding Company of The Villages Inc.

Soon the word “disrespectful” began to fly.

PWAC Chairman Peter Moeller took issue with Vicenti’s decision to speak out against the committee’s vote earlier this year to remove the cap on amenity fees paid by residents.

“I thought it was disrespectful to go back to your CDD and not support this committee,” Moeller said.

PWAC member Dennis Hayes was unhappy with Vicenti’s decision to speak out against PWAC’s decision on the amenity cap when the CDD 7 supervisor took to the podium at May’s SLCDD board meeting. Hayes said if Vicenti didn’t like PWAC’s decision, he had another option.

“Don’t sit on this committee,” Hayes said.

Steve Brown, CDD 9’s representative on PWAC, also took a swing at Vicenti’s appeal to the SLCDD Board over the removal of the amenity cap.

“We should all own that decision,” Brown said.

You can read Vicenti’s entire statement at this link: Jerry Vicenti statement July 8, 2019

More Headlines

Local couple thrown out of Busch Gardens after argument over face masks

A local couple was thrown out of Busch Gardens theme park after an argument over face masks.

Villager on Wildwood Commission casts lone vote against water, trash rate hikes

The lone Villager serving on the Wildwood Commission was the only vote against rate hikes for water and garbage collection. Villages-News.com's Marv Balousek has details.

Photos

Limpkin Opens A Shellfish At Lake Mira Mar

Check out this limpkin catching and opening a shellfish by banging it on a rock at Lake Mira Mar. Thanks to Ron Clark for sharing!

Lightning Strike In The Village Of Amelia

Check out this lightning strike photographed from the Village of Amelia. Thanks to Abe Gzad for sharing!

Red Saddlebag Skimmer Dragonfly Taking A Break

Check out this red saddlebag skimmer dragonfly taking a break on a windy first day of fall. Thanks to Garry Kolb for sharing!

Letters to the Editor

This is not a friendly hometown

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Santiago resident contends The Villages is not a friendly hometown.

Business

$28.7 million Lake Sumter Apartment Homes now open to renters

Lake Sumter Apartment Homes, a $28.7 million affordable housing community consisting of 158 apartment homes, is now open to renters.

Crime

Local couple thrown out of Busch Gardens after argument over face masks

A local couple was thrown out of Busch Gardens theme park after an argument over face masks.

Opinions

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee deserves fair and swift hearing

Congressman Daniel Webster contends President Trump's Supreme Court nominee deserves a fair and swift hearing.

Top Stories

COVID-19 cases spike in The Villages as three more local residents succumb to virus

A spike in COVID-19 cases was reported in The Villages and the surrounding area on Tuesday as three more local residents lost their battle with the virus.

Local couple thrown out of Busch Gardens after argument over face masks

A local couple was thrown out of Busch Gardens theme park after an argument over face masks.

Villager on Wildwood Commission casts lone vote against water, trash rate hikes

The lone Villager serving on the Wildwood Commission was the only vote against rate hikes for water and garbage collection. Villages-News.com's Marv Balousek has details.

Letters to the Editor

This is not a friendly hometown

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Santiago resident contends The Villages is not a friendly hometown.

Lady Lake should not pump precious water to Sumter County

A Village of El Cortez resident contends Lady Lake should not pump precious water to Sumter County. Read his Letter to the Editor.

Kudos to Gov. DeSantis for reopening restaurants to full occupancy

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Belle Aire resident salutes Gov. DeSantis for reopening restaurants to full capacity.

Crime

Local couple thrown out of Busch Gardens after argument over face masks

A local couple was thrown out of Busch Gardens theme park after an argument over face masks.

Lady Lake man jailed after alleged sex with woman who took sleep aid

A Lady Lake man was jailed after allegedly having sex with a woman who was under the influence of a sleep aid.

Couple on motorcycle end up behind bars after stopping for gas at Wawa

A couple on a motorcycle ended up behind bars after stopping for gas at Wawa at U.S. 301 and County Road 466 in Oxford.