Villages Vice President of Sales Jennifer Parr made a phone call this week to the head of a group of residents fighting against apartments in The Villages.
Villager Patsy Oburn revealed details of the phone call when she rallied her neighbors Friday morning at the postal station near the former home of the Hacienda Hills Country Club.
Oburn said she received the phone call from the daughter of H. Gary Morse at about 6:30 p.m. Monday, one day ahead of a meeting of the Sumter County Commission, which voted to move ahead with the apartments. Oburn described it as a “positive” conversation. However, Oburn didn’t mince words.
“You stole amenity contracts from us under duress. You put up a fence around the country club without any notice,” Oburn said she told Parr.
Oburn told Parr the Amenity Authority Committee meeting on Aug. 12 was a “debacle” in which the committee members surrendered 300 amenity contracts to the Developer. The AAC took the action after the Developer’s representative Gary Lester held one-on-one meetings with each committee member and gave them an ultimatum between an age-restricted apartment building or a satellite parking facility for UF Health-The Villages Hospital.
Oburn said that Parr was “surprised” by her account of what happened at the AAC meeting.
However, Parr conceded the matter had not been handled well.
“This rollout is not who we are,” Parr told Oburn during the phone call.
Oburn seemed pleased that Parr had reached out.
“She has been in business since the day she was born,” she said of Parr.
The residents who live near the former country club site now have a pledge that the Developer will attempt to mitigate the impact of the apartment complex on their homes.
“Done right, this effort will be an opportunity to re-establish a broken connection between neighbors and The Villages leadership, and perhaps lay a foundation to rebuild trust which is paramount to the complete Villages Lifestyle,” Oburn said.
Oburn added that she didn’t think there would be many more conversations with Parr.
“Sometimes the winning is not on the scoreboard,” she said.