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The Villages
Monday, September 27, 2021

Response to Reed Panos’ criticism of The Villages Daily Sun

To the Editor:

First, in the interest of full disclosure, this writer is a sitting Board Director of the Property Owners Association of the Villages (POA).
In his commentary in The Villages-News, Reed Panos wrote a hard hitting piece to call out the ONLY printed local newspaper SOLD in The Villages. He titled it “Stop supporting the propaganda of The Villages Daily Sun.”
I applaud Mr. Panos for his courage in exposing the bias of the Daily Sun in consistently and predictably favoring the Developer on crucial issues affecting the Villagers citing the recent road impact fees issue as an example.
It is not rocket science for Villagers to figure out on their own the lack of journalistic integrity and accuracy of the Daily Sun’s articles as evidenced by its dwindling subscription rates and cancelled subscriptions. The Daily Sun has indeed thrown fair, truthful, and objective reporting out the window by consistently and blatantly choosing to be its owner, the Developer’s MOUTHPIECE.
Yes, Mr. Panos called it right but with one glaring exception. He directs readers to The Villages Recreation News as an alternative to the Daily Sun if one wants to know what’s going on in The Villages. It is a ludicrous suggestion because the Recreation News is not a news source at all. Such information, whether done in sarcasm or as a tongue-in-cheek comment is a disservice to the readers especially to new residents south of 44 who may not know any better and an insult to the intelligence of the rest of us.
What Mr. Panos failed to do was to point out that the only print newspaper alternative to the Daily Sun is the monthly POA Bulletin published by the Property Owners Association of The Villages (POA) which is delivered for FREE to 63,500 homes in The Villages, including the new homes south of 44.
The POA’s Mission Statement states that it is the Watchdog body for residents of The Villages. In its 46 years of existence since its 1975 founding, the POA has championed many critical issues on behalf of Villages’ residents. The POA is the original homeowner association with no ties and/or affiliation to the Developer , local government or business community. It prides itself of its independent voice and actions on behalf of all Villages’ residents mostly putting the Developer on defense for decisions deemed inimical, to the welfare of Villagers. The POA has even gone to the extent of going to court several times against the Developer to redress the harm rendered on the Villagers by the Developer’s actions, decisions and policies. Readers should go to the POA website, POA4us.org to learn of the detailed history of POA accomplishments thru the years on behalf of the Villagers, foremost of which was the class action settlement the POA won for the Villagers in 2008 in the amount of $43 million.
I believe Mr. Panos is very familiar with the workings of the POA and the issues it champions for he has attended many of its meetings and collaborated with the POA as the chair of the Fair Government for Sumter when the POA was leading the fight against the 25.3 percent Sumter County Tax Increase that brought in three new Sumter County Board Commissioners who all publicly thanked the POA and credited its support for their electoral victories. All three new commissioners won and had the support of the POA because they were deemed NOT to be in the pocket of the Developer contrast to the three who were swept out of office.
Ignoring the role of the POA in the lives and welfare of the Villages’ residents took a lot away from what would have been an excellent commentary by Mr. Panos.

Tita Dumagsa
Village of Fenney


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