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The Villages
Friday, March 24, 2023

The POA sounds a call to action

Tita Dumagsa

The Property Owners Association, Inc., popularly known as the POA is sounding a CALL TO ACTION  to its thousands of members in The Villages especially to those newly transplanted residents of the Villages south of State Road 44 that are  seemingly sprouting like mushrooms overnight by the thousands and incredibly spreading beyond anyone’s imagination to Leesburg and areas by the Florida Turnpike!. What’s next? Orlando? Someone joked, though this may not really be an exaggeration! It look like The Villages Developer’s mantra is: See that available land? Buy it! Then build on it! And they will come! There is no stopping this manic building spree!

Sometime during our residency in The Villages, we may have issues or concerns about our properties or matters that affect our quality of life and pocketbooks that might have fallen on deaf ears leaving us wringing our hands in total exasperation and desperation. “ Who ya gonna call?” as we famously recall from the GHOSTBUSTERS. The POA!!!

The POA is the largest and ONLY true advocacy organization in The Villages, Champions for Residents’ rights since 1975. The POA operates with complete independence from the Developer of The Villages and has no ties to the local government nor affiliation to the business community .The POA is committed to acting as a WATCHDOG to ensure that the Developer, the District and County Governments are responsive to the needs, interests and rights of residents by reporting, explaining and acting on behalf of the residents The POA’s approach is not adversarial but collaborative. When the POA speaks on behalf of the residents, it does so with absolute autonomy. It is an honest broker.

Guided by member input, investigation and dogged determination, the POA brings attention to and acts on issues that may impact residents ’property values and quality of life. The POA provides:

  • A discussion of issues at its monthly General Membership Meetings’ Open Forum.
  • Research and analysis of matters of concern to members.
  • Programs of interest
  • Through its monthly POA Bulletin delivered for FREE to each household in The Villages, (circulation of 67,500 in May,2022) the POA is a conduit for objective and accurate information on the issues of the day especially those that involve housing, community and local government issues.

For more than 40 years, the POA has championed many contentious issues and/or presented facts on other concerns and issues so Villagers are kept informed of events that affect them.

To name just a few in recent years, among the many accomplishments of the POA in the more than four decades of its existence, the POA has inserted itself front and center on  behalf of residents on the following issues:

  1. TAX INCREASE: The Sumter County Property Tax increase of 25.3% in 2019.

This was by far the single issue that infuriated residents the most in the recent history of The Villages. Property owners not “homesteaded” in Florida had a tax increase of 30-40% because they were excluded from the 3% cap on increased assessments.

Since all 5 Sumter County Commissioners voted for the increase which really further incensed the residents, the POA launched an initiative for Fair Government for Sumter County that saw 3 of those County Commissioners running for reelection who were seen as in the pocket of the Developer, voted out of office and replaced by a landslide with candidates picked and backed by the POA.

  1. HEALTH: The POA documented and publicized over 125 instances of poor service and performance by the Villages Hospital as well as serious problems in the ER.

In response, LRMC brought in a new CEO of the hospital, a new Director of the ER, dedicated more resources and staff to the ER, hired more nurses, established better training programs and brought in three Villagers to sit on the board of the hospital’s parent organization.

  1. SAFETY: The POA was a leading voice for an Independent Villages Fire District and a dedicated Villages ambulance service.
  2. LEGAL: The POA initiated a legal action against the Developer and won on behalf the Villagers a landmark friendly class action lawsuit valued at $43 million.

The key points of the settlement were: Provision for Reserve funds for eventual repair and replacement of our facilities north of CR466; provision for renovation of the Recreation trails north of Hwy 446; creation of the AAC (Amenity Authority Committee) which allows residents elected by residents to make decisions about the expenditures amenity funds north of CR466; and payoff of the Paradise Recreation Center renovation debt.

  1. PROPERTY ISSUES: Roofing Fraud and Related  Astronomical Increases in Homeowners Insurance Premiums /or Cancellation of Homeowners’ Insurance Policies

This is the most current troublesome issue the POA is devoting its attention to as many Villagers have become victims of roofing fraud and have been told by their insurance providers that their premiums have gone up or their policies will be dropped if they don’t replace their roofs first. The Florida Legislature has also addressed this problem with a bill and the POA will surely educate Villagers once signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.

There are many more POA Accomplishments through the years, too numerous to mention here but this writer is hoping the Villages-News readers have gotten the drift of what the POA is all about and what it can do not only for its members but for ALL Villagers.


The POA is an ALL VOLUNTEER organization funded by Membership fees, advertising revenue of its POA Bulletin and member donations. It is staffed by dedicated and selfless members who comprise the POA Officers and Board of Directors. They are your neighbors in The Villages. Just like you, they are motivated by the desire to make sure that The Villages remains a nice place to live and retire in where residents’ rights are respected by both the local Government and the Developer and the needs and interests of all Villagers are always their priority.

But as The Villages grows at a phenomenal rate, the POA Officers and Board of Directors is sorely lacking in manpower to take on all the issues and concerns of Villagers during these unprecedented times of expansion and development of The Villages.

The POA needs all hands on deck! The POA NEEDS YOU!! If you have the time, willingness to work and any of the skills shown below, please be a Volunteer of the POA and most especially, be an Officer or Board Director of the POA. It is a very rewarding use of your life after retirement and previous career experiences.

Many residents come to the Villages retiring from their outstanding careers and bringing with them the incredible skill sets they honed during their years as working professionals. Many have been in management and/or positions of leadership or possess work experiences that included proficiency with computers, writing and research skills.

There is a once a month POA Board Meeting and a monthly General Membership Meeting to attend. So the time commitment is neither demanding nor overwhelming.

Residents are encouraged to attend a special event at 9 a.m. May 24 at Laurel Manor Recreation Center

Villager Tita Dumagsa is a POA Board Director.

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