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The Villages
Saturday, February 24, 2024

VHA pressuring commissioners to approve Developer’s hand-picked fire board

Rich Cole
Rich Cole

The Villages Homeowners Advocates is pressuring Sumter County commissioners to approve the Developer’s hand-picked members for a board to oversee a dependent fire district for The Villages.

District Manager Kenny Blocker had offered the list of names in September to the Sumter County Commission. It is suspected that Blocker was given the names of the potential board members by the Developer.

Some commissioners bristled at the way the list of names was presented to them.

“I don’t think we should be spoon-fed candidates by the (Villages) district,” said Commissioner Andrew Bilardello. “There might be better people out there.” 

The candidates on that list are Dr. Maryanne Scott, Dr. Kathleen Gowin, Fred Briggs, John Dean and Chris Christopolus.

“Next week the Sumter County Commissioners will have the opportunity to make up for September’s inaction and create a Board for the new Villages Public Safety Department. The time for delay is over, they need to take action now in what should be a unifying step for our community,” Rich Cole wrote in an editorial published by The VHA on its website and on its dedicated page in The Villages Daily Sun.

He said the candidates were “fully vetted” in consultation with the VHA.

“The proposed members for the initial Board are all highly qualified individuals who have volunteered to serve in what should be totally not partisan work. They will be responsible for defining The Villages fire service and creating a budget and funding source,” Cole, who also serves as the Developer’s representative on the Amenity Authority Committee, wrote in the editorial.

He urged Villagers to contact their commissioners and tell them to support the slate of candidates.

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