By: Sharon Aron Baron
Last year’s Annual Members meeting was anything but dull.
Residents were forbidden by our HOA President to sign petitions to recall our commissioner . Even political signage on cars were threatened to be towed away, all while former Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad was handing out flyers to different tables. Although both were done peacefully, resident weren’t allowed their right to assemble, not even at their own “Members” meeting.
This year our Annual Members meeting will be much different. Residents are concerned about safety, beauty, and high property values, and thankfully, no political recall is talking place.
When new voter’s registration cards were mailed out a few weeks ago, residents were alerted of changes in not only in precinct numbers, but in School Board Districting. For many years Woodlands residents were represented by School Board Members Stephanie Kraft, Dave Thomas and until recently, Abby Freedman. However, upon receiving the new cards, they specified that our community had changed due to recent redistricting.
This was a big surprise to many residents with children in schools.
While many residents may not have children currently enrolled in public schools, they may be under the impression that a school board member may not affect them, but it most certainly does. A school board member votes on policy that trickles down and affects the community they represent. Every homeowner in the Woodlands pays taxes towards Broward County Schools and therefore, we all have a vested interest in our schools.
We have over 100 families in the Woodlands and I asked some of our parents if it would be beneficial to them if our new school board member attended our February 17, Annual Members Meeting this year. This would give them an opportunity to meet their newest school board member.
“Although many of our residents don’t have children attending public schools,” said Section Eight resident Jennifer Vigliano, “it is an important civic duty for everyone to be aware and meaningfully vote for our school board representatives.”
I attended Dr. Rosalind Osgood swearing-in last December, and she is an appealing, intelligent woman. She also had hundreds of supporters during the ceremony. Osgood is a graduate of Fort Lauderdale High School and single mother of three adult children who are college graduates. She has earned both a Master’s and Doctoral Degree in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Osgood has served as a Minister, Social Worker and Teacher in Broward County for over the past 20 years.
I found out that Dr. Osgood’s schedule would be free on February 17 (she holds two other jobs besides being a school board member) and I would have been proud as head of our Parent Group to introduce her and so she could say a few words at our meeting, I emailed our HOA President Patti Fox, who decided to not let her speak.
“..I have decided to stick with the agenda this year that has been sent out and only have the person on the agenda speak at the meeting,” Fox emailed me.
Was it our Broward County Commissioner Martin Kiar?
State Senator Chris Smith?
State Representative Hazelle Rogers?
I was curious to know.
Sadly, Fox never had a speaker planned. There was no one on the agenda.
According to our management company, the only person who is speaking is BSO. While their message is important, representatives from BSO speak at every monthly meeting. There was no reason why BSO and Dr. Osgood couldn’t both speak at an Annual Members Meeting with so many residents in attendance.
Despite not being able to speak, Osgood said she’d like to attend anyway, and said she hopes to be able to meet some of the residents.
I encourage residents to attend our February 17, Annual Members meeting at 7 p.m. at the Woodlands Country Club and meet Dr Osgood.
- Sharon Aron Baron created the Woodlands Tamarac in 2010 for original News for the community. In 2011 she went on to create Tamarac Talk, in 2012, Coral Springs Talk and 2017, Parkland Talk.