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CMPC thankful for candidates’ support against Wind Farm  

Credit:  By Jay McCarthy, For The Vista | August 2nd, 2017 | vistanewspaper.com ~~

Cumberland Mountain Preservation Coalition is pleased to announce that two of the candidates who are running for Glade Board positions have announced that they oppose the Crab Orchard wind project and that, if elected, they will do what ever they can to show that the Fairfield Glade community is united against this potential threat.

When we meant the two candidates they adamantly expressed to us that if elected that they would ask the other board members to join them in open support of the Coalition.

Since CMPC is still down in the trenches working to stop this project, this is an extremely important development and we welcomed this news. Our leadership – with renewed determination after the bill we sponsored passed – is working hard with a relentless ongoing effort, to insure permanent legislation is passed to make sure that Apex Energy nor any other company cannot build a wind project on the proposed Crab Orchard site.

Those two candidates that came forward and offered us their support are Tom Reigle and John Byers.

When Tom and John reached out to us and explained that they thought it was important to associate themselves with our mission, we thought it was important to alert residents of FFG of this and how it demonstrates real character.

I commented to them that at this time it might be risky to come out in support of us before this important election with so many other issues at stake. They both chimed in, without hesitation, it would be foolish not to.

This clearly shows the concern and commitment these two candidates have for the residents of Fairfield Glade and Cumberland County.

Tom and John both explained that even though this project has been suspended, if allowed to move forward, it would have a very significant negative impact on Fairfield Glade and its residents.

For that very reason, it is extremely important that our Board take a more aggressive and active position supporting us.

They saw the concern that our elected officials in Nashville see a united Fairfield Glade, and feel that it’s important for the board’s voice be heard in Nashville.

Both of them explained that the Board carries a great deal of responsibility and their number one priority should be to protect the safety and well being of the residents. In this case, if elected, all options should be explored so that our Board can assist CMPC in every manner that would amplify the effort to the Nashville legislators we are united as a community in this effort.

I also came away from our meeting with a confident feeling that if elected they would do a superb job of helping the Board through work through “all” the important issues we are facing and was extremely impressed with their vision and the direction they felt our community should be moving toward.

Tom being a “lifer” long-time resident who has owned several properties in the Glade over the past 30 years said, “this could possibly be the most critical time in Glade history to determine the direction we are heading as community and one of the main reasons we felt compelled to run.”

John who has been a resident for almost 9 years felt the same way. After going to door to door and speaking with hundreds of residents, along with town hall style meetings, he listened to the people and how they felt about all that was going on. They both are in tune with what our community has to offer and what it going to take to move forward in a fiscal and sound manner.

With so many important issues we are facing at this critical time, we need leadership that has the experience and foresight to guide and protect our residents and our assets.

This election, lets face it, has such a diverse group of candidates running and it can be hard to sift through the resumes in order to make a confident decision of who is best suited for the Board.

Allow me to relate this a true story about a community that faced a lot of similar decisions and what occurred after a new board changed the direction of what had been the standard for years.

I was associated with a very popular golf/tennis community for many years in another state. The Board and GM ran it lean and efficient while keeping things in very good condition – making sure the dues were kept the same. Since most everyone who lives in these communities are on fixed incomes, with few exceptions of course, it was very important to the board that this was done.

But after many years a new GM took the reigns along with a new group on the board who thought it was time for a change.

The new board felt the need to convince its homeowners that if they didn’t keep up with places like the Villages, the community would become undesirable and effecting peoples’ ability to sell homes and reduce property values.

So after a few years of presenting to the people plans and proposals, they convinced enough of a majority to get the major capital improvements passed. As a result, the board along with the GM, spent this community into over $12 million in debt in one year. As a result, the fees and dues have increased up over 20% and they now have a food minimum of $500 a year. On top of that, they even added an extra yearly assessment of $600 for 10 years.

The result was that the people who originally moved into the community are now moving out because they either can’t afford the increase cost or didn’t feel that all this work was needed. Sadly, many were asleep during the process that resulted in all the spending and now they regret it because it was never needed.

What were that board’s comment to the residents who questioned the spending during the process about the added fees and cost?

“If you don’t like it, MOVE.”

That’s why we have to be very diligent in what we allow “our board” to do with all these ideas and plans that are being proposed with our money.

Tom and John propose the idea of having a monthly town hall meetings so that we are kept aware of what the board and GM are proposing so we as community can determine our own destiny and hopefully make the right to make choices for our community.

If this place is made into a resort community the big winners are Wyndham and Mr. Anderson who just appeared on the scene from New Jersey.

You can be assured that this plan was hatched a few years back and the new developer, you can also be assured, is orchestrating much of this in the background keeping a low profile. Of course why wouldn’t he when he will benefit the most!

No experienced and savvy developer in their right mind would make a large investment in purchasing building lots and property not knowing what the future held.

One of most important reasons that we have great rates on most of our amenities is because our past boards kept a tight grip on our budget to insure expenses were kept in check – along with providing good leadership that has kept FFG a great and desirable place to live, without making drastic changes. One of those leaders, my good friend Bob Diller, is leaving after many good years of service to our community. This is all the more reason to have your attention fully focused on this upcoming election. Now with him leaving we need similar leaders to step forward into his place and continue along this same path.

What a shame it would be to see Fairfield Glade being compared to The Villages. We must never let a few people make such important decisions that will impact and change our community – forever.

Where in the U.S. can you find 5 great golf courses, tennis courts, lakes, walking trails, the mountains and the natural beauty that most of us moved here for?

Answer: nowhere! Did I mention low taxes, HOA fees and housing! But of course we all know that.

There are many questions left unanswered:

1. Did FFG hire a professional to negotiate with the State of Tennessee in regards to financial settlements for (Peavine) land and right away? If not, why?

2. Does FFG utilize the professional services of a company or a qualified individual long term to provide cost estimates and negotiate our bidding process for projects during planning and actual construction?

3. Does FFG have someone who buys for both restaurants or do each act separate from the other?

4. Are we putting products like insurance and other things purchased on a yearly basis out for bid?

5. Do we need to purchase a larger building for our police for $420,000 (almost as much as pickleball courts) or can we buy a new modular building for 1/3 of that?

And how is it that no one on our board and our GM knew anything about the land deal until a few days prior to the sale? I thought that Wyndham and our Board had a transparent relationship to insure that things are done in the best interest of all parties? I am sorry to say that this action doesn’t bode well if Wyndham doesn’t feel it needs to inform us of major changes in their operation that affects FFG.

This past week, we have seen one candidate withdraw and throw his support behind Tom Reigle and John Byers since they are the candidates he believes will do the best job in guiding us through these important times – and I agree.

Whether you believe in a lot of expansion or minor expansion, it doesn’t negate the fact we need professionals to make sure it is done with proper due diligence so that Fairfield Glade is not put into debt resulting in our dues increase – without there being a majority consent.

It is our future and we need to run our community with responsible caretakers.

To everyone who lives in FFG that has supported CMPC and even to those who haven’t please vote responsible and again thank you for your support.

Source:  By Jay McCarthy, For The Vista | August 2nd, 2017 | vistanewspaper.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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