HISID paving the way for incorporation

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At its Feb. 20 meeting, the Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District Board of Commissioners discussed what it will encounter as residents attempt to become an incorporated town. Chair David Makidon stated that after incorporation and an election there will be two forms of government – the SID plus a city council and mayor – for an undetermined period. During transition, the two entities need to remain separate, but cooperative.

District Manager Lawrence Blood said the district could act as contractor for the city during the transition so the community maintains at least the same level of service. Once a city council is elected, the two entities will figure out responsibilities for road maintenance, police and other services.

Commissioner Dan Kees commented the new city administration would need to identify what it wants the SID to do. The city will need office space and clerical support, for example, as someone will need to answer the phone. The SID would decide how to manage the contract, but important issues will need clarification. The city should take care of the roads, trash pickup and maintaining the Fire Department, but no one knows yet how these responsibilities will shake out as the city would not have the necessary resources for awhile.

Kees’s idea was for the newly incorporated town to operate minimally for few years as it accumulates revenue. To begin with, city council could provide ordinance controls without taking all responsibilities away from the SID. In fact, he noted, the district does not have to give away anything.

“There’s a lot to be worked out,” he said, and adding that in his opinion, Holiday Island operates as efficiently as any community and there was no reason to upset that model.

Commissioner Linda Graves asked if someone could be a commissioner and a city official, and Blood replied they would need a legal opinion. Kees pointed out the two entities would negotiate contracts for services, so it would be a conflict for a person to be on both sides of a negotiation.

Others at the table added further possible confusions, but Blood contended by remaining calm and cautious they can handle any bumps.

Kees remarked the incorporated community will receive at least $400,000 annually it does not have now, and the two governing bodies will need to use the revenue cooperatively. He pointed out they are not going into this transition blindly.

Voting requirements

Blood presented his recommendations for clarifying the law on voting requirements for electing commissioners, stating the current SID law is “somewhat vague” and has resulted in a lawsuit about procedures. Advice of the court was to seek a legislative change.

He said once the board reviews his suggestions, he would present them to their attorney for review to avoid unexpected consequences. Then they will draft a resolution that will go to the legislature.

Points that Blood clarified include stipulating that only two property owners per property would be eligible to vote for commissioner. If a deed listed more than two owners, only the top two – husband and wife, for example – would get one vote each.

Also, a management corporation was defined as “a company that is set up to manage a group of properties.” The management corporation would “designate no more than two persons who are authorized to vote for that entity.” Those two people would cast one vote each.

A Timeshare Association was defined as “an arrangement whereby several joint owners have the right to use a property under a time-sharing agreement.” Blood’s suggested language stated, “ …the commercial entity must designate, in writing, no more than two persons who are authorized to vote for that entity.” Each of those two would get one vote each.

Blood included a paragraph stating the board “may adopt reasonable rules for conducting the annual election that are not inconsistent with section, which may include qualifying votes based upon any debt owed to the District.”

He commented it was important for a person to have no more than one vote regardless of how many properties he or she might own. Makidon said Blood’s suggestions looked good to him, and Kees concurred that Blood’s suggestions covered Holiday Island, but he added that a change in the law would affect all other SIDs and other statutes. Blood agreed other statutes might be affected, but contended the law appeared to have been written with Holiday Island in mind.

Makidon asked Blood to discuss it with the attorney and report back at the March 19 meeting.

Other items

  • Commissioners voted to approve renewing the contract with attorney Matt Bishop for two years.
  • Commissioner Bill Noonan pointed out there are street signs so faded they are not readable. He said mail gets delivered to the wrong address. DeHart added some signs are stolen regularly, so he would have to buy new signs.

Next meeting will be Monday, March 19, at 10 a.m.