Petitioners sign to support Doug Joyce

Monday, June 2, 2008
Recreation Center Director Doug Joyce

More than 260 property owners signed a petition in a two-week period last month to express their support for Recreation Center Director Doug Joyce. The document was presented to the Board of Commissioners at its May 28 business meeting.

Linda Griswold read the petition during the public comment portion of the meeting.

"Doug is an asset to HISID, Holiday Island and the community at large," Griswold read. "His expertise in the field of recreation has brought many excellent programs to Holiday Island. As a master planned retirement community, with an emphasis on recreational benefits, it is critical that we keep a director with the interest of ALL the homeowners as his top priority.

"Doug's programs are designed for all not just a select few...." The petition listed several of the programs Joyce has instituted.

Griswold said petitioners collected the signatures in a two-week period, and more were coming in.

Asked during a break what prompted the petition, Pete Putnam said, "We were worried the programs Doug has initiated were not being supported by the commissioners or the district manager."

He said the board's lack of interest in covering the large swimming pool so it can be used in winter was one example.

Last year Joyce brought a proposal to purchase a fabric dome cover for the swimming pool at a cost of around $30,000. He visited the Fayetteville Athletic Club, which purchased the cover last fall.

Joyce suggested the cost of the dome and the pool heater, which could see a large monthly fuel cost in propane, be funded by activity cards for Rec Center usage.

The project was put on the "unfunded" list for 2008.

Putnam said also the district has taken no action on the Recreation Needs Survey conducted by Professor Joseph Gaa of the University of Arkansas last summer. The survey, mailed to all property owners, had a 36 percent return and clearly showed a fitness center and an indoor pool as the top two priorities.

"After that survey last summer, we haven't seen any action," said Donna Putnam. "The comments we're hearing is that 'everything is for the golf courses, and the rest of us are pushed aside.' As a golfer, I don't want that kind of community split."

"In the report, all the things people suggested they do, they haven't done," said Pete. "Residents are forced to drive to Berryville in the winter to use the pool." Berryville is a 30- to 40-mile round trip.

"They found money to upgrade the driving range, but not the pool," Donna said.

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