HOLIDAY ISLAND -- In this year's annual Board of Commissioner election, there is one seat available, that of Chairman Linda Griswold, and two candidates have stepped up to vie for the seat: her husband, Ron Griswold, and local real estate agent Greg Davis.
Early voting will take place at the district office from Nov. 6 to Dec. 3, and election day is Dec. 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., also at the district office at 110 Woodsdale Drive.
We asked the candidates to give us some biographical background and to answer 11 questions, limiting their answers to no more than 100 words per question.
The Holiday Island Homeowners' Association will also sponsor a candidates forum on Monday, Nov. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Clubhouse at 1 Country Club Drive, for candidates' to answer residents' questions.
The candidates are presented here in alphabetical order.
Gregory W. Davis was born and raised in Bentonville. He attended Arkansas Technical College in Russellville and majored in general business and parks and recreation.
He has been the owner/operator of Holiday Island Realty since 2002 and worked as a real estate sales associate for Tom Dees Realty from 1996 to 2002 but has been licensed to sell real estate since 1983. He was an assistant golf professional in Branson, Mo., from 1990 to 1996. He has no military service. He has been a time share owner with Table Rock Landing and a Holiday Island lot property owner since September 2012. He has resided in Holiday Island for 26 years. He has not served on any Holiday Island organization boards. He is engaged to be married to Vicky Carson. He has two children.
Regretfully, I have not been able to attend BOC meetings this due to my work load. However, I am very well informed on District Operations not only for this year, but for the last 26 years through the press, personal and professional relationships with BOC members, District employees, Holiday Island residents, and the HI Developer.
I bring education and business experience in Recreational Land Management, Marketing, and Sales. I also have a passion to see Holiday Island grow and prosper as a resident, business owner, and concerned citizen. As a licensed and practicing real estate marketing and sales person for Holiday Island for approximately 29 years, I have specific and unique knowledge and experience with Holiday Island properties, and business operations know-how. I believe I can help develop and implement a plan to restore a severely diminished assessment base, and provide the funds to to maintain its infrastructure, and in a certain priority order for ...
Holiday Island is a beautiful place and wonderful community to live in and work. As a long-time resident, business operator, and property owner, I feel a fiduciary responsibility to make a direct contribution as a HISID Board Member to see the community run for the benefit of all property owners, resident and non-resident, and to foster its growth and prosperity.
I believe turnback lots is our single greatest challenge and opportunity with approximately 2,000 lots returned in recent years, representing around $ 800,000 in annual assessments lost. Rather than live with a permanently reduced lot assessment base and suffering the economic consequences to our infrastructure and property values, an on-going lot marketing and sales program is necessary. Based on Arkansas Code and HISID Regulations, I believe the priority in maintaining our community (or any other) organized as a Suburban Improvement District is in this order: 1) Water, 2) Waste Water, 3) Roads, 4) Fire, 5) Safety, and (6) Amenities.
I have been developing and managing the budget for my own Holiday Island realty company since 2002 ranging from $3 to $10 million in revenues.
The exclusivity of a private golf course in a planned community like Holiday Island is critical to the success of its lots sales program and property values. There are only three reasons people buy lots at Holiday Island: 1) Investment, 2) Build, and 3) Exclusive Country Club Member. The recession has eliminated the first two reasons to buy a lot, and taking the golf course and other amenities public destroys the third reason. It is not reasonable to think we can make up an annual lot assessment loss of $ 800,000 with fees from public golf.
Again, trying to increase amenity usage and fees to property owners and non-property owners is not feasible, and it is not fair for property owners to bear the burden of a lost lot sales program. An ongoing successful lot sales program can go a long way to offset the expense of maintaining our golf courses and other amenities on an annual basis, and keep our amenity fees low or even free in some cases.
Absolutely, any SID/planned community needs to maintain a healthy working relationship with the Developer as they are complementary. Let's keep in mind, Holiday Island would not be here without the Developer, who has turned over approximately $40 million of assets debt free to the District along with $3 million in cash. In addition, the current Developer provides this community the convenience of a shopping center. The guiding principles should be as they have been for the last 42 years .... take care of their respective responsibilities and agreements according to Arkansas law, District Regulations, good business practices and common sense.
Last year there was a $1 million drop in revenues with almost no money spent on its infrastructure. This kind of decision cannot continue. If the District continues a course of declining lots assessments and or revenues, without adjusting operating costs commensurately, the ability to pay for the necessary capital improvements will decline or disappear, possibly leading to insolvency if operating costs are not decreased and revenues are not increased to levels to properly maintain our community's infrastructure. In my opinion, there have been no recent decisions to significantly improve the District's financial strength or ability to fully maintain ...
The most recent ineffective decisions to stay solvent are as follows: 1) Opening the golf courses and amenities to the public; 2) Breaking the lot marketing/selling contract with the Developer; 3) Refusing to negotiate with Table Rock Landing (HI Timeshare) on amenity usage and assessment charges, leading to a $1.9 million lawsuit and unnecessary legal fees; 4) Refusing to discuss Bischoff's legal and procedural issues with the District's 2011 Assessment of Benefits leading to another unnecessary lawsuit and legal expense; 5) Not adjusting operating costs to sharply decreased assessments in 2011 and 2012; 6) Not getting (or seeking?) Federal and State ...
For the last 42 years there was a good working relationship between the District and the Developer. There was a productive on-going lot marketing and sales program, keeping the lot assessment base up and providing funds to allocate to infrastructure maintenance. Now, after the District broke the Lot Marketing and Sales Agreement -- which was solicited by the District and written by the District's attorney -- we have no lot sales program, and face the reality of a permanent reduction in the lot assessment base of at least $800,000 each year, if not corrected. We cannot continue these kind of decisions.
Ronald B. Griswold was born and raised in Clarence, Mo. and has technical and management certifications with with GTE, for whom he worked for 30 years. He served in the U.S. Navy. He has been a property owner for eight and one-half years and has resided here for the same length of time. He has not served on any Holiday Island organization boards. He is married to Linda and has one son.
I have attended approximately 80 percent of all meetings.
Seven years' apprenticeship and 23 years of supervision, engineering and management experience with GTE.
I feel the BOC have made the hard decisions and adjustments necessary to see that Holiday Island continues to have the balanced budget that is required and has seen to this by putting the necessary staff in place to make this happen. I would like to continue in the necessary implementation of these decisions.
I think the district should work with the county to exempt the turn-back lots and have an established marketing program to sell these lots but we really need to work with the local realtors to reach a broader base of potential buyers.
I have worked as a project engineer with GTE on projects in Columbia, Mo., with a $20 million budget and Kearney, Neb., with a $10 million budget.
By offering property and non-property owner fee options for golf and other amenities, there ought to be something for everyone. These options should generate income for the golf courses and also help to advertise Holiday Island.
In my opinion, the question should be does the developer need a relationship with the district. The district appreciates what he has done for the community. However, the district has cooperated with the developer with tax incentives to accomplish the goals for both parties. Now both parties cannot agree on a common goal. In this case, the basic rules should be the developer should be just another realtor and property owner and subject to the same assessments as all other property owners.
The BOC's decision to implement the assessment of benefits balanced our budget and will keep the community solvent.
The recent decisions have not been in place long enough to truly see which has been least effective.
I would like to see more interaction between HISID and Carroll County as there have to be ways to help recoup funds due to HISID and cut costs.