Letter to the Editor

Be careful of what you hear

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This letter to the editor is in response to the Aug. 15 letter “Concerned for Holiday Island.” I have heard many opinions that are very similar to those expressed by Mr. Irwin; examples include: “the board is incompetent,” “they are only concerned with the golf courses” “HISID is going broke,” and my favorite one is that the board somehow squandered away a $3 million surplus. All of these would be very concerning allegations, but only if they were true.

So I need to question, where is this information coming from? It’s not from the monthly financial statements and annual audits. Armed with data provided by external audits, I would like to set the record straight. The best way to refute the previous claims is to compare the then (2006) with the now (2016 being the last completed audit). Starting with the alleged $3 million surplus in 2006, the audited 2006 balance sheet shows that the District had around S1.5 million in cash and CDs. Now compare this to 2016 where the District had $3.9 million in cash and CDs. I also continually hear that we are spending more and more every year on the two golf courses, so let’s take a look. In 2006 the two golf courses had expenses of $566,000 compared with 2016 where the expenses were $336,000.  I understand that people will believe what they want to believe, but before you trust what you hear on the street, I encourage you to get the information for yourself. Recent audits and financial statements can be found at www.holidayisland.us and older documents can be requested from the District Office. I would be happy to sit down and spend a few minutes with anyone who has questions.

The performance of the board is a matter of personal opinion, so some of you will agree with me and some will not, but that’s why we have elections.  From my personal perspective, this current Board of Commissioners is the best elected body that I have ever worked with. If you look hard enough, you can always find fault or find things that could be done better. But this kind of view causes you to overlook the things that are going well. This board is hands-on and proactive with the guts to take on the tough issues. They spend countless hours behind the scenes researching, planning, and communicating with residents. They strive to understand the problems and are prepared to make the best decision given limited resources. If you don’t agree with me, consider how this board has turned financial shortfalls into end-of-year profits and how they have taken a smaller budget while still giving more attention to aging infrastructure. How do they do this? I will tell you, it doesn’t happen by accident. They use their collective wisdom. They don’t always agree but they always work together. They are not afraid to make hard decisions and they prioritize the work of the District by producing a balanced and realistic budget.

Please be careful believing everything you hear.

– Lawrence Blood

District Manager