Visitors to the POA web site are sometimes confused by the factual reporting in the POA Bulletin of events and issues in The Villages. If The Villages is so great, they might ask, why all the focus in the Bulletin on problems?
The casual reader, who may not be fully aware of the living and community experience in The Villages, needs additional information to have a clearer perspective about what is good and not-so-good about The Villages. The most balanced thing we can say is that living here is 90% great - not good - great. We have that 10% that needs fixing and attention, but you could have a comparable 10% problem situation anywhere. The 10% issues here in The Villages are problems, to be sure, but they do not overwhelm the great living experience.
The biggest issue of concern here is that the developer retains control of our main government and the major decision-making in The Villages and residents have no say in the big money decisions. This is not a "deal killer" issue, but residents should have a democratic and representative form of government in which residents are respected and are given a chance to participate in the many big decisions that affect our community. The developer has made numerous good decisions in building this community; and he has made some that are not in the best interests of residents. Now, however, the residents should be allowed to run the community that we have bought into and paid for. After all, this is our community now -- not the developer's.
Some residents care about this situation and are actively working with the POA for improvements. Some residents support our work but are content to let others carry the banner. Some residents think we are foolish to complain about living in paradise. Some residents are totally oblivious to the situation and could care less.
The best thing in The Villages is the overall focus on fun living for our residents. The Villages has superb facilities. Golf is the main focus; but, dancing, swimming pool life, bowling, cards, shopping, restaurants, neighborhood social groups, Broadway shows, the town squares, etc., etc., etc., are also very popular. There are over 500 clubs here - whatever you want to do in terms of activities you can do here: pickleball, clogging, state clubs, ethnic clubs, ceramics, woodshop, stamps, coins, canoeing, drama clubs, fishing, tennis, shuffleboard, archery, bridge, crafts, quilting, model boat sailing, etc., etc., etc.
The focus is on active adult activities, but, in a comfortable, cheerful, and non-intimidating way. You can participate in various activities all day long; or, you can just sit back and mellow out. I think anyone would enjoy living here, notwithstanding the issues and stories presented in the POA Bulletin.
One of the main functions of the POA is to be a "watchdog" of the activities of the developer and our local governments. And, a watchdog with the objective of articulating and protecting the Rights of Residents. Consequently, we often focus on the problems in the 10% area rather than on the many wonderful things here. We think it is important to expose issues that, if and when solved, can make The Villages an even better place in which to live. Sometimes, residents only hear about these issues through the POA Bulletin.
Some people consider the POA to be too negative because of this - but, we feel that is a small price to pay to further the effort to fully inform our residents about what's going on.
So, this is our community now. And, it could also be yours. Don't pass up the opportunity of learning more about The Villages. Consider visiting here to "Sample the Lifestyle." Call The Villages Sales and Information phone number at 352-753-2270 for more information. Or go to The Villages web site at www.thevillages.com where you can order the latest video showing life in our wonderful community. And, call me, Elaine Dreidame, at 352-753-5069 if you want to talk more or have any questions about The Villages.