Ruth Hatcher, Chair, POA Board of Directors
As I embark on my 33 years of visiting Bella Vista, 18 years of which I’ve lived here and my 12 years of serving in a volunteer capacity for the POA, I now move into the role as Chair of the POA Board of Directors. It is a role that I’ve seen include tremendous accomplishments, gut-wrenching decisions, hours of commitment and a test of character. So, why do it? Because I believe in Bella Vista more every year.
This past year brought us floods, record-breaking winter temperatures and changes that were not (and still not) easy to accept. First, we hired a nationally-recognized engineering company to study the past and future impacts of flooding on the golf courses that have experienced year-over-year extensive damage. The results led to closing Berksdale Golf Course at the end of 2018. In case you missed the numerous meetings covering this study, it is available on the POA website (bellavistapoa.com/valley-flood-study/)
While the closing of Berksdale as a golf course is difficult, we need to look forward to what the future can bring. Next steps regarding this area include working with partners, such as the NWA Trailblazers, on ideas for future development. Rest assured, it remains the board’s goal to maintain the beauty and enjoyment of our “front yard”, which is the Little Sugar Creek Valley. And, for those who are interested, the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary project will continue at Berksdale; staff and volunteers have made great impacts by achieving three of the seven steps required to achieve sanctuary status.
The recent closing of Scotsdale for repairs is another pill that was hard to swallow. Golf courses in our weather zone have experienced the same winter kill damage due to the record-setting winter temperatures from December through April. It’s unfortunate and the timing is never good, but we will get the repairs done as rapidly as possible and look forward to the re-opening.
I look forward to working with the newly elected board members: Mary Sinkus and Jerry Hover. They have experience and skills that will lend well to the Joint Advisory Committees and to a well-rounded board. Thank you to the 23% who voted in this past election.
I encourage everyone to understand communication is a two-way street. The POA staff offers numerous ways for you to stay updated and involved. The POA website (bellavistapoa.com) has an updated calendar of all board meetings and various events; Facebook posts, responses and events are available on the POA’s FB page; Tom has an “In the Know” segment that is posted on YouTube and Facebook; weekly and monthly e-newsletters are available (sign-up here: bellavistapoa.com/signup/). The list goes on and I hope you know efforts are constantly being made to inform, educate and listen. Please take advantage of these opportunities. Come to a board meeting or any other public meeting where we can openly discuss ideas and opinions. We may not always agree but at least let’s give each other a chance to respect each other in person.