April 28, 2006

Developers run in Will-O-Wisp elections
By Lynda James, Correspondent

BAILEY, Colo. — On May 2, the Will-O-Wisp Metropolitan District near Pine Junction will hold elections for the second time in a few years with developers running for the board of directors.

The first time was when the developer of Villages at Sunset, Larry Kanne, ran for the board. Kanne filed bankruptcy, then sold the property to Sunset Management.

The development was renamed Tanglewood Reserve and received conditional approval in 2005. Developers David Coppfer and Alan Fishman deeded themselves each a lot in Phase G, the last of seven residential development phases on the last day to become a property owner in order to run in May’s election.

Due to board resignations, three board positions were appointed. Appointees Lynn Louvar, John Gerritsen and Scott Beckfield are now running for election.

A flyer supporting all three asks voters to keep the WOW Board controlled by residents, not developers. It states that they will act in the residents’ best interests while developers will act in their own best interest, and it adds that all three candidates have been active in the community while the developers don’t even live there.

Developer Fishman told The Flume that in his thirty years experience as a developer that it is normal to run for election when the development is going to be served by an existing district. “We’re building 450 houses and putting $20 million into infrastructure; we need to have some representation on the board,” he said.

He stated he had no motive for running except to make sure the metro district stays a financially viable entity. With his experience on other metro district boards, he believes he can lend strength to the board and that the two developments will need to work together as one community.

Fishman said Coppfer and he hoped that one of them would be elected and that Coppfer, who lives in Conifer, is the more likely one to be elected. He added: “One vote will not control the board.”

Fishman said he was interested in helping the board in areas other than the new infrastructure such as knowing when and what repairs would be needed.

Coppfer did not return The Flume’s phone calls. In a statement published in WOW’s last newsletter, he states he is currently on two similar boards in Conifer, has a working knowledge of water rights and water and sanitation districts, and is knowledgeable on special district regulations.

Lynn Louvar told The Flume that she wants to see the board and the developers work together so that both benefit, but she sees possible conflicts of interest and voting issues arising if developers are elected. Two examples she gave were if unexpected expenses occurred in one area, then the developers might try to cut costs in other areas. Voting and quorum issues could arise if board members are absent and a developer must abstain from voting on an issue related to Tanglewood Reserve.

Louvar said, “The next four years will be busy with the construction of water, sewer and road upgrades that will require time and commitment to make sure we get the best quality of workmanship and materials at the best price. I have the commitment to get things done.”

Louvar, a nine-year resident, said she has been dedicated to the WOW community and Park County for over six years. She has attended almost all board meetings even before being appointed to the Architectural Control Committee or being appointed as a district director. Louvar stated, “I will work for the best interests of the current and future of residents of the district.”

Scott Beckfield, a Lockheed Martin aerospace engineer, has served on the board for a year. He told The Flume that as an eleven-year resident he felt a need to help serve the district and the community.

“ I want to help fulfill the commitment of providing water and sewer to the new development and providing better roads for the residents of the (Will-O-Wisp),” he said.

John Gerritsen did not return phone calls from The Flume. His WOW newsletter statement says he is a five-year resident and currently serves on the Architectural Control Committee and the district board. Gerritsen wants to safeguard the best interests of the current and future residents of the district. He also wrote, “As large scale land developers pursue construction, it is extremely important to ensure that the WOW district does not assume ‘any’ financial risk during ‘their’ development process.”

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