By Agrippina Fadel
The Woodlands Homeowners’ Association (WHOA) election for board members will be finalized this week.
The vote count was initially scheduled to take place on February 7; however, a ballot mix-up has stopped the homeowners’ association from calling the results.
The election gathered a lot of attention due to the clear line dividing the candidates and residents into those who support the 13th Floor development of the former golf course and those who vehemently oppose it.
The opposing camp, called “Save the Woodlands,” says the WHOA does not have the residents’ or the community’s best interests in mind; and accuses board members of having ulterior motives for supporting the development of new homes by 13th Floor.
Supporters of the developer’s plans to build 335 houses on the golf courses say the proposal can be a saving grace to the 50-year-old community bringing much-needed upgrades, better infrastructure, and social life.
Both camps had supported their candidates at the February election, with Save the Woodlands endorsing four.
According to the letter sent out by WHOA to the residents, the election was not finalized due to issues related to how the management company sent out the ballots, as well as “actions taken by certain individuals, including one candidate for the board, who prepared and sent out unofficial ballots.”
Final letter to homeowners_Election_f63f71c4-8367-4722-a5c_3d2ef5d3-aa0d-4acf-bad3-6b2488404923
A candidate endorsed by Save the Woodlands, Patricia Newlin, says the WHOA is shifting the blame.
“WHOA claimed fraud was involved because management made an error sending out ballots. They sent out two different kinds, one had the logo and the letterhead, and the other did not. Some residents got one, and some got the other,” she said.
Newlin added that the WHOA claims that one of the candidates made their own ballot and issued them under their name.
“Which is impossible because all the letters received had the same meter stamp with their account number, and they all came from the property manager’s office. But that’s how they pushed that issue and stopped the election,” she added.
Newlin explained that the WHOA had a closed meeting where only the board members were allowed, who then voted to redo the election.
The live count is held on Thursday, March 10, after which the four candidates at large will be announced.
The WHOA letter states the election will be conducted “as quickly as possible, there will be no delay beyond what is necessary” and warns the residents from accepting ballots from other people or giving their ballots to someone else.
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- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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