Sometime soon, most likely near the end of 2019, Lantana will be close to complete buildout. At that time, the Community’s Developer will turn over complete control of the Lantana Community Association (HOA) Board of Directors to residents.
The transition will increase from three positions to five positions on the board; an undetermined number of these positions will be elected at the first Annual Meeting of the Members. Some of those people could be residents who have served on the Lantana Community Association’s Advisory Committee– formed three years ago– to help guide the board in the transition. The committee has met monthly with the Board, ever since, to make recommendations on day-to-day operations as well as the Community’s 6-million dollar annual budget.
“It’s a group of homeowners who have served as a sounding-board for the developer and, for practical purposes, has made all of the decisions for the community,” said Mark Norton, community manager of the Lantana Community Association. “No decision has been made in the past three years, without the consent of this advisory committee.”
The original committee consisted of Jim Bridges, Kharl Mena and Melody Gscheidle.
In recent years, State law changed, requiring that at least one-third of the HOA Board must consist of residents. Bridges was elected to the board two years ago. About a year later, Mena was appointed to the board by the Developer. Their committee seats were filled by residents Keith Medley and Christina Wong.
Gscheidle remains on the Advisory Committee and is the subject of this first in-a-series of stories to introduce the Advisory Committee to the community.
Having four children who went through the school system and working as a substitute teacher, plus serving as president of the Lantana Lightning Swim Club, Gscheidle was a perfect choice to serve on the Advisory Committee. She said the experience has been rewarding.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot, having no previous experience with an HOA,” she said. “Mark takes us through the budget, line-by-line, to explain things to us. He may have a guest come in and explain things. He wants us to be educated enough to make those decisions.”
One thing Norton has helped explain to the three-person committee, is the difference between HOA, Fresh Water Supply District and Denton County issues.
“Our job is [to make sure] that our covenants and rules of our HOA are being followed by us– and all the members of the community– to maintain this wonderful place that we live in,” said Gscheidle. “It looks great for a reason; because we have these guidelines.”
One project the committee helped with, was the building of the basketball court next to the tennis courts by the South Community Center.
“We try to look at a broad-range of projects,” she said. “We know each item. For example, the basketball court isn’t going to excite everybody. We were asked by the tennis group to put up shade structures by the courts and we did that. We’re building a community center, which will be invaluable with the addition of our lifestyle coordinator and all of the different activities she plans and [to] hold them in an actual suitable facility.
“We feel between all the things we’re adding, something will appeal to everyone. Whereas, we might not be interested in everything, we have to put our own preferences aside and look at the community as a whole and see what the needs are what are the wants of the community and try to meet those as much as we can.”
Gscheidle and husband Bill, a regional manager for Daisy Brands, have lived in Lantana for 10 years. Their oldest son, Kurt, 19, is a freshman at Oklahoma Christian University. Kyle, 17, is a junior at Denton Guyer High School where Chad, 15, is a sophomore; and, Claire, 11, is a fifth-grader at Adkins Elementary School, which is where Melody does most of her substitute teaching work.
All three boys have competed in swimming, with Kurt and Kyle also involved in baseball. Chad is in lacrosse and water polo, plus Claire in theater; which keeps Gscheidle busy and connected to parents and children alike. Her previous work in direct marketing also helped prepare her for the position.
“I’m able to talk with people– and get a feel for– what people are thinking in this neighborhood,” she said. “And, teaching and having four kids and all their friends, I definitely have an open-ear when listening to my neighbors and all the people with whom I come in contact.”