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story.lead_photo.caption Mike Abb

Mike Abb hasn't lived in Bella Vista very long, but he's planning on staying put and wants to make sure it remains a nice place to live.

"I'd like to have a say in it," the Bentonville native said, "I plan to live here a long time."

Nine candidates are running for the POA board of directors. There are four seats open, but one position will last only one year — completing the term of a director who resigned. Ballots are mailed on April 9. Completed ballots must be returned by May 11. Online voting begins April 9 and continues through May 15 at 5 p.m. the day of the annual membership meeting.

Members in good standing, with POA assessment fees current, are eligible to vote. One person per lot can vote but, according to the bylaws each voter can choose four candidates, one for each vacancy. The candidate who comes in fourth will have the short term.

The Weekly Vista will talk to three candidates each week until all nine have been interviewed.

A candidate forum, hosted by the POA, is planned for 6 p.m. on May 20 in Riordan Hall. All photos courtesy of the Bella Vista POA.

Abb works as creative director for Runway Group, a Bentonville firm focused on the revitalization of Arkansas. He's lived in northwest Arkansas his whole life.

As the youngest of the nine candidates for the POA board of directors, he's happy to represent "non-retirees" on the board. But he believes many older people want to see young families in their neighborhood. They understand that young people are willing to help their neighbors and build an active community. He wants to respect the experience and legacy of the older generation while implementing some of the new ideas of the younger set. He's confident that young people will be comfortable coming to him with their ideas and their expectations.

Abb won't rule out an assessment increase.

"I don't think we have a choice," he said, "It's pretty clear if you watch the budget presentation video."

The video showed him that, without an increase, reserves will be drained by ordinary expenses and soon there won't be anything left. But, he said, not everyone has watched the video.

Bella Vista government can be complex, he said.

"It's hard to understand how the city and the POA and Cooper Communities all work together."

The city and the POA need to communicate with citizens better, he said, acknowledging that there have been many attempts. He believes communications need to go beyond printed materials in order to reach all the groups that make up the region.

Having both city and POA gives Bella Vista a system of checks and balances that can be valuable, he said. All governments need checks and balances.

General News on 03/14/2018

Print Headline: POA board of directors candidates

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