By Elsa Maxey
What is about to unfold may sound like a call about “taxation without representation.” The First Colony Community Association (FCCA) is in transition, somewhat in a state of evolution. It is looking to fill the executive director’s vacancy left by Sherrie Knoepful, and as it was about to lose Don Olson, one of the FCCA’s seven board members due to relocation, there was a possibility that his vacancy could be filled by a resident from Missouri City. After all, Missouri City residents comprise about 26 percent of the neighborhood of that master planned community. Also, they, too, pay home owners association dues, along with the other residents represented by the FCCA.
But, all the FCCA board members, including Olson, live in the Sugar Land portion of First Colony and some Missouri City residents within the FCCA geographic area are saying they would like to have a voice on the board. In a December FCCA board election, Howard Moline and Anthony Mauroulis of Missouri City gave it a try and ran for the board among a total of five candidates for three positions. In the end, all the Sugar Land candidates won seats on the FCCA board.
And this Monday, Howard Paul, a resident of Lakes of Edgewater from Sugar Land, was appointed by the board to fill Olson’s unexpired term as a result of his vacating the seat on March 24. “Under the bylaws, the board has the right to appoint anyone as long as they are qualified or are a member in good standing, and in this case, this morning we appointed Howard Paul to the vacant position because he was the highest vote getter” of those that did not get elected this past December, FCCA board president Myatt Hancock told the Star.
Maurolis says an appointment to the board is discretionary and he is disappointed that it did not go to Moline, even after his request in an e-mail to board members two weeks ago asking for the appointment of a Missouri City board member. Mauroulis offers details about the FCCA board appointee Paul and Moline, noting that Moline received more resident votes in December, and what put Paul over Moline’s numbers were commercial votes factored into the outcome.
“There is a demand for a Missouri City/FCCA board member,” maintains Mauroulis, who believes he may be the only person from Missouri City to his knowledge that served on the board, albeit for only 4 months last year, when he was appointed.
As for any future plans to have a Missouri City resident on the FCCA board, Hancock says it can only be done by election or appointment when a position is vacated.
Common sense would seem to dictate that because there are more residents in Sugar Land living in First Colony than those in the Missouri City portion of the FCCA, it stands to reason who might end up winning the board elections. “I don’t agree, because I don’t think that people elect candidates on that sort of basis,” said Hancock. “They elect the best representative and there is no particular loyalty for voting for one person in one city versus another city,” he said.
But, logically speaking for representation, Mauroulis says cities have districts and school boards have positions. Even Fort Bend County has precincts. “It is time for FCCA to consider aligning the board with the people geographically and demographically,” he said.
Moline also wrote the FCCA board, according to Mauroulis, reportedly citing ordinance related issues that sometimes leave residents caught in the middle between the FCCA and Missouri City because there is no one at the board level to clarify and facilitate solutions requiring lengthy negotiations and causing unnecessary discord among neighbors of the community.