According to the July 13 Island Packet, neither John McLauchlin, president of Community Services Associates, nor Mike Hellman, president of the Association of Sea Pines Plantation Property Owners, believe that the July 11 meeting of 250 property owners objecting to the creation of a municipal improvement district and its tax to dredge Sea Pines marinas and waterways represented community sentiment.
Since McLauchlin offered no specifics as to what he would do to determine community opinion on these subjects, I have a suggestion. The CSA and ASPPPO boards should devise a specific proposal, complete with tax rates for each property, administration of the funds, dredging methods and disposal methods, all of which are unknown now. They could then conduct several separate, open town halls (no joint meetings) to discuss and debate the issues publicly with their constituents.
Finally, the boards could conduct the definitive survey of community sentiment on the matter by following the Sea Pines covenants -- a vote by property owners on the proposal.
All in all, both boards owe Sea Pines property owners a complete explanation of how state law came to be introduced to allow Sea Pines to be designated a municipal improvement district. The ramifications of having the Town of Hilton Head Island within the Sea Pines gates go far beyond just dredging Harbour Town and taxing all of us, while depriving nonresidents of their vote.
Dan Westerbeck, president
Ocean Property Owners Association
Hilton Head Island