Thu, May 23

Row, row, row the VOCA boat

Gwen Hanna<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->VOCA Board President

Gwen Hanna<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->VOCA Board President

I'd like to first start by making an announcement regarding the departure of the Village of Oakcreek Association's (VOCA) General Manager, Tony Rizzo. He left earlier this month to pursue other opportunities.

After meeting with the employees of VOCA and determining an interim strategy, we concluded that we do not anticipate any major disruptions in work or organizational flow during this transition period.

To ensure minimal business interruption, as President of VOCA, I will be the focal point for previous general management activities. However, we have functionally divided responsibilities to various members of the Board for day-to-day assistance that the VOCA staff may need.

I've also discovered over the course of the last few months that many people within the Village of Oak Creek community are confused by the entity, called VOCA. What is it? How can someone run for the Board of Director positions? Who is allowed to vote for the Board members running for office? These are some of the questions we've been asked. This article is dedicated to clearing up some of that mystery.

The Village of Oakcreek Association is a Homeowners Association that represents about 45% of the community within the Village of Oak Creek.

It's comprised of 24 subdivisions, containing a total of 2,346 multiple-dwelling and single-family homes, commercial property, or lots. It includes properties spanning from Jacks Canyon Road, across Highway 179, and down towards the end of Verde Valley School Road.

There are subdivisions that are in areas surrounded by VOCA but that are not part of the association. Sun Up Ranch, Piñon Woods, Las Piedras, and Firecliff are some examples of these developments.

VOCA, the legal entity, located at 690 Bell Rock Blvd., owns the building that houses our administration office, Pro Shop, banquet and meeting rooms, and restaurant facility. Our golf course, Oakcreek Country Club (OCCC), is a semi-private course that is open to the public. Even though OCCC is owned by VOCA, the Bylaws require that it must be able to operate and financially stand on its own.

This means that none of the homeowner's association fees can be used to support golf operations. Our dedicated golf members who pay membership dues financially support OCCC, as does the tournaments and other golf events sponsored throughout the year, and by the general public who come to play on the course.

VOCA also owns the Kiwanas Park and tennis courts that are adjacent to the VOCA building. The park and tennis courts are available for public use. But because it is owned by VOCA, access to the park to host special events have to be reserved through, approved, and supervised by VOCA. On a regular basis, due to the incredible dedication of volunteer members of the Activities Committee, VOCA hosts events such as Fourth of July and Labor Day in the park. Anyone can attend these events. Some activities require sign-up and fees, such as Tai Chi in the park and Yoga for Golfers.

Last but not least, there is a restaurant called Redstone located at VOCA. It is also open to the public. Many of you may have read or heard about the controversy surrounding this restaurant. Most of the issues resulted in VOCA attempting to run a restaurant business. Currently the facility is leased to a third party who operates Redstone and pays VOCA a fee for its use.

Some have wondered how do they know if they are part of VOCA or not. There is a simple way to find out. VOCA property-owners receive an annual bill mid-year to pay association fees. If as a property owner, you are not getting an invoice from VOCA, you're not a member of this association. However, you are part of our close-knit community called the Village of Oakcreek and Big Park, and we welcome all of you to come join us in the use of the park, reserve the courts for a game of tennis or secure a reservation for the use of our meeting/banquet rooms by calling the VOCA administration office. Come also to engage in a round of golf, or dine at the restaurant.

I'm very pleased to be able to work with this dedicated team of VOCA employees and with the operators of Redstone. The Board and I will continue to do our best in representing the interests of our VOCA homeowners, our golf members, and all the community guests, and visitors who call upon our establishment.

There is something for everyone here at VOCA. Stop by and say hello. As they say, "we'll leave the lights on for you."