President's Update 11-17-2021

By John Holmquist
President, The Landings Association

This is my final update. For the past two years, it has been my privilege to serve as the President of The Landings Association’s Board of Directors. It has been a challenging but rewarding experience.

I have worked with a tremendous TLA staff led by Shari Haldeman. They are skilled, professional, knowledgeable, and dedicated to making The Landings the best community it can be. I have also worked with Boards whose commitment to the community is reflected in their hard work and endless hours. A special thank you goes to my cohort of three years on the Board…Jim Morgan. Jim helped me shed my training wheels early on as president and has worked tirelessly as a Board member. I also thank Eric Larson, who stepped in and spent two years on the Board providing his financial expertise.

I recognize the contributions of our residents to our community by a seemingly endless willingness to volunteer in all facets of the community. Our culture of giving back even as we navigated our way through the pandemic is one of the things that make this community so special. Thank you!

Fellow Savannahian Forrest Gump once said his mother compared life to a box of chocolates since you never know what you are going to get. Being the president of TLA is like that as well. A current chocolate is Tidewater Square. A number of weeks ago, Tidewater Square was being discussed at a TLA virtual committee meeting. Several conceptual designs were presented. Shortly thereafter, a screenshot of one conceptual design which showed a street going through the middle of the square was posted on social media. A second post re-emerged shortly after. These screenshots were presented as a design that is under serious consideration by the Board; it is not. It is one of a number of conceptual designs presented to the Public Works committee by an engineering firm. As indicated in our recent Backyard Buzz, the immediate focus is on the significant drainage issues that exist in the square and the need for repair.

I will not be on the Board when the subject of Tidewater Square is addressed. If I were, I would give the street through the square proposal the same consideration I would give to a flyover above the square -- none.

In my practice, I would give younger attorneys projects to work on. I would encourage them to think outside the box and to be creative. Occasionally, after discussing the project with the attorney, I would say that we need to get back inside the box. That was the process; sometimes creative solutions are practical, and sometimes they are not. The same will be true for Tidewater Square. As Board members, we live here; we understand the community. We can distinguish what is realistic and what is not.

The search for a new general manager is entering its final phase. TLA retained a recruiter who is experienced in placing general managers in a community like ours. After conducting a nationwide search, six candidates were interviewed via Microsoft Teams on November 4-5. From that group, three candidates were interviewed via Teams on November 9. Two candidates were then selected to be interviewed here during mid-November. The interview team consisted of TLA’s Executive Committee and two residents.

When I became President, I knew there were issues that we needed to address. Surprise; COVID-19 arrives, and life as we knew it changed. One of the results has been the literal land rush here as people sought to find the type of lifestyle that we have here. As a result, we had an unprecedented surge in home sales. In October of 2019, there were approximately 118 homes for sale. In October of 2021, there were 11 homes for sale. We are more than 96% built out. COVID-19 accelerated our transition to a developed community. This  presents an opportunity for the Association, The Landings Cub, and The Landings Company to work together to develop a strategy on the way forward to address these challenges and opportunities.

Finally, thank you to my wife Beth. I am pretty sure that it was not on her bucket list when we moved to The Landings to be the spouse of the President of TLA for two years. She has served her term with patience, common sense, and understanding.

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

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