Five vie for three POA seats

A can­di­dates fo­rum is set for March 21 in Rior­dan Hall.

The Weekly Vista - - Front Page - LYNN ATKINS

When bal­lots go out in early April for the next POA Board of Di­rec­tors elec­tion, mem­bers will choose among five can­di­dates to fill three seats on the board.

Each mem­ber of the nine-mem­ber board serves a three-year term, so three seats turn over each year. The elec­tion ends with the an­nual Prop­erty Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion mem­ber­ship meet­ing on May 16.

A can­di­date fo­rum is at 6 p.m. March 21 in Rior­dan Hall. For­mer Weekly Vista man­ag­ing editor Tom Throne will serve as moder­a­tor. The fo­rum is spon­sored by the POA Elec­tion Com­mit­tee. The com­mitte plans to ask those at­tend­ing to sub­mit ques­tions in writ­ing, which will then be com­piled and pos­si­bly posed to the can­di­dates — if time al­lows.

Two of the can­di­dates now serv­ing on the board are run­ning for re-elec­tion. Board Chair­man Bob Brooks will give up his seat in May: He is not run­ning for another term.

Ruth Hatcher was ap­pointed to the board in May 2013, when only two can­di­dates ran for the three open seats. In 2014, she ran and won a three-year term.

The other in­cum­bent is Jim Abra­ham­son, who was ap­pointed to the board in De­cem­ber to fill the seat va­cated when Brad Mor­ris re­signed and moved out of state. Ac­cord­ing to the by­laws, ap­pointed board mem­bers can only serve un­til the next elec­tion.

One can­di­date, Wil­liam Barr, has been serv­ing on the Joint Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee on Golf.

The re­main­ing two can­di­dates, David Brandenburg and Hank Ott De Vries, have not been in­volved with the POA.


Abra­ham­son came to Bella Vista in 1974 to work for Cooper Com­mu­ni­ties as a land plan­ner.

Dur­ing his ca­reer, he worked as a POA gen­eral man­ager in Bran­son, vice pres­i­dent of plan­ning and en­gi­neer­ing for Cooper, and was the chair­man of the Ben­ton County Plan­ning Board. He was a cer­ti­fied com­mu­nity man­ager and a li­censed real es­tate agent. Although he worked in other com­mu­ni­ties and for other em­ploy­ers, he lived most of the time in Bella Vista and re­tired here in 2007.

When he re­al­ized he had some ex­tra time he gave some thought to where he might vol­un­teer. He con­sid­ered be­com­ing a hospi­tal vol­un­teer, but he doesn’t know much about hos­pi­tals.

“I de­cided to do what I know,” he said. So far, he has en­joyed his time on the board.


Barr is a dis­abled vet with a de­gree in fish­eries bi­ol­ogy and lake man­age­ment. Af­ter serv­ing in the Army for eight years, he was a small busi­ness owner and later worked for the Min­nesota De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources. He moved to Bella Vista from Min­nesota in 2010.

“I be­lieve in what’s hap­pen­ing now,” Barr said. “Bella Vista is go­ing for­ward and I want to be a part of that.”

As a vol­un­teer com­mit­tee mem­ber, he’s also heard some neg­a­tiv­ity, but he doesn’t let it bother him. There will al­ways be some­one who com­plains, he said, no mat­ter what.


Brandenburg has lived in Bella Vista since 1985, when he helped start Re­li­able Home and Lawn Care. As a small-busi­ness owner, he’s worked with both res­i­dents and non­res­i­dent prop­erty own­ers in Bella Vista. He has a de­gree from Iowa State Univer­sity in agri­cul­tural busi­ness.

Af­ter watch­ing the POA board for 30 years, Brandenburg now has time to be a part of it. He re­tired re­cently.

“I’m an avid golfer so I’m very in­ter­ested in the golf cour­ses and main­tain­ing them and their playa­bil­ity,” he said, “Golf is a big thing in Bella Vista so we need to pay at­ten­tion to it.”

But he’s also watched the POA board make sev­eral false starts over the years — go­ing in one di­rec­tion and then chang­ing their minds. He would like to pre­vent that from hap­pen­ing again.

“Bella Vista has changed. The man­age­ment needs to change with it,” he said. “But the POA is here and it’s not go­ing to go away.”

De Vries

De Vries was born in the Nether­lands but has been

work­ing in ho­tel and club man­age­ment in sev­eral lo­ca­tions since com­ing to the United States in 1970. He man­aged coun­try clubs in Cal­i­for­nia, North Dakota, Texas, and Illi­nois. He served on sev­eral boards. Although he’s only lived in Bella Vista for two and a half years, he be­lieves his back­ground will be an as­set to the board.

“I want to con­trib­ute to the com­mu­nity,” he said. “I have no agenda. I’ve been on boards when peo­ple get on with their own agenda and that’s all they’re push­ing for. They’re not very pro­duc­tive.”

“I want to make a liv­able com­mu­nity for ev­ery­one — not just for a few.”


Hatcher moved to Bella Vista from Iowa in 2001 af­ter a ca­reer in ed­u­ca­tion. She taught and coached at the mid­dle school level and chaired the So­cial Stud­ies De­part­ment. She also man­aged a coun­try club in Anamosa, Iowa.

She said she wants to re­main on the board be­cause the POA is fi­nally mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion.

“I’m ex­cited about the fu­ture,” she said. “We’re go­ing in the right di­rec­tion and ev­ery­one can be proud of that.”

She has seen some neg­a­tiv­ity over her four years on the board, but she be­lieves the neg­a­tive com­ments came from a small, but vo­cal group.

“I’m will­ing to lis­ten to any­one,” she said.






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