Naked City

Change of Guard at Circle C

Residents in the Circle C community last week capped a 14-month revolt against their homeowners association board with the election of a new and expanded cast of directors, effectively overthrowing the old guard that had run the politically powerful CCHOA since the late Eighties. Only Jim O'Reilly, who served as president of the ruling triumvirate, remains with one year left on his term. Another director, Steve Bartlett, a former business partner of Circle C developer Gary Bradley, lost his re-election bid six weeks ago to resident Quentin Fennessy, while director Ken Rigsbee did not seek another term.

Rigsbee frequently engaged in a war of words with his critics, who had established a separate community Web site (www.circlec.cc) for residents to air their concerns about the HOA board. In one chat room exchange, Rigsbee began his response, "Dear Mr. or Mrs. Dipshit." In the election, Circle C homeowners also expanded the HOA board from three to seven directors who, in addition to O'Reilly and Fennessy, now include Alton "A.E." Martin, Mary Goehring, Ed Scruggs, Steve Urban, and Chris Dietz.

The newcomers ran on a slate that promised to clean house and establish an open, democratic process for running the HOA. Residents had complained that the old guard kept a tight lid on HOA expenditures and grew indignant when residents asked for a financial accounting. The new board will also likely return the Circle C swimming pool to the residents, which may force a private swim team to seek another practice venue. Board members also aim to establish playscapes for children – a first for Circle C.

The new board members were not part of the group of residents who led the revolt against the HOA. Sal Costello, a leader of the anti-HOA effort, said he specifically sought recruits who were concerned residents but not necessarily activists. "We had to get people who were fresh faces," he said. "If I had run, [the race] would have just become too political."

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Circle C, Steve Bartlett, Jim O'Reilly, Ken Rigsbee, Gary Bradley, Sal Costello, Alton "A.E." Martin, Mary Goehring, Ed Scruggs, Steve Urban, Chris Dietz, Quentin Fennessy

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