Recent rumors suggesting that the Lifestyle social activity budget was cut from $60,000 in 2021 to $24,000 this year are simply not true! The $60,000 social expense noted for 2021 was an accounting placeholder set by Pulte and was budgeted to be offset by the same amount in social income. Thus, the net budget for Lifestyle activities in 2021 was actually $-0. Note that total Lifestyle activity expenditures for 2021 are anticipated to end up at approximately $160,000, and the Board expects a similar amount to be spent in 2022.
With the Association now being in control of the resident Board, there is a need to refine the accounting for all HOA operations. Based on an analysis of spending last year, your Board felt that a $24,000 line item should be added to the 2022 budget to allow for the support of Lifestyle-related activities that do not generate income through ticket sales. Shows and concerts that produce revenue are still under the creative discretion of the Lifestyle Director who can utilize excess revenues generated by any of these events to offset costs for events that run at a deficit. There has been no direction given to change the spending on these events. In a nutshell, the Lifestyle Director’s only financial restriction is to balance overall event spending with revenue, while an additional $24,000 in funds have now been made available to assist with other activities that merit Lifestyle-related support.
Two Board members, Steve Freeman and Steve Schmitz, are both working closely on Lifestyle operations. Steve Schmitz serves as the Board’s liaison to Lifestyle and regularly meets with Mark Craycraft to discuss ongoing issues and programs. Castle Management made a very strong attempt to retain Mark once they became aware that he was considering other avenues of employment. Mark’s decision to move to Tampa was a personal decision that he made despite repeated efforts by Castle to retain him.
For 2022, the Board, based upon recommendations from the Transition Committee, actually expanded its commitment to Lifestyles by adding a full time Recreation Coordinator and a part-time support position. These positions will alleviate some of the Lifestyle Director’s workload and further enhance the many social activities that we have here in IslandWalk. Mark’s replacement should be announced by Castle very shortly and hopefully working in IslandWalk around February 1st.
We hope that this clears up any of the confusion on this issue.