The Tellico Village Property Owners Association Board of Directors will have one newcomer following the election of John Orr.
Orr was one of four candidates running for three open seats. The two other seats were won by incumbents Marty Inkrott and Steve Schneider.
“I’m just happy that so many people saw my qualifications and elected me to the board,” Orr said. “I’m looking forward to having a positive contribution to this community.”
Orr moved to the Village just over two years ago and has since been on the POA’s Finance Advisory Committee. He also spent eight years as treasurer for the POA in his previous community and said he believes those experiences will help him provide insight needed to improve the Village.
“Having been on the finance committee for two years, I saw some opportunity for improvement, and I wanted to help drive some of those improvements, both financially and operationally,” he said. “I’m the type of person that wants to get stuff done. This is a quasi-government organization, so things tend to move slowly, but I’m going to be pushing hard to move faster than probably they’re used to here.”
Orr’s financial knowledge was one of the key points he ran on, but he also said he was concerned about Village infrastructure and food services.
“We’ve had some struggles on the finance side for years and we finally got the reserve study done because of the finance committee pushing it so hard, and now we’ve got to work on how to meet those goals of the reserve analysis,” Orr said. “That’s one big area that’s going to be a lot of work.
“And then there’s other things like food service that’s been a problem here for years, and we’re starting now to get some progress and changing and improving, so that’s an area I want to focus on,” he added. “Those are the two big things that kind of drove me to the board, cleaning up the financial side of the business and improving food service.”
Orr’s message resonated with property owners, who made him the highest vote-getter with more than 87% of voters picking him as one of their three candidates. Of the Village’s 6,753 eligible voters, 2,399 cast a ballot in this year’s election, with 2,094 selecting Orr.
Voting began Oct. 30 and ended at noon Thursday. Villagers could vote online or submit a paper ballot and had the option to pick up to three names from the four candidates. Orr’s 2,094 votes led the way, followed by Schneider with 1,952 and Inkrott with 1,928. Donald Hart, the second challenger, came in fourth with 658 votes.
Inkrott, the current POA board president, will serve his second term. He said he was focused on amenities, infrastructure and fiscal responsibility.
Schneider also returns for a second term. He advanced his past experience as reason for his candidacy, saying he was positioned to provide needed continuity for the POA’s new CEO.
The 2,399 votes cast represent 35.52% of eligible voters, down slightly from the previous election but roughly on par with the two prior at 33% and 35%, respectively.
Beth Kuberka, marketing communications director, expressed slight disappointment at the downturn and said the POA would continue working to get the Village more involved in future elections.
“We wish that property owners would have come out and voted more,” she said. “We will keep trying every year to increase it. We would love to see it around 50%.”
Election results will be reviewed and certified at the POA’s next board meeting Dec. 21.