Residents 'meet' POA board candidates

Tellico Village Property Owners Association board candidates Pat White, from left, Rick Blough and Mike Blackwell prepare Thursday for an election forum hosted by the Tellico Village HomeOwners Association.

The three Tellico Village Property Owners Association board candidates participated Thursday in a forum hosted by Tellico Village HomeOwners Association.

The moderated forum is an annual event hosted by the HOA aimed to keep Villagers educated on important matters. Candidates seeking two open POA board seats are newcomer Mike Blackwell and incumbents Pat White and Rick Blough.

“It’s part of our advocacy efforts to help people in the Village be informed,” Ken Litke, HOA president, said. “Of course, this is a major role being on the POA board. … We normally do it in a big setting at the Community Church (at Tellico Village), but we can’t this year. They’re not opening to outside groups.”

In the lower level of the Yacht Club, 80 seats were available for reservation for people to watch a livestream of the forum projected on a large screen. The forum took place upstairs.

HOA worked closely with Tellico Village Broadcasting to make the event possible. TVB livestreamed and recorded the forum.

The forum began with each candidate briefly introducing himself before moving to the question-and-answer portion of the evening.

“Recently, we asked the HOA members and our board for questions,” Litke said. “We distilled those questions down into nine questions in different areas in the Village. We’ve supplied them with the questions in advance and each person can talk on those questions. … Now we’re also asking people to submit questions through the chat function. If we have time, I’ll ask those questions. We probably won’t. What I’ll do then is collect all the questions, give all the questions to the board members and post it on our website. That way they’ll still be included. They may not be able to ask their question today, but they’ll still get their question answered, if it’s a valid question.”

White and Blough were elected at the same time and have served one three-year term.

If reelected, White hopes to finish what he started.

“There’s a couple of things I’d like to finish accomplishing, primarily the government relations between the POA and Loudon and Monroe counties, establishing that working relationship,” White said.

Blough, POA president, admits he was “critical” of how the board was operated before his first term and hopes to keep up the progress.

“When I ran three years ago, I said this place needed to be run like a business,” Blough said. “That’s what I’ve tried to instill in the board. I think there’s more to be done. That’s why I’m doing it again.”

Blackwell, who moved to the Village 2 1/2 years ago and now serves as New Villagers president, said he can’t help but get involved with the community.

“I’m here for two primary reasons,” Blackwell said. “One of them is it’s part of my DNA. I’m kind of driven by a compulsion to do what I can to make the community I’m living in better than I found it. I think this is a good vehicle for doing that. The other reason is that an election with two seats and two candidates is not an election. I think people will need and deserve a choice. I’ll be one of them.”

To watch the forum and learn more about each candidate, visit www.hoatellicovillage.com.