Courtesy of The Sun Sentinel
– After waging a campaign for more openness, five new board members were
elected to the Sunset Lakes seven-member Board of Directors.
Sunset Lakes, a western community with about 1,800 homes and a budget of about
$4 million, conducted elections for its homeowner association on Monday. Only
two members retained their seats: Sean McCoy and treasurer Michael Smith.
"People in general wanted a change," said newly elected Rafael
Pineiro, a marketing executive. "The message of openness and transparency
got traction. I've been advocating for this all along."
Pineiro, who has lived here for about six years, became a community activist
when he discovered that most of the other subdivisions within Sunset Lakes had
a guard at the gate and his community didn't. He aired his complaints on his
Web site, sunsetlakesowner.com.
Former board members had criticized Pineiro and some of his supporters, saying
they incorrectly thought there was a conspiracy behind some of the board's
Alex Casas, a board member for three years who was not re-elected, said he is
concerned the new board may try to make sweeping changes.
"It worries everybody very much," Casas said.
In addition to Pineiro, Smith and McCoy, the other board members include
Patricia Behrens, Angela Messam, Omar Garcia, and Vicente Gonzalez.
Pineiro said he wants the board to have a big-tent style of governing, where
residents can play a role in the process.
"We want to make Sunset Lakes the envy of Broward County," he said.