Published May 1, 2020

When I last wrote to you, it was the holiday season and many of us were making plans for the new year. What a difference a few months makes! While some of us like to think of the island as a bit of an oasis from the outside world, we of course know we are not immune to the significant changes that have occurred recently.

These changes impact many of us on a very personal level such as greater concern for the well-being of family and friends and of course on how we go about our daily lives such as grocery shopping, exercise, socializing and even how we use our beaches. In addition, our surroundings have changed.

Typically, at this time of year, The Heritage PGA golf tournament marks a significant increase in traffic and the buzz of tourism starts humming in earnest. In PD, a number of properties that might normally be rented are currently occupied by their owners and it seems many part time owners have made their way here to spend time at their properties. Palmetto Dunes Resort has halted tennis and pickleball operations and their restaurants are limited to take-out only. Disney and the Omni have temporarily closed their doors and the Marriott is operating at an extremely low occupancy rate. Overall, the island and our community have a very different feel at the moment.

Similar to other areas around the country, our state and local leaders are working diligently to find the best way forward. Like many things, there’s no simple answer and no matter what actions or inactions are taken, there’s sure to be some controversy surrounding those decisions. Our CEO, Andrew Schumacher, continues to follow the, sometimes daily, changes in the laws and guidance provided by our elected leaders. He has done an excellent job of staying in contact with town officials and keeping the board and our broader community well informed of these changes through our Tidings emails. As always, I am deeply grateful to Andrew, Chief Griner and the entire staff for their dedication, but never more so than in this time of uncertainty.

Andrew recently mentioned in one of the Tidings updates, that the PDPOA is well positioned financially. While there is not yet a clear picture of what the ultimate economic impact will be on the island or specifically the Association, our staff will continue to provide updated revenue and expense forecasts to the Finance Committee and will take necessary and prudent financial actions.

There was no board meeting scheduled for April and we will be holding our May board meeting online. On May 21 at 2pm, our Board members will be participating through a Zoom conference meeting, while property owners will be able to watch the meeting or call-in and listen.

Even in these uncertain times, there is one certainty; we will get through this. We will likely be stronger and perhaps even a bit more appreciative of each other and how truly fortunate we are to be part of such a wonderful community.

In closing, I’ll also pass along a suggestion I received from an owner regarding charitable donations. He reminded me that some people tend to wait until year end to sort out their charitable donations. Many of our local workforce find themselves in the unique position of needing help to support their families. Charities need our support right now, so this year, please consider an action sooner rather than later.

Stay safe and I wish you the best.

—Brian Fahey, Board Chairman

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