Thoughts on Harmony's Future

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George Schiro

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Oct 1, 2015, 6:05:45 PM10/1/15
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I think the following comments posted on Facebook are important enough to be
repeated here. They are also worthy of being retained as a relevant part of
the history of Harmony.

On September 20, 2015 Josette Driscoll wrote (on FB, 45 likes, most I've
seen in the "Harmony Open Forum"):

Thoughts on Harmony's future

A green community with modern comfort, a perfect
mixture of conservation and technology is what Harmony
means to us. When my family and I first moved here, as
renters, we attended several community activities at
the Education Center and later the Dark Skies Festival,
and when growth was mentioned another pool was in the
mix. We were impressed. Harmony was going to be the
next Celebration. Maybe even better, because we were
incorporating conservation with technology, a model for
future communities. We loved Harmony so much, it was an
easy decision to buy a house here. Since purchasing,
the only growth we are aware of is new home
construction. The Education Center was removed and not
replaced and the area that was that thought to be a
pool is now labeled “future amenities”. My husband and
I were thinking, these are just our thoughts, some of
the growth we would hope to see.

A large community recreation center, near one of the
two existing paved parking lots. The building should be
climate controlled and utilize green technology
available to home owners. Examples: solar panels, solar
water heater and landscaping that could even be
sponsored by Harmony service providers. The center
could be used to host community activities unhindered
by weather. Examples: crafts, parties, clubs, movies
and education classes. It could also store community
owned equipment pertaining to resident activities.

Community bargaining rights, as a community we should
be ale to bargain with the services providers of cable,
telephone and internet for better prices and greater
selection of providers. Examples: AT&T U-verse and
Verizon FiOS.

Harmony is a community of near 750 households which
divided by two pools is near 375 households per pool.
So I would purpose we add two additional pools which
would be a better ratio close to 178 households per
pool.

We need to keep Dark Skies Festival. It is a
celebration of what this community was created for, it
is a showcase of technology and nature. It sets us
apart while bringing in potential buyers and business.

We the home owners, have the power to direct the path
this community takes. The only way to a better future,
is to plan it today, together.

Message has been deleted

George Schiro

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Oct 1, 2015, 6:13:23 PM10/1/15
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Here are the replies to Josette Driscoll's "Thoughts on Harmony's future"
(on FB):

Francine Ramos-Maldonado we agree Josette, this is the
same reason we moved into Harmony, we could of chosen
any other community to live but found and thought
Harmony was different and special! We don't want to be
dissapointed of our decision!

Like · Reply · 3 · September 20 at 3:24pm


Jacqueline Meek
Jacqueline Meek Agreed

Like · Reply · 2 · September 20 at 3:41pm


Miguel Ramos
Miguel Ramos Agreed.

Like · Reply · 1 · September 20 at 3:49pm


Elizabeth Macfarlane
Elizabeth Macfarlane Agreed

Like · Reply · 1 · September 20 at 3:50pm


Cherry Lynn Young
Cherry Lynn Young I like the community recreation
centre idea very much. I see no need for more pools.
Some homes already have pools of their own. But then
I'm not a pool person. One of the two pools is not used
much, I know that because I used to live right beside it.

Like · Reply · September 20 at 4:04pm


Tammi Cliborne
Tammi Cliborne I loved that harmony was small, with
unique housing options.. Now it's all cookie cutter
houses with unappealing design. On weekends it's
impossible at either pool. For the amount of fees paid
in taxes, HOA, and HROA.. I expected much more. If it
wasn't for wanting our daughter to finish school with
her friends, we wouldn't stay.

Like · Reply · 2 · September 20 at 4:11pm


Kimberly Rodriguez
Kimberly Rodriguez Agreed

Like · Reply · 1 · September 20 at 4:59pm


Cherry Lynn Young
Cherry Lynn Young Am I the only one that loves Harmony?
I agree minor improvements could be made here and
there, but I think it's unique. I'm not looking for a
second Celebration.

Like · Reply · 7 · September 20 at 5:02pm · Edited


Linda Allington
Linda Allington I agree. Not all it was to be.

Like · Reply · September 20 at 5:31pm


Christi Garrison
Christi Garrison Wow I love this and I think more ppl
need to back this. The whole reason we wanted to buy
was the dark sky event the conservation and the thought
of living with nature. But we need a place I agree that
we can have climate controlled events that is yes
green. I think honestly we could be better than
celebration in the regards that we are on
conservation/nature preserve. We are small yet have
that hometown feeling but if you don't do things or
have stuff to do or places to do them in ex:recreation
center then what is the point? I'm excited to build a
home here but honestly as the time draws near and our
house hasn't been built I am leaning on other areas who
have their act so to say together and do stuff and have
stuff. I love the nature but what else is harmony
giving us? Not much right now but ppl complaining and
not doing anything to really fix it.

Like · Reply · 3 · September 20 at 5:44pm


Peggy Myers-Dominguez
Peggy Myers-Dominguez We moved to Harmony because of
the same reason. We were also told at the time it was
an equestrian community with the barn staying and an
additional site for the new Harmony Swim Club pool.
While I love a lot of what Harmony still is today, we
are disappointed by the empty promises of what could
have been. The barn will be gone soon and the developer
obviously (by his numerous attempts at dodging
questions at recent meetings) has no plans to add the
additional pool.

Like · Reply · 2 · September 20 at 8:53pm


Alan Smith
Alan Smith Man this place sucks. It has great schools,
access to beautiful lakes and nature trails etc, 2
pools, a golf course, a mini grocery store,
restaurants, little to no crime, playgrounds,
splashpad, ball courts and soccer field, etc

Can't believe we decided to move here back in June.

/sarcasm

Yes harmony is not perfect but some just continue to
bitch and moan and bitch and moan. This is a pretty
awesome place to live and raise a family. Sure we could
use a gym or other small things here and there...but
overall, seems like people are spoiled and can't just
enjoy what amazing things we do have here.

Like · Reply · 6 · September 20 at 11:41pm

Tammi Cliborne replied · 1 Reply


Mike Goldberg
Mike Goldberg It's refreshing to hear the view from the
eyes of a new resident Alan Smith! You are so right
about all the good here. One of the "etc." that I like
about Harmony is the abundance of decorative trees on
all the streets. Drive around other developments and
master planned communities in the area. The nicest have
trees, but many don't and I think they are lacking
because of it. The town's long time developer changed
over a year ago and a lot of things have changed and
disappeared. The amenities that attracted you here are
A+ top notch, but so were the things that attracted
others, that are now gone, or were promises that
weren't fulfilled.

Like · Reply · 3 · September 21 at 1:07am


Lee Taylor
Lee Taylor I agree Harmony is a great community, but
also agree with those frustrated with unkept promises.
Nobody likes a liar - especially when you invest your
hard earned money ($2600 X 750 households = $2M / year)
in a community based on promises that turn out to be
lies. However, if it's not written in a contract,
there's no guarantee.

Like · Reply · September 21 at 6:02am


Steve Berube
Steve Berube Lee Lee Taylor you reference $2600 which I
believe is your cdd fee. Please understand that what
the Developer does or doesn't do is NOT related to the
CDD. I say that knowing that it might be easy to
confuse the two entities. I can assure you that your
resident CDD Board of Supervisors has no intent to make
promises that we can't keep and to my knowledge has
always done what we said we would. And to be fair, I
don't think that the Developer intends to make or break
any promises. Rather, they are running a business and
make decisions that might look good at one moment but
then don't make sense the next. And, in Harmony's
history, there have been a number of different
Developers//managers in charge all of whom have
somewhat different ways of driving Harmony forward.
Remember : Harmony is a BUSINESS. An evolving business
that just happens to have houses as its product.

Like · Reply · 3 · September 21 at 6:21am


Monique Hennessy Struble
Monique Hennessy Struble Does anyone remember when
there was NOTHING here?brown lawns,half built homes,and
the closest gas station was 7 miles away,there were no
children out playing,and home values were stagnant.This
is so much better! Home values are up,we have a market
and Granddaddy's smile emoticon and one of the biggest
problems seems to be that we have so many kids playing
at the park thet they cant keep the grass together!The
glass is half full,time to move on about another little
pool,if you have been here long enough you might even
have enough equity to put your own in smile emoticon

Like · Reply · 6 · September 21 at 6:28am


Steve Berube
Steve Berube Well said Monique Hennessy Struble.

Like · Reply · 4 · September 21 at 7:04am


Manuel Lora
Manuel Lora I'd like to lead a campaign to get Google
Fiber to every home in Harmony! smile emoticon

Like · Reply · 2 · September 21 at 11:20am

Manuel Lora replied · 2 Replies


Christi Garrison
Christi Garrison But Google fiber isn't in Florida yet
my husband has been applying to them for the fiber.
They are in Tennessee that's the closet so far. But
that would be awesome.

Like · Reply · 2 · September 21 at 11:49am


Miguel Ramos
Miguel Ramos Peggy Myers-Dominguez did you said that we
are loosing the Barn too? Just like we lost the Farm,
which is gone and unknown to many new residents? By the
way, I liked how you called "Harmony Swim Club" because
if I recall correctly thats one of the many benefits.
It was to provide the Harmony swimming and diving team
a place to practice and avoiding going to St. Cloud to
get their training done. I which it was possible to get
something like that on my backyard. The sad part is
that I somehow feel that we all paid for it and still
paying for the maintenance of it just no to get it.
Peggy Myers-Dominguez; did you get a letter for
reimbursement on any of it or anything notifying you
that your CDD fees are going down?

Like · Reply · September 21 at 12:29pm


Manuel Lora
Manuel Lora Are there any plans yet for the development
of the next commercial zone near the Town Market/Sales
Center?

Like · Reply · September 21 at 12:43pm


Miguel Ramos
Miguel Ramos Jim Warren, I did not know the stables
were a short term but now I do. Thanks. I like the idea
of more commercial spots but at one point the sign for
phase 2 was on the land next to the sales office. Now
the swimming club I was referring to is at the dry
corner lot of the G neighborhood by the HCS.

Like · Reply · 1 · September 21 at 12:55pm


Tammi Cliborne
Tammi Cliborne Why do we want more commercial spaces?
Just asking.

Like · Reply · September 21 at 12:57pm


Manuel Lora
Manuel Lora They are already earmarked for commercial
zoning and development. I don't "want them"--they
exist. I was asking about their inexorable development
only.

Like · Reply · September 21 at 12:58pm


Kerul Kassel
Kerul Kassel Neighbors, we have a wonderful community,
with so many amenities, far beyond what other
communities offer. I am still happy to call Harmony
home. That's not to say there haven't been many
disappointments because of other features/amenities
that were either promised and not delivered or were
taken away over the 11 years we have lived here (PM me
if you want to know more about that). At this point it
is up to us residents to ensure that we keep what we
have and continue to build on it by taking some action,
rather than by simply stating our disappointment on FB:
by getting together to respectfully and reasonably
approach the developer about representations made by
them (not by salespeople for builders, as the developer
cannot control what the builder's salespeople
"promise", especially verbal promises). If the
representations made by the developer were accompanied
by disclaimers (stating these are marketing
representation and that the developer cannot be held to
delivering on them), then they are much less legally
bound to deliver. Those people who are more recent
buyers may have more influence as they may have more
legal grounds, but at the least, those who are
interested in getting together to approach the
developer should consult an attorney familiar with this
type of situation to advise appropriately.

Like · Reply · 6 · September 22 at 10:29am


Josette Driscoll
Josette Driscoll My statement came from a deep love of
Harmony, wanting to see it continue to move forward in
a positive direction, and not intended to convey any,
"disappointment". If it did not leave you with that
impression, perhaps reread it with the knowledge that I
too love Harmony. People express their love in
different ways. Some never want things to change.
Others know that life moves forward, that change is
inevitable, and they plan for it. Like a parent would
guide a child through adolescence, I feel it is home
owners duty to help guide our community through its
development. I expressed my HOPES for a wonderful
future, many agreed. Others mistook it as the demands
of a spoiled child, that reflects upon their character
not mine. That being said I think the Harmony Open
Forum is a perfect place to exchange ideas with fellow
neighbors. How else are we suppose to meet? Maybe
standing by the empty lot with signs reading, 'Hey, I
want a pool. Do you?' Lol! I'm just joking! Thank you
Ms. Kerul for explaining that if we really want a pool,
we have to sue. That is something I will have to
discuss with my husband. Do you have any thoughts on
the other points I brought up? Would the developer be
more open minded towards a Rec center in place of a
pool? Even if the developer doesn't want to be apart of
the community festivals anymore, maybe we as a
community could put our heads together and plan it
ourselves. I really do feel that we need to upgrade our
internet providers. Being complacent and satisfied is
how things become run down and dated. Things are great
now but everything has room for improvement.

Like · Reply · 5 · September 22 at 3:24pm


Manuel Lora
Manuel Lora If you write a letter to Brighthouse asking
for a discount I may take a look. I recently negotiated
a $10/mo discount over the phone. I told them I was
paying "too much."

Like · Reply · 1 · September 22 at 3:47pm


Josette Driscoll
Josette Driscoll Aww. You are sweet. Thank you. But I
have a nerd husband and he is the one who craves better
internet not just better prices.

Like · Reply · September 22 at 4:12pm · Edited


Manuel Lora
Manuel Lora Who then is going to "organize us collectively"?

Like · Reply · 1 · September 22 at 4:12pm


Josette Driscoll
Josette Driscoll First off I think open dialogue, free
from judgement, on this open forum is awesome. If
people know they can express their ideas without
retaliation, ideas can grow and become plans.

Like · Reply · 1 · September 22 at 4:18pm


Josette Driscoll
Josette Driscoll
Josette Driscoll's photo.

Like · Reply · 3 · September 22 at 4:18pm


Kerul Kassel
Kerul Kassel Oh my, Josette! I didn't mention a law
suit specifically, nor am I suggesting that as a first
option!! I meant that residents can get together to
write letters to the developer (Starwood Capital Group)
and the developer's management team (Starwood Land
Ventures) or ask to meet with the developer, or find
out from an attorney what their rights and options are.

Like · Reply · 1 · September 22 at 5:45pm


Josette Driscoll
Josette Driscoll Well, I like the letter part. It is
completely do able. I even know someone that has a copy
of the diagram of the neighborhood that labels that
area as a pool.

Like · Reply · 1 · September 22 at 5:57pm


Miguel Ramos
Miguel Ramos That's a start.

Like · Reply · 2 · September 22 at 6:10pm


Manuel Lora
Manuel Lora We need a contact at Brighthouse!

Like · Reply · September 22 at 6:24pm


Kerul Kassel
Kerul Kassel Yes, i probably do and I know others that
do. There was something posted on Facebook on one of
the Harmony pages just today.

Like · Reply · September 22 at 6:25pm


Josette Driscoll
Josette Driscoll My husband found this link for google
fiber. It is for property management service inquiry.
Would this be something I could bring to property
management or is that something the HORA would have to
investigate? https://fiber.google.com/propertymanager/

Property Manager – Google Fiber

Google Fiber will connect your building with the
standard build at no cost to you. Upgrading your
residential or commercial property to Google Fiber can
make it attractive to residents and tenants. For
residential properties, residents can get super fast
speeds and crystal clear high definition TV o…

FIBER.GOOGLE.COM

Like · Reply · September 23 at 9:00am


Manuel Lora
Manuel Lora Google Fiber isn't available here. Only in
the following cities: "Where’s Fiber Atlanta Austin
Charlotte Kansas City Nashville Provo Raleigh–Durham
Salt Lake City San Antonio"

Like · Reply · September 23 at 9:32am


Josette Driscoll
Josette Driscoll The services can be requested. Our
community is an ideal location for offering in Florida.
We should explore all options. Note that the city
listed are not right next to each other. In fact they
seem to be spread out. I see no problem with putting in
a request. You never know they could be ready to expand
in Florida.

Like · Reply · September 23 at 11:13am
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Geo

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Jan 29, 2016, 10:03:08 PM1/29/16
to HarmonyFL, Harm...@googlegroups.com
Here's the "like list" for Josette Driscoll's "Thoughts on Harmony's future" (on Facebook):

Pam Brock Yeager
Kara West Chenoweth
Kimberly Rodriguez
Debra McKenna
Traci Mason
Ann Johnson Shaw
Stephanie Lauren Milfeld
Katie Whitt Williams
Mike Costa
Bill Fife
Anthony Presley
Jenn Reilly
Lena Lamar
Gustav Erikson
Peggy Myers-Dominguez
Kimberly Kirkpatrick Pellegrin
Sarah Chumley
Danielle H.
Stan Blakely
Christi Garrison
KT McKenna
Eileen Richards
Charlene Siwula
Kim Greenwald Noyes
Francine Ramos-Maldonado
Linda Rice
Margaret Odden
Amy Phillips Cooper
Angelo Lelekis
Barbara Louanne
Javaneh Castellanos
Steve Hanbury
Lori Gagnon Presley
Don Garwood
Heather Hodgson-Branch
Miguel Ramos
Cesar Caro Jr.
Jacqueline Meek
Lorraine Rocco
Sonya Rolland- Lawson
Lee Taylor
Jill Alexander Toomey
Cheryl Vachon Gelinas
Kelly Walker McLees
Alexandra M. Mercado

George Schiro

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Jan 29, 2016, 10:18:24 PM1/29/16
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Note: I was asked by the individual to remove her last name. This has been
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