Gateway Sun

Full disclosure: I have had exactly zero conversations with Supervisor Doug Banks about him becoming the next Vice-Chairman of the Gateway Services Community Development District.

He had no idea this article was being written.

If he did, I would imagine Banks’ knee-jerk reaction would be to reject the idea of becoming the Vice-Chairman and perhaps say something along the lines of giving people with tenure the position.

But consider … if George Huskamp and Kathleen Flaherty win their respective elections, Banks would be the second-most tenured Supervisor on the board, with all of 6 months of experience.

Digest that last paragraph and please understand that this suggestion isn’t being made by Scooby Doo and The Gang based on some lucky break. I’ve actually looked at all possible angles here.

Banks has no personality conflicts on the board. GSCDD observers may have felt that Supervisor Gary Neubauer enjoyed challenging and chirping at Banks, but I’ve always felt that Gary may have just been testing the (for now) newest Supervisor. I think that deep down, Neubauer is thrilled that someone with Banks’ credentials is on the board.

And with all due respect to all current and incoming Supervisors, there is nobody I’ve spoken to or observed who is stronger over-all with policy, strategy, governance and long-term thinking than Banks is.

So why not just make Banks the Chairman right away then?

As I stated yesterday, Chairman Bill Guy remains the absolute best choice for the Chairman position. There are some board management and procedural aspects that Guy excels in, along with some history and knowledge of district operations that simply cannot be ignored. Guy has the presence and patience to remain as Chairman.

Secondly, I don’t get the sense that Supervisor Banks even wants to be Chairman. Or Vice-Chairman. I think he’s good with being part of the team, learning the job and helping the district. And if you don’t want to be the actual Chairman I don’t think it’s something you should reluctantly accept.

I believe Banks would have to be drafted by the other Supervisors to even accept the Vice-Chairman role, but I also think for Gateway’s long-term interests it’s absolutely vital.

My largest concern is that Banks will serve his full term until 2018 … and then walk away.

To be clear, Banks has NOT stated to me that leaving in 2018 is his plan. We haven’t even discussed a second term, because I have been so focused on 2016 so I haven’t even thought to ask him. Nor would I ask him at this point – because there is no point. It’s too far away. 2016 is the story.

Banks is his own person and he can do what he wants with his life. But my own opinion is that Banks wants to make a positive difference in Gateway. I feel that if Banks sees a path to making the most progress possible for Gateway, he’ll stick around and help. If Banks realizes that he’s showing up every two Thursdays only to be marginalized, he’ll fulfill his commitment and then invest his time in more valuable ways once he has lived up to his promises.

And that’s his right.

But regardless of who becomes the next Chairman, Banks is the right person to become the Vice-Chairman based on his obvious skill and aptitude, and more importantly for the long-term future of the Gateway community and the GSCDD.

Both the Chairman and Vice-Chairman will be selected by the Board of Supervisors themselves once the new board convenes after the election.

Choosing Banks as Vice-Chairman would send the message to the district’s residents that the Supervisors have at least one eye on the future.

About Jeff Kuntz

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Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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