Civic Association

The Presidents Pen

by Mike Cooper

In last month’s inaugural edition of the Citrus Springs Villager, I outlined a little bit of the history of the Citrus Springs Civic Association (CSCA), and highlighted a few of the events and activities we have brought to the community and some which are planned for the future. I want today to emphasize that this organization exists to serve all of the citizens and property owners of Citrus Springs. Pursuant to the original bylaws of the association adopted in 1976 the purposes of the CSCA were then and remain today as follows:
1. To promote the general welfare of the residents of Citrus Springs and to act in their behalf whenever feasible and appropriate.
2. To provide a public forum wherein residents may discuss matters of mutual interest and concern.
3. To facilitate the initiation and implementation of necessary or desirable community services and activities.
4. To provide for recognized official liaison and communication with officials of state and county government and with the Deltona Corporation or its successor.
5. To provide a means by which community organizations may cooperate and coordinate their activities.
Our goal is to help to make this a closer-knit community, where folks feel like they belong and feel that this is our shared home town.
Throughout most of the history of Citrus Springs there have been large numbers of people who actively participated in numerous community events and who also belonged to some of the more than 30 social and philanthropic organizations based here. In 2000 there were more than 800 members of the CSCA at a time when the population was much less than what it is now. Dozens of people volunteered their time and talents to help out at the many Association activities, dinners, theater productions, concerts, parades, numerous annual youth events, the list goes on and on. By all accounts folks had a ball getting to know and to like their neighbors by working together to help others and to make their community a better place to live. They were proud to call Citrus Springs their home and with good reason. The officers and Directors of the CSCA share that pride and enthusiasm for this community and our hope is that you will as well.
It is one of the greatest ironies of this so-called information age that with the explosion of nearly universal and astoundingly powerful tools of communication we are becoming more isolated and separated from our fellow citizens and neighbors. With the most amazing capacity to reach out and interact with people, to establish meaningful and beneficial relationships, we are becoming a nation of technology hermits, spending more time with our machines than with our human friends and neighbors, and becoming more and more isolated from human interaction.
Like most of you, who like me are baby boomers or a maybe a little beyond, I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone knew their neighbors, where people watched out for each other, where community projects drew almost everyone out to help. We had roots in that town, it meant something to us to be from there. It was a small, hole in the wall place, but it was our place and what made it special was the shared common experience of being a part of that place and time with our friends and neighbors. We never felt alone, isolated or anonymous.
I believe we can recapture that small-town sense of belonging and a shared sense of community spirit by getting out and getting to know one another. Our association can be the catalyst to make that possible.

Citrus Springs Villager and new Website

As President of the Citrus Springs Civic Association (CSCA), I am thrilled to be able to welcome you to the Citrus Springs Villager, inaugural edition and the new Home page on the Citrus Springs web-site. Here you will find all the news of what is going on in our community, upcoming events, features on some of the many organizations and businesses who serve our citizens, county issues that impact us, and so much more. I invite you to let me know if you have ideas for articles, would like to contribute your own content or have information on a local organization you would like to share.

The CSCA has always been a part of the Citrus Springs Community; within the last few years, it has been given a make-over. Things have changed, and I ask you to give the CSCA a second look. You might be surprised at how hard we are working to make this a better, closer-knit community, to protect and enhance the quality of life we enjoy here and in so doing to increase the value of all our homes. Over the next several issues I will explain in some detail what the CSCA is, what it has accomplished so far and our plans for continuing to improve our community.

One important point of communication found in the Citrus Springs Villager is the calendar of events just for Citrus Springs. Join your friends and neighbors in celebrating our hometown by attending some of these events. Many are free and all are affordable. You’ll get out, have a wonderful time and support your community as well.

Our most recent event was our Red, White and Blue 4th of July dinner held on July 3rd at the Citrus Springs Community Center. The meal was delicious with baked ziti and meatballs, salad, bread, ice cream and strawberry shortcake for dessert. An entertaining and informative rendition of the founding document formerly declaring our right to independence from Great Britain was enjoyed by all as was the awarding of multiple door prizes and the 50-50 raffle.

For today I want to give you a brief overview of the history of the CSCA and some of the things your civic association has been doing for the community over the last couple of years.

The Citrus Springs subdivision with over 33,000 lots, approximately 420 miles of roadways, beautifully laid out on more than 15,000 acres by the Mackle brothers was approved in the late 1960’s. The 50th anniversary of this community is coming up soon and will be celebrated in March of 2020. The Mackle family turned the project over to the Deltona Corporation early in its development. Then the subdivision was approved as a Planned Unit Development with residential lots, commercial lots, church parcels, parks, schools, and everything that a self-contained community would need. Deltona marketed the residential lots to people all over the world. Currently, there are approximately 4,500 homes in Citrus Springs with an estimated 9,000 residents and more than 25,000 vacant residential lots. There are approximately 400 commercial parcels with most located on both sides of North Citrus Springs Blvd., and others along Deltona Blvd. There are a number of duplex and multi-family lots located east of Deltona Blvd. Initially there were two excellent 18-hole golf courses until the unfortunate closing of the El Diablo course.

The CSCA was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation by filing Articles of Incorporation with the Florida Secretary of State on January 13, 1976. A Constitution and Bylaws were adopted to govern the operation of the Association and, as amended by the members from time to time over the years, they remain today as the framework for the governance of the CSCA.

On November 8, 1995, the Deltona Corporation assigned the legal authority to enforce the Deed Restrictions applicable to all of the residential lots in the subdivision to the CSCA. Deed restrictions will be covered in an upcoming edition of the Citrus Springs Villager.

The CSCA has played an important role in fostering a sense of camaraderie and community pride in Citrus Springs helping to make this a place we can be proud to call our hometown. The level of interest, citizen involvement and commitment has varied from time to time, but the current Board of Directors has made a commitment to reinvigorating the CSCA and reawakening the sense of pride in and of belonging to this community. Over the last two years, the Association has undertaken a multitude of projects, activities and events with the goal of uniting our community, protecting our investments and giving our community a voice within the local governmental organizations.

These activities include among others:

  1. The Future of Citrus Springs Committee Report, delivered on Dec. 2015, discussing issues important to the community including fire and police services, the county’s failure to provide proper road repaving, firearms use in built up residential areas, the Citrus Springs M.S.B.U. (Municipal Services Benefit Unit), County taxation vs services received, Association fund raising options and possible incorporation of Citrus Springs as a City.
  2. 2016 Membership Drive which doubled our association membership.
  3. Fundraising activities including our very successful and growing Bingo the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month, and events such as the community indoor yard sales, craft fairs, casino trips and others.
  4. Creation of community events such as: dinners, festivals, parades, and year round activities. See the schedules of events elsewhere in this edition of the Villager.
  5. We have regularly spoken out to the Board of County Commissioners on issues of particular concern to Citrus Springs. For example, we successfully defeated a proposal for a discriminatory and excessive tax proposed to be assessed against Citrus Springs property owners for road repairs. At the same time we have established an excellent working relationship with the County Parks and Recreation Department allowing us extensive access to and no cost use of the Community Center for our meetings and events.
  6. Communication to our residents. We are creating a new website and an upgraded phone system that will forward all incoming messages to the intended recipient’s email which we believe will eliminate the frustrating problem we have had of inadequate and constantly full voicemail boxes, plus it saves us hundreds of dollars per year.

The Citrus Springs Civic Association is served by nine volunteer member Board of Directors who are elected by members of the CSCA and by a small group of dedicated volunteers all of whom give of their time, skills and varied expertise for the sole purpose of benefiting our community. We ask for your support, check out our website as it rolls out, come to one of our meetings and some of our events, have a cup of coffee or an iced tea with us, get to know your neighbors, meet some old friends and make some new ones. If you agree that what we are doing is worthwhile and good for the community consider joining the Civic Association, it’s only $15 per year for the whole household. If you can contribute a few hours of your time occasionally to benefit your friends and neighbors we could sure use your help.