Lake candidatesLake Monticello Owners Association members will vote for two new board members on June 30. Running for the two seats are Dick Cummings, Page Gifford and Charles Harrelson. The election will fill vacancies created by the expiration of the second three-year term of Don Fickes and the vacant term created by the resignation of Benita Ellen in January.

The Fluvanna Review asked each candidate to answer seven questions. Below are their answers.

1. Please tell a bit about yourself. What do you do for a living (if retired, what did you do?) What are your hobbies, interests?

Dick Cummings: I am a retired CPA, last the Director of Internal Audit for a national shoe company in Connecticut. My hobbies are reading, bridge, and walking my dog.

Page Gifford: I am currently a staff writer for the Fluvanna Review and a free lance magazine writer. I have been working for the paper for ten years, covering local issues, county government, the schools, the Lake, business and the arts. I am also part owner in a recreational business Miniature Golf on the Go, which rents and operates concessions for mobile putt-putt courses. Regarding hobbies and interests, I am currently a volunteer with Caring for Creatures and Fluvanna SPCA. One of the founders and a current member of the Fluvannna Dog Park Committee, as well as a the Persimmon Tree Players, vice-president of the Fluvanna Art Association, a member of a local writer’s group and recently publicity co-chair for Fluvanna’s Relay for Life.

Charles Harrelson: I grew up in Missouri and have a BS from the University of Missouri (I also have an MBA from the University of Akron). I am retired after spending most of my career in the paper packaging industry having worked in Missouri, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia and New York.


2. How long have you lived at the Lake?

Cummings: I have lived at the Lake since April 29, 2010.

Gifford: Eleven years in July.

Harrelson: My wife, Lynn, and I have lived at the Lake for just under 6 years.


3. If you have been an active participant in LMOA, tell in what way.

Cummings: I served on the Audit and Finance committees of the board for a year, during which I volunteered to be the acting financial director for 10 months through May 2012.

Gifford: I am secretary of the Buildings, Roads and Grounds Committee, currently serving a second term. I am also the chair of the Wildlife Committee. I have also attended the current work session on planning with the board and through BR&G worked with other committees regarding issues concerning lake residents, including storm water management and lake preservation.

Harrelson: Our first years here were used to improve our property with several major projects and helping our neighbors with their projects. I helped build the fishing docks.


4. Why did you decide to run for the Board of Directors?

Cummings: Having run the accounting office and financial reporting for the association for the last 10 months, I interacted quite a bit with the board and the staff and decided to run to keep the positive things this board has initiated going and because, as a member, I have a vested interest in LMOA succeeding and flourishing.

Gifford: While covering a variety of issues for the paper, it opened my eyes to the challenges we face, particularly with the changing demographics and diverse community here at the Lake. We need to plan for the future while addressing the needs of our current residents. I believe that the present board has demonstrated foresight in looking at Lake Monticello’s future and now is the time I feel I can contribute to helping the board plan for the future of our community.

Harrelson: A friend suggested to me that I would make a good LMOA Board member.


5. What do you have to offer? (Why should someone vote for you?)

Cummings: I have over 40 years of accounting, analysis, controls and finance experience with several hundred companies nationwide, including not for profits to draw from to help the board succeed in its mission.

Gifford: I have always had a strong sense of commitment; an understanding of LMOA’s corporate structure and that coupled with my background in communications and my past work experience as an online administrative assistant, manager and recreational therapist, I have acquired strong organizational, analytical and management skills. Therefore, I feel I can contribute to this community and I am willing to make that commitment.

Harrelson: I believe my business training in sales and management and getting a MBA when I was in my 40’s, has helped me develop organization and writing skills and how to get people with different opinions to come to an agreement.

6. What are the three best things about Lake Monticello (what are its assets?)

Cummings: The three best things about the association are, in my opinion, the people who live here in their diversity and community spirit, the location and physical plant of the place from the set of trees leading in from the main gate to the newly restored and enhanced golf course, and finally, the spirit of volunteering and pride that many of the members exhibit every day in keeping this place going.

Gifford: I would say of the recreational amenities, including the pool, tennis, golf, and playgrounds. Among the three best things is the Lake itself. It is the jewel in the crown and offers so much for so many if they choose to use it for recreational purposes or just sitting on a beach and reflecting. But the most important asset Lake Monticello has is its people and the community.

Harrelson: The best things about Lake Monticello are (1) the people, (2) the lake, (3) the golf course.

7. What three things do you think need improvement or the most attention over the next two years?

Cummings: Three things which need improvement or attention would include the clubhouse upkeep, maintenance of the amenities and beaches and a thorough review of all LMOA equipment for proper repair and replacement, if needed, within budget constraints.

Gifford: Planning for the future. We need to update the master plan and integrate it with the current strategic goals. We then need engineering studies done on our buildings to determine their future purpose and renovations and communications needs to be expanded and I would like to see an online newspaper for the community, we’re only half-way there with the new website.

Harrelson: What needs improvement and attention continues to be the same things discussed in the Master Plan written in 1999. Our Lake health, the golf course and most of all our buildings.

Photo by David Stemple