Twenty years ago on page three in the our August 2002 FishHawk edition, the Osprey Observer published a story featuring two local residents running for two seats on the FishHawk Ranch Community Development District (CDD) board. One of them was Kerri McDougald, who earned a seat and has continuously held one ever since, currently having seat #1 on the CDD’s board of supervisors.
She and Doug Gilmore, the other candidate in 2002, became the only FishHawk residents on the board; developers held the other seats. Nowadays though, every member is a resident, which McDougald is glad for, as she believes a board for the community should be seated by its residents.
McDougald grew up in FishHawk and graduated from Brandon High School in 1976. She was also part of Leadership Brandon in 2004, often called the mayor of FishHawk for always bragging about their community. Her daughter and grandchildren were raised in FishHawk too.
“Thank you FishHawk and Newsome High School. I wouldn’t have my grandkids if it wasn’t for FishHawk right now,” she said.
On why she chose to stay with it for all these years, McDougald said it’s because she loves FishHawk and “Every single thing in there is an amenity we own a piece of, so I wanted to keep it nice for everybody.”
She’s enjoyed being part of the board because, despite answering to upset neighbors, she’s been able to help fellow residents find solutions, get answers for questions and try to represent their views — or take them into account — in decisions or board meetings. Plus, she got to meet interesting people.
However, McDougald stated that this will be her last term serving with the district, which ends in November 2024.
“I feel like I’ve given a lot back to my neighborhood, my neighborhood has given a lot back to me with its quality of life and friendships, etc.,” she said. “It’s a great board, and we have great management on our board. … So yeah, it will be my time to let somebody else have a chance.”
After her current term ends, she hopes her spot is taken by another resident who loves the community and that FishHawk continues to be mostly owner-occupied. She also encourages residents to attend CDD board meetings so they can know more about what’s going on with their neighborhood and get more involved.
For more information about FishHawk Ranch CDD, visit www.fishhawkranchcdd.org.