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Home sweet home for locals and transplants

Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Stratford Harbor residents proud of  their community

The state of Ohio is famous for quite a number of individuals and events, but one native of the Buckeye State found something attractive in Virginia. While following her husband to the area, Francine Taylor soon found her calling in one of Westmoreland County’s prominent housing areas.

Manager Francine Taylor, of Stratford Harbour, said there have been a number of events bringing out owners and their families including parties and dinners like one pictured above.

“I found out about it from an ad in the newspaper and out of 97 people I was selected,” said Taylor. “I’m very blessed to be here.”Since relocating to the area in April 2011, Taylor has served as manager of the Stratford Harbour Housing area located along the coast of the Potomac River. It houses at least 900 members, has a total of 1,318 property lots, two beaches, a clubhouse, a swimming pool, tennis courts, a pavilion and a playground.

The community also owns a beach, marina and Lake Independence.

Realizing the number of daily and weekend residents, Taylor soon began to implement a networking system with emails to keep those property owners informed of activities. For a combined 34 years, Taylor has been involved in government and main street programs, and continues using experiences to help Stratford Harbour.

“They feel like they are a part of a real community here,” Taylor said. “I get a lot of compliments.”

From Pot Luck dinners to bi-monthly newsletters, Taylor said there have been many events bringing out owners and their families.

The community is separated into nine subdivisions, but not all are represented on the homeowners’ association board. Taylor hopes to encourage one or two representatives to join from each subdivision.

“We don’t have problems in those areas…it would be just a great outreach,” Taylor said. “I’m just looking for ways to improve connection through the entire community.”

Friends in Ohio quickly urged her and her husband Bill Taylor to return home, especially following the storm in September.

‘The hurricane was a very big eye opening experience on how people come together…I was very impressed,” Taylor said.

The manager added that living in this area, she has seen more examples of camaraderie living in such a rural community, for example in their neighboring community Placid Bay.

“I feel so bad for those people, so many homes are for sale,” Taylor said, adding that Stratford Harbour also has a dam and maintaining it is a priority.

From this event, Taylor has connected with John Johnson, president of the Placid Bay Civic Association and shared ideas on how to continue improving on the homeowners’ association.

One consideration Taylor said they association is looking into is using the clubhouse an Emergency Operations Center. She is also looking to network with other associations from around the county and region.

“I’m always looking for ways to improve…striving to be a premier property homeowners’ association,” Taylor said. “We’re here and people need to outreach to us.”