Former CFO of Dental Care Alliance in Osprey named to county’s Public Facilities Financing Advisory Board

One seat remains open after appointment of David Nichols

David P. Nichols. Image from the Dental Care Alliance Facebook page

Sarasota County’s Public Facilities Financing Advisory Board (PFFAB) has a new member, courtesy of a unanimous County Commission vote on Nov. 5.

David Nichols of Osprey, a director of the Dental Care Alliance LLC, will join seven other members of the PFFAB, including former County Administrator Jim Ley and past Planning Commission Chair Roland Piccone.

Additionally on Nov. 5, the commission appointed Nichols to a three-year term on the county’s Health Facilities Authority & Industrial Development Revenue Bond Citizens Advisory Committee. That group provides “recommendations to the County Commission with regard to the financing of health facilities, health care facilities and other eligible projects with industrial development revenue bonds,” its county webpage says.

Both the appointments were included on the commission’s Nov. 5 Consent Agenda of routine business matters. No one offered a comment on them before Commissioner Alan Maio made a motion to approve the balance of the Consent Agenda, and Commissioner Nancy Detert seconded the motion. (Two items were pulled from that agenda for additional attention.)

The PFFAB makes recommendations to the County Commission on impact fees, other funding sources and fiscal impacts of levels of service, its webpage explains. The advisory board has to have three members who represent public facilities and/or financial professionals; three who represent civic organizations; and three who represent development, building and construction, the webpage notes.

A staff memo provided to the commission in advance of the Nov. 5 meeting said that Nichols had applied to fill an unexpired term on the PFFAB as a civic organization representative, effective through January 2020. In the memo, staff asked that the County Commission approve Nichols’ keeping that seat for an additional three years, through January 2023.

The seat became open with the resignation of Adam Davis in January 2018, the memo pointed out.

One other seat remains vacant following Nichols’ appointment, the memo said.

The vacancies were advertised on the county website, the memo continued. Nichols was the only person to apply, according to another document included in the board packet for the Nov. 5 meeting.

In his application, Nichols wrote that he wanted to serve on the PFFAB because, “[a]s a multi-decade Sarasota County resident with a Finance background, thought I could bring some experience to an area of interest.”

Having earned a master’s degree in accounting, Nichols wrote, he was chief financial officer (CFO) of Florida Life Care — a company that owns retirement centers — from 1986 to 1994. He became chief financial officer of Dental Care Alliance in 1997 and left that post in 2017, he added. The firm operates dental practices and handles real estate in Sarasota and other parts of the country, Nichols noted in the application.

In 2014, the Tampa Bay Business Journal named Nichols CFO of the Year, the Dental Care Alliance’s Facebook page points out.

Nichols also wrote that he had been a certified public accountant, but he no longer kept those credentials current.

These are the PFFAB attendance worksheets included in the Nov. 5 agenda packet. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The Nov. 5 meeting packet included an attendance worksheet for the other PFFAB members over the past two years. Five of the eight had perfect attendance in 2018, though one person — Jessica Bellman — was not present for either of the two meetings the board conducted that year.

Bellman was director of strategic development for DeAngelis Diamond Construction from December 2016 through December 2017, her LinkedIn profile said. She no longer was listed as a PFFAB member at the start of this year.

Four of the seven PFFAB members attended both meetings held thus far this year, the worksheet showed.

The agenda for the most recent PFFAB meeting — held on Aug. 14 — included discussion of the two vacant seats at that time; scheduling of the PFFAB’s annual report to the County Commission; and a discussion about transportation revenue sources.