Almost two years after I used these pages to complain about our permanent porta potty at our travelling baseball diamond, some progress has been made. A contractor has been hired to prepare a budget, and an architect is on the hook to put together a submittal for our permitting agencies. Some work was done (thank you Association Assistant Manager, Arnold Keene) in the last two years to explore various options, and to figure out water, electrical and sewer connections.
However, obviously, this took far too long to come to fruition.
A while ago, the Association Board allocated some budgetary money to the project and then dumped it onto Association staff’s laps. This while they also dumped managing our huge Fiber Optic Network build out onto them. And during a time that the Association is now down three staff members (at least). Remaining Association staff literally do not have time to manage more projects.
I’ve long wondered why we don’t involve more of our members in projects like this. Why couldn’t a member who has experience in construction have been the lead for the baseball bathroom project? I don’t mean to actually construct it, but to do all the legwork to figure out sewer, etc. hookups, and to recommend a contractor to prepare budgets.
It isn’t as if there is no precedent for this. The trails and rec committee routinely does their work of convincing residents to give the Association a riding easement without initial involvement of staff.
Over a year ago, Skip Atkins and I were on the technology committee and the issue of construction waivers for private roads came up. Skip and I volunteered to go door to door and get waivers for all private road property owners. It would have allowed us to answer any questions about the project, and to directly understand the concerns of community members about the fiber network.
The then Board president, Fred Wasserman, and the tech committee chair, Rick Sapp, put a stop to that idea, took over the project and implemented it as an anodyne arms length form that was repeatedly emailed to affected residents. Over a year later, and there are still some private roads residents who haven’t signed waivers.
My point is that our Board doesn’t appear to actually want to involve members in certain projects. At least not more than being on a rubber stamp committee (which is what the tech committee has devolved into).
Everyone says they want a stronger community. Well, involving members of a community in projects, really involving them I mean, is a great way to build ties. I’m constantly struck by what a resident of a small 150 person Welsh community said after their community banded together to build their own fiber network: “I have got to know more people in the last four months than I did in the previous 25 years.”. It turns out that to build a strong community, you need to involve community members in projects. Who would have thought?
We have a Board election coming up and almost half the Board is being replaced. Hopefully going forward the new (and old) members can look for opportunities to truly involve residents in projects to help strengthen our community.
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