By Jackie Deal
HELP! It’s desperate! You! Me! Everybody! “They” might, yes, “They” might raise our Annual Maintenance Fees by hundreds! Now, stop! “Might” means maybe but not carved in stone. However, a raise in fees is ONE way to solve the dilemma we face. And, honestly, it is being discussed.
You see: this park is a CO-OPERATIVE. Maybe you don’t know the definition nor did you “get it” when you became a part of our co-operative. The Google (does anyone use a dictionary anymore?) definition of a co-operative is: “ An….organization owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits.” But hang on, it goes further “it involves mutual assistance in working towards a common goal.”
It’s that last part we’re having a problem with. All of us enjoy the beauty and low cost living Timber Valley Park provides. We “share those benefits” but only a few are doing all the work towards the common goal of running the park.
The Landscape Committee’s last meeting only three (3) people showed up. The “old members” have worked long, LONG hours maintaining the beautiful flowers, shrubs, trees, lawns etc. etc. No one is willing to “head up” the group now that current leaders would like to back off a bit and just “help out”. So you say, why not hire someone to do the job and quite nagging our members. Okay, if we have to pay to employ ONE person to do this. Let’s say $20 per hour wage figure x 2080 hours/per year= about $41, 000 a year. Divided by 206 lots= $202 per year. Yes, it could raise your Annual Maintenance Fees by $202 .00 a year!!
You don’t mind that? Good! Let’s go further. We have no cleaning crew for our large clubhouse, or office building. How does the cleaning get done? Well, natch, the same “old people” who have volunteered for years are still doing it. It really isn’t fair, is it? So let’s hire a cleaning person. Let’s use the $20 per hour wage figure as we did for maintenance: $20 x 2080 hours/per year= $41, 000 a year. Divided by 206 lots= $202 per year. So now we’re up to $404 more a year to live here.
Timber Valley is sidestepping into the w.w.w. world. You’ve probably noticed the Wi-Fi towers sprouting up in the park. And we’ve got a marvelous web site that you’re using right now. Volunteers make that happen. Suppose we had to hire that done? What does a “web master” cost? Google it. You’ll find estimates ranging from $45 per hour to over $100. Let’s get “the lowest bidder”: $40 per hour. That’s $404 more per lot. Would you mind paying $808 more per year. Maybe even a thousand more?
You know, we don’t have to add a penny to your Annual Maintenance Fee if we don’t have to resort to “hired help”. If we all remember that we live in a co-op and we do our part, we can continue as a beautiful, affordable park. And just maybe, you might enjoy getting to know your neighbors better and realize the satisfaction of contributing to something larger than yourself.
Maybe you missed the Annual Meeting and the opportunity to join committees to help run our park. Are you wondering how you can join in at this late date? Just call the office: they can give you a list of committees and their chair persons. Call. Volunteer.
Your co-op needs your co-operation.