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.

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18 Responses to JUST $1,000 MORE PER YEAR

  1. Fred says:

    Jackie, the fact that it was necessary to write this makes me weep. Whatever happened?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Newbies step up. Sometimes it can be fun !!

    • Reggie says:

      Newbies……..as myself love to volunteer and help others. I have a degree in Sociology and my career has been to advocate for all Seniors the opportunity of being able to live independently on their own, in their own home for the past 35 years. As a “newbie” my experience has been that some members can seem to be less than kind and welcoming. For myself this has been a set back for my participation. I do not know if any other “newbies” have had this experience but I am simply stating how being a “newbie” as been for me. It is my hope that in the future I will feel more comfortable to put my hat in the ring. As “newbie’s” it is only fair to understand how it feels to be the new student in class.

  3. Jimmy says:

    Thank you Jackie for articulating so well the state of our park. Some of us have stepped back out of frustration with so many able bodied members unwillingness to lend their much needed hands. Our park, as a co-op is imperiled.

  4. Joan L. says:

    There’s a job for everyone, the “pay” is in saving, as outlined quite clearly in Jackie’s message. You can do it!

  5. Sue 166 says:

    Some of us can’t be in the sun so maybe landscaping isn’t for us BUT there are other things we can do. We all have a skill that can help with the running of the park. Please check out the committee’s and help out where you can. Present your ideas to the committees or the Board. New ideas are always welcome. By the way, there isn’t an app for everything!

  6. Joy says:

    Well that does seem to be quite a dilemma. However my thoughts are the clubhouse would not require a 40-hour a week cleaning person possibly one to two days per week which would cut those hours considerably if we had to hire someone. I also think that landscaping would not necessarily require a 40-hour a week job for someone possibly 3 days a week only because they’re still are people who enjoy riding the lawn mowers and cutting the grass and doing various things out of pure love for the exercise and results. So possibly we could be looking at partial help from time to time that wouldn’t necessarily require 2080 hours a year.

    • Peggy says:

      Please identify yourself. Which Joy are you?
      The other Joy ( s ) may not share your views
      & find themselves mis-identified. Thsnks!

  7. Rick De Young says:

    This is very well said, Jackie, and all true. Jimmy has correctly pointed out that some of us old timers have stepped back because so many residents (not all of them newer residents) do nothing to help with running the Park. Many of us in our 80’s have also experienced health issues that require us to step away from strenuous chores. So, I add my voice to others in asking all residents to help keep our costs down and our standard of living good. I recommend each resident volunteer to spend at least 4 productive hours a month doing something they are capable of doing for the Park. I’m doing it at 83 years of age. So can you! Rick De Young

  8. Bud Covington says:

    There always has been a few that do all the work. I always thought that the folks who did n’t do anything just didn’t know what to do or where to help. I have questioned a few of them about volunteering and they almost always said “if they need more help, hire someone. I said that would add to our maintenance fees and they almost always said, so what, I am retired and don’t want to do anything around here.Charge me more money and I will pay.”

    • Reggie #115 says:

      Having had my parents be members and lease holders for over 15 years, (which is why we chose SKP Sutherlin), and the many times we came to visit, there never seemed to be this kind of problem. Maybe we should do more research with the people who would choose to pay more and find out if there is something else going on behind the scenes that has them feeling this way. Perhaps our President could contact these people for a better understanding.

  9. Dick Shanahan says:

    Well written Jackie,
    I am glad to see several members commenting.
    I have decided to join the Landscape Committee and to help clean the Clubhouse Friday mornings at 8:00 AM.
    Anyone else want to commit some time?

  10. Margi Binninger says:

    This is a very pertinent issue and must be addressed and resolved. Those of us who have previously contributed lots of time to the co-op mind-set of this park, and who are currently unable to contribute due to age or disability, are very concerned about the future. If you want to live in a “resort, fine. Go live in one — and pay the price. If you want to live in Timber Valley, and enjoy the low monthly expense, then step up and contribute to the well being and aesthetics of the park. Too few people are doing too much work. I believe each one of us were informed this was a co-op park which required cooperation when we first signed up.

    • Jeanie Lyons Lot 4 says:

      Margi – you are right on. When new Members signed their leasehold agreement there is a sentence that says “We agree to serve on committees and work parties as required by this signed contract according to our talents and interests and to try to uphold the SKP tradition of “Sharing and Caring.” This statement is initialed by the new Member(s).
      So, what is the problem? Apparently the Park or Board can’t enforce this.

  11. Donna Dee says:

    I’m new to the park. Just got my site two weeks ago. YAY me!

    I agreed and signed on the dotted line that I would volunteer to the upkeep at the park. My word is my bond. It would be nice if it was everyone else’s too. I consider this my vested interest in the quality and condition of the park. I’ll be in the park for a week in October. While there, if you see me walking around with a bucket and wearing gardening gloves… it’s because I’m a champion weed puller! (Of course, I’ll check with the landscape committee to see what may need to be done first.)

    This is the second co-op that I’ve joined. My daughter’s private school was the other. Each parent, whether single or couple, had to volunteer 40 hours a year or pay $1,000. Hours not covered volunteering were prorated to $25 an hour. (I paid, my daughter’s father volunteered.) The paid dollars in turn were used to hire sophomores, juniors and seniors at the high school. The money was applied to each student’s graduation account. Upon graduation each of those student’s was presented a check for the amount they earned to further their studies, etc.

    Possibly something similar can be implemented here in Timber Valley. Volunteer… or pay!

    Remember, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    • Thom Hoch says:

      A very interesting comment. We’ve discussed ideas similar to “volunteer or Pay” in the past. For one reason or another it wasn’t implemented. I’m curious… How do other members feel about this? Would you (other members) be willing to fork out another $1000/year in lieu or a volunteering???

  12. Donna Dee says:

    Okay, I’ve already identified myself as a newbie. I’m in the honeymoon phase. Please don’t be harsh. I see a problem has been identified, now it’s time to find solutions.

    Going through the rather large packet of information I was given when I signed the life-time lease, I see I’d actually be rewarded for not showing up! I’m talking about the rental pool. I don’t know the statistics, but what percentage of site owners are what I call “Some-Timers”? (And honestly that will be me for at least a year.) Those that are only in the park a few weeks out of the year. I see by being in the rental pool, there’s a good chance that MOST of the yearly M&O that I would need to pay, will be covered. Wow. But at the same time, if I’m not in the park I’m not volunteering. Maybe this is part of the problem and maybe it’s not. I’m writing this for discussion only.

    It may be a logistics nightmare, but perhaps volunteer hours can count toward or against the site owner’s percentage of the rental pool?

    I believe in carrots and sticks.

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