Pay Up to Run the Neighborhood

I live in a neighborhood just east of Hollywood full of houses built in the early 1920s. just blocks away are shops, restaurants and nightclubs, plus movie theaters, a live theater and bookshops, plus the nation’s largest urban park, and numerous landmarks, along with coyotes, raccoons and our very noticeable skunks. It’s pretty awesome. Many of my neighbors are senior citizens who have lived here for decades, some in the very huge homes a couple blocks west.

We also have a fairly newly formed neighborhood association which has been busy trying to get potholes filled and arrange permit parking (though neither applies to my block of bungalows for some reason). Permit parking would be a hassle, and we consider the potholes to be Nature’s speed bumps. Besides, the city already told us that can’t afford the massive tear up and repaving this year.

Today I got email from the Xville Square Association suggesting membership fees.

q Leadership: $100/year.
Free columns, bylines, advertorials, and classified ads in online and printed communications, plus sustaining member benefits.

q Sustaining: $50/year.
Eligibility for board positions, coordination for representation at advocacy opportunities, plus association member benefits.

q Associate: $20/year. Voting membership, newsletters, brochures and information about local policies, more! Join us.

q Neighbor: Free
Neighborhood news and information updates, meetings, conviviality, encouragement, support.

I can see having a fee to join, but only allowing those who can afford higher dues the right right to hold positions smacks of oligarchy. So I wrote a nice note about that and am waiting to hear back.

3 Responses to "Pay Up to Run the Neighborhood"
mzchief | Friday April 29, 2011 08:48 pm 1

I have a tendency to despise HOAs for the tyrants they attract not to mention the cronyism (e.g. the sole source contract for the pricey “grounds management” that one of the board members relative gets when all you ever see are d00ds with leaf blowers). I didn’t elect them in place of my city management. Were you naughty or nice in your letter?

DonWilliams | Tuesday May 3, 2011 02:52 pm 2

It’s a private group. It makes sense to have people who are paying for the group make the decisions on how the group’s money is spent.

America, in general, would benefit from that sort of accountability.

DonWilliams | Tuesday May 3, 2011 02:58 pm 3

Also, you might want to look into the Firedoglake Members Association.

If you want to “Help plan our coverage and activism,” you’ve got to kick in $45. If you want an “Invitation to annual Firedoglake dinner,” then pony up $1,000! Holy oligarchy, Batman!

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