I asked Chris to bring me some chocolates, now that he works right across the street from Metropolitan Market and their artisan chocolate selection. He certainly delivered! Handing me a bag heavy with chocolate bars he said he hoped it would "get you through the day." It'll do, it'll do...
I ended up spending a couple of hours trying to facilitate the petition process for my Chinese neighbors, with little luck. I went down to the local Department of Neighborhoods and met with Glenn Harris, who was very nice and generally sympathetic but didn't really have much to offer besides giving me the number of a SHA/New Holly community service liaison. The Department of Neighborhoods is kind of like a miniature City Hall, where people can come to pay (or resist paying) fines or utilities, get passports, and that kind of official city business. If we were talking about a community association
they have some resources available in the form of grants for cleaning up parks or material improvements but no for private associations like the homeowner's association
, even though the HOA deals with issue that affect the "neighborhood" and the "community". Anyway, he didn't blow me off, he just didn't really have the ability to help with, say, getting an translator or intervening on behalf of immigrant homeowners. After that, I walked next door to the office that was labeled "New Holly Management Office" and when I finally got someone to come to the front desk, they also threw up their hands and told me they couldn't help with making sure there was a translator at the meeting on Wednesday or in helping the non-English speaking homeowners. He also gave me the name of the SHA/New Holly liaison and the number for the utterly worthless and awful
CDC Management company (who were the people who refused to give me contact information for the board of directors in the past, and with whom I had my long and very costly battle over "delinquent" dues, which I've gone on at length about in the past).
I did go over and talk a bit with Joy, the SHA community building cheerleader. Unfortunately, even though she was sympathetic on some points and helpfully called CDC to lend her name and position to the voice mail, I was again thwarted. She can help with "community" issues but not with things specifically involving the homeowners association. So, for example, she has a budget to translate a flyer into 6 or 8 languages so people in the neighborhood know that a safety or clean-up committee is being formed, but she can't provide any help in getting a translator for homeowner's association meetings, because those don't affect "the community". I did find out there's a yahoogroups e-mail list for interested homeowners and she was happy to provide contact information for the board members, so it wasn't a stonewalling situation... still, I'm frustrated.
I returned home and sent a request that the petition be added by the board to the agenda for next week's meeting and that translators be found so that a full and fair discussion could take place with these homeowners, even if they're just bi-lingual volunteers from the community or something. I was told that the budget only provides for translators for the annual meeting and "we" need to decide what "we" are willing to pay for... a discussion that is not taking place on a mailing list of 156 people (some of which are not even residents but are SHA or CDC employees) out of a community of between 560 and 840 actual homeowners)... and received a very strongly oppositional response from one of the list members right off the bat ("Using my capital to support people that ignore me and people like me is simply out of the question. In short I will not support any effort designed to make life easier for those that look down on me and people like me." and "I be damned if my funds will be used to support them in any fashion.") Of course, he's "not a racist". ::sigh:: Am I the ONLY person who has thought, "Hey, there's a Chinese Baptist church just on the other side of Beacon Avenue, maybe they could help us find an volunteer." or "High school students have a community service requirement for graduation, maybe we can find a couple of kids from the local high school willing to put in a couple of hours translating."?? It's us vs. them right off the bat?
Anyway, after that series of disappointments, I went home and got started on dinner.
A little baguette, a little brie, roasted beet, pistachio, and pear salad and some pan-seared scallops on linguine with tomato-cream sauce. I finished up with two individual chocolate chunk bread puddings (so rich I couldn't even finish mine but Pramas really liked his).
Awoke today with a nagging headache and touch of sore throat. Hope I'm not coming down with the plague that Jess came bearing on game night! We leave for New York Comic Con in a week and I just don't have time to feel like crap. Popping vitamins and echinacea and have some Zicam at the ready if it's needed. Ug.
Labels: HOA, Valentines