This blog is a place for residents of Harbor Drive to publish constructive comments, suggestions, ideas, or thoughts that pertain to all residents of Harbor Drive. If you have something that you would like posted here, please go to the Contact Us page and complete the form. (EDIT!!!)
Received August 3, 2013
To the Harbor Drive Board: As a resident of this street, found myself asking what is a community?
Webster defines community as: a feeling of fellowship with other, as a result of common attitudes, interests, and goals.
But when it comes to Harbor drive’s residents, community is everyone that calls this street their home. No matter what age we are, economic status, the age or size of our house or ethnic background, we are a community that should support each other and work together for the betterment of each. I think that most neighborhoods are just that, a neighborhood, and they live, go to work, cut their grass, raise their children and then someday sell their property and move on. What makes a community different than a neighborhood is that a community tries to work together for the benefit of everyone, and a neighborhood is more of the every man for themselves thinking. I have lived in both a neighborhood and our community, and the community setting is much better. Even though we may not all know each other, there is a great feeling of community because many people give a friendly wave as we pass each other on the street, and if there is something that seems out of place, like an unknown car driving slowly down the street, we take note and maybe give that car a heavy stare as if to say, we know you don’t belong here, so you better not try anything.
With 80+ properties on a one mile private road, Harbor Drive is one of the most prestigious streets in Macomb County to live on. Several years ago there was a big push to get our street paved with brick pavers. That initiative was headed by a group of residents of this community that had the vision of a better street, one free of pot holes and one that would benefit everyone in the form of increased property values when it comes time to sell. One of the most talked about things from real estate professionals who have listed or shown properties on this street, is the brick paver street. This initiative was not viewed by everyone as the best option because it was going to cost each property a sizable chunk of money to get this done. But I think that now everyone looks at that move as a greatly beneficial move to all properties. It certainly has made a huge difference to anyone that travels on this street and I for one am glad that this group of individuals pushed to make the brick pavers a reality, even when some opposed the idea.
That being said, we are a community and should look out for our neighbors as if they were one of our family. And like all families not everyone agrees on all issues, but we still have a mutual respect.
Now I come to the point of my letter. This street has always operated as a volunteer association and not as a mandatory participation association. The difference is we all contribute as we can, and should, but it is not mandatory. I personally think it should be mandatory that we all pay our association dues, but that is not how the association is set up. The payment and expenditure records are public knowledge and it really had me upset one day that some people feel they are not benefiting from living on this street and all the work that goes into keeping this nice for everyone. The majority of our residents contributes the couple hundred dollars a year and that gets the basic services done, however, dues could be less and/or we could do more for the benefit of the community if everyone pulled their weight and contributed.
It is not the responsibility of our volunteer board of directors to push and pry dollars out of our checkbooks each year, so as residents of this street, I implore everyone to please pay the dues the board asks each year so that dues, to people like me, do not go up or so the board can do more to improve our street. I heard one resident complaining that they did not want to pay their dues because they did not use the canal and some of the dues were being used to treat the canal and they had a problem with that. I asked this person did they attend the last community board meeting to express their concern or did they write the board to tell them their thoughts? The answer was “I don’t have time for that”. My personal opinion is that paying dues is not a weapon to express your dislike for something. Your dues go towards ALL the services, including the services that benefit everyone, like upkeep and snow removal. If you have a dislike for something, come to a meeting or write a letter and please don’t secretly complain….. that is not very community like.
I know that most of the people that read this are paying dues, helping our, watching out and care about this community. I was just a bit frustrated at the thought that dues could go up for those who are paying, because of those who chose not to pay, but yet benefit from all the great things we have on this street. I will remain the unknown resident to not single out anyone that may take this open letter personally.
— The Unknown Resident