It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. But once they're ruffled, I am never complacent.
Yesterday I got a bill from our Homes Association. In addition to the regular itemized dues and trash pickup, there was a $35.43 charge for "leaf removal". Huh? No way to opt out. Complacency out the window.
I made a call to the "Treasurer" whose name was on the top of the bill. I explained that I wasn't interested in leaf removal for several reasons: We have almost an acre of land, and if we were to rake all those leaves to the curb, we should have started a month ago. Besides, I explained, we mowed/mulched in one easy step. That decaying leaves are good for the lawn. And furthermore, I like fall. I like the colors of the leaves, I like scuffing through them as I walk to the end of the driveway to get the paper. I have fond memories of my kids in the front yard, bundled up in the chill of the autumn air scooping them up in their jacketed arms and throwing them up in the air and falling around them. And most importantly, in this economy, I thought it was fiscally irresponsible charging 137 families $35.43 apiece. (I work at a Free Clinic where $35.43 would buy a handful of meals) Undaunted, I went on to say that I considered a pristine leafless yard a luxury. Fluff. I told her that I thought that perhaps an online survey was in order, to poll the folks who were funding this insanity and get their thoughts.
Jeanne explained it to me this way. The Association thought it would be nice to have all the lawns clean. "After all," she explained, "It just makes the whole neighborhood look nice." (I wonder what the Homes Association thinks when our teenagers' friends tp the front yard???) She chastised me for not attending the Homes Association Meeting where I could have voiced my concerns. (That particular meeting fell on a night where Wood was out of town and I was at a volleyball game with Meghan) I did ask how many families attended the meeting and she told me that it was about 25. My math says that that was 18% representation. (Don't they have to have a quorum to spend 72% of peoples' money????)
It was clear that Jeanne was not hearing me. Oh, she got quiet in all the right places. As our conversation wound up, she told me that she was brand new at the Treasurer's job, and that she "was already sorry that she'd taken it on". I am sure that I am one of the reasons! She suggested that I write to the President of the Homes Association, as well. I did that, and will let you know what happens.