I need your (collective) help with something.
I’ve been approached recently by several residents citing concerns about things like food left out at the pool, attracting ants and bees; kids running and splashing, disturbing others at the pool; bathrooms left a mess; infants in the pool without a swim diaper. At the center of these concerns is also the issue of “enforcement” (e.g., who is going to enforce the new non-smoking policy, especially if no one is “enforcing” the pool area already).
I can understand the concerns, and as someone that uses the pool, playground and clubhouse fairly regularly, can appreciate the annoyance that can be caused by these situations.
When I think about what options we have to improve the situation, I see a couple of ways this can play out:
- We can get rid of any pretence of enforcement and have an anything goes environment.
- We can appoint smoking police and food police and bathroom police and establish fines and hearings to make sure all policies are being enforced.
- We can all treat our common areas like our own homes and show respect for each other as fellow members of the same community.
Personally, I like that third option the best.
What I would ask you to think about is something very simple – your fellow Alyson Pond residents. When you walk away and leave food on a table, it’s your neighbors who either have to clean up after you or suffer from the bees and ants that come in their wake. When your kids run and splash, it’s your neighbors that you’re annoying. When you let your kid go into the pool with a saggy diaper, well, I think we all get the picture.
I began by saying I need your help with something. I’ve got a couple of requests.
My first request, as in option 3 above, is that we all treat the common areas as we would treat our own homes. Show respect for your neighbors by cleaning up after yourselves, watching your kids, smoking outside the pool enclosure. And I would extend this to include things like closing the umbrellas or shutting out the bathroom lights should you suspect you might be one of the last ones to leave the pool – which will go a long way to making sure we’re not forced to unnecessarily spend the homeowner dues that we all contribute.
My second request is that you be respectful should someone – whether a board member or fellow resident – come up to you and ask you to step outside with the cigarette, or should someone point out that your kid is the reason there is almost as much water out of the pool as in the pool.
And my third request is that you let us know what we, as a board, can do to help. Are people leaving food out because the trash cans are full by the end of the day? Let us know so we can get more trash bins. Do we need spend more time at the pool so we (instead of you) can speak to parents about their kids’ activities? What else would you suggest we do?
I consider myself very fortunate to have lived in Alyson Pond for just over a decade now. I like that our neighborhood includes people from all sorts of professions and backgrounds, spanning all phases of life. And I like that, by and large, I’ve found that we are all friendly, courteous, and respectful of each other. I just ask that we keep this in mind when using the pool and other common areas.