The delegates voted down the 2014 budget, largely because of Wi-Fi. sending us back to Square One: Finance Committee meetings to develop the budget all over again, more committee votes, another Delegates Assembly vote. Here are 10 reasons we should tell the Finance Committee to keep Wi-Fi in the budget.
1. De-funding Wi-Fi means we have to pay $30 or more a month for Internet service when we could be paying $3. A no-vote just cost us $27 a month.
2. Many of our lowest-income residents have computers, and there are programs to help them get them if they don't. They can't afford $30/month but they could afford $3. Let's give them the only chance they might have to enjoy the benefits of the Internet -- communicating with their families, shopping online, saving money on phone costs and increasing their personal safety with Internet-enabled lifeline pendants so they don't have to fear falling or being injured and unable to get help.
3. With Wi-Fi we can call and "see" our families on Skype and use our computerized devices anywhere in our homes or in the Village. Where else can you get the benefits of the Internet for $3?
4. With W-Fi association board members can communicate with each other via email to conduct association business when they are away. We need to do everything we can to help associations do a better job.
5. Wi-Fi is a major attraction for new buyers who want to live in a community that keeps up with the times. Ten years ago cable-enabled buildings were a huge draw for condo properties; today it's Wi-Fi. If we want to see property values rise, we have to have Wi-Fi. Condo complexes don't stand still. They go forward or they slide downhill.
6. People who said we need guarantees from vendors because they fear escalating costs may not realize that there are industry-standard 5-year warranties in the bid proposals. No one knows what costs will be five years out. There will be inevitable issues as there are in all major infrastructure projects, but we are protected.
7. Claims that we don't know enough yet, that vendor proposals don't answer all the questions or have typos in them are exaggerating issues that normally arise in the bid process as proposals are reviewed. We have the information we need at this stage of the process and we'll get the rest as we move the process forward, just the way it's done in business.
8. We shouldn't ignore the impressive number of favorable responses from the 1500 residents who filled out Wi-Fi surveys, or the letter from the president of Le Cercle Des Bon Amis representing 600 French Canadian Century Village residents who urged us to support Wi-Fi. Maybe as delegates we were too swayed by the loud and misinformed voices of a few.
9. Among the opponents of Wi-Fi were people who are suing UCO (they expected UCO to pay their legal expenses, remember?), are committed to defeating any idea championed by Dave Israel, and have never made a single proposal to improve the Village but many to tear it apart. Can we trust that their opposition isn't personal rather than based on what's good for the Village?
10. Wi-Fi is as inescapable as electricity, the telephone and the internet. Some people resisted those, too, but history proved them wrong.
If you agree, please attend the Finance Committee meetings October 8 at 11AM in the UCO Conference Room and October 10 at 11 AM in the Clubhouse Party Room. Please tell the committee that that Wi-Fi benefits all of us, from the least financially strong to those among us who know that a community that doesn't invest in its future pretty soon won't have one.