This Is our Village

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Two people, commenting recently on the state of affairs here, told me that they thought perhaps UCO should be run by professionals rather than by our volunteers. One of them opined that this would end up costing all owners an awful lot more in dues, and I have to think he's right. The money to pay professionals for what is done now by our volunteers certainly wouldn't come out of thin air. I expect our dues would go up astronomically. I suspect too that we would find we need to drop some benefits we now enjoy. This might cut deeply: Perhaps Investigations, the AMR emergency service, the buses and the shows would have to go.

With a huge increase in condo dues and a cutback on services, the poorer among us (how many, maybe 20 percent?) would be left high and dry. If the number of owners who simply stopped paying their dues worked a hardship on our condo associations a few years ago at the height of the recession, think of the effect if we switched to an all-professional UCO.

I visited UCO on Wednesday to interview Bob Marshall for an article coming out in the February UCO Reporter and couldn't help noticing what a busy place UCO was. People were coming in left and right seeking help with this or that thing. Ron and Natalie were very busy at the front desk. Mildred was busy as usual helping someone at her desk outside Investigations, and inside, the Investigations personnel were assisting people. Bob Marshall helped two residents while I waited for him to get free. Joy Vestal, Ed Black, Pat Sealander and Dom Guarnagia were going back and forth, attending to one thing after another. I saw Phyllis Siegelman briefly to say hello; the same with Dave Israel, who was on his way to a meeting in the conference room. Residents in droves were having barcode stickers put on their cars.

The place was humming, and I couldn't help thinking: What would we do without these wonderful volunteers? The Village wouldn't be the same for any of us.

I hope we take a long, good hard look at where we are now, appreciating what we now enjoy, and not throw it all over because of the troubles some among our number have stirred up. UCO hasn't been a perfect vehicle, and its "board of directors" (the delegates to the monthly meetings), because of its size, has always been an unwieldy thing, but some very good things have come about through our imperfect system. "The perfect can be the enemy of the good," Voltaire said.

I have also heard it suggested that it might help to have a paid, certified parliamentarian sit alongside Dave Israel as he presides at the delegate meetings. For one thing, I'm sure he would not allow "points of order" that are not points of order at all to interrupt the proceedings.


  1. You are always the optimist Lanny! I am not sure that money would be the biggest issue with outsourcing some (but not all) UCO functions. Too many people have their egos invested in our system which leads to the constant arguing and power struggles. UCO's delegate system is TOO LARGE and inefficient and there are too many UCO committees with too many non-competent people on them. That is painfully evident. But a paid sheriff deputy or two would at least shut up the shouting at meetings if we keep this current system.

  2. I believe that 1 police officer would do the job. I think it is worth the try!

  3. The issue is not crowd control or police presence. The issue is professional management vs. our present system. We speculate on the cost and know it will be high because professionals get salaries in five figures -- high five figures. However, until we pursue it further and come up with what it will cost and what we would need to give up, it is only speculation.
    In the past, the Village has turned down the purchase of the clubhouse facilities and the golf course more than once. This should give everyone an idea of what they would be willing to pay for professional management. In the final analysis, it's the Delegates who will accept or reject this proposed plan at the direction of their building associations. In the interest of all, I believe figures should be obtained and presented for deliberation, before we can say that it's worthwhile or not.

  4. Thoughtful contributions, thank you all. Perhaps a police presence AND a parliamentarian would help for the immediate future. Yes, good idea to work up an estimate on what some professional help would cost.

  5. As long as crazies with obvious mental problems (and other incoherent and rambling blogs) continually plan to disrupt meetings, paid law enforcement officers are needed more than Roberts Rules people.


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