28 Feb President’s Message – March 2014
Since I’ve been in the position of FHA President, I’ve gotten questions … some in jest and some serious … about what members get for their $134 a year in membership dues. I’ve had time to look around in detail for a while, so here’s my answer to that question.
First, early each year you get a Directory and Handbook (1 document) with up to date information on names, addresses (including email) and phone numbers for the entire community, in addition to useful knowledge about your sub-community, and important information about many aspects of daily living in Fearrington. The more you read it, the more you will find in it.
You get a second piece of hard copy at your doorstep each month in the form of a newsletter which provides important notices to the entire community and detailed information about the many and varied group activities that will take place during that month. If you have an interest in a club or activity, the newsletter is where that organization will let you know what’s going on.
If you’ve managed to make it beyond the hard copy era, then you have access to the always-improving FHA Website (check it out), where you can surf the village, get weather reports and movie schedules, ask for and offer useful information on matters of importance to you, post opinions and concerns, and keep up to date on your favorite clubs and activities.
Next, you get the Gathering Place which serves as the central meeting facility for virtually all the associations, clubs, and activities that operate in the village. You can see a film, listen to music, practice your music, hear notable speakers, attend celebratory lunches and dinners, partake of Fearrington Cares events and activities, attend a civic or club meeting, get your questions answered, and even vote in some elections.
In addition, you have access to scheduled FHA sponsored special events for shredding old papers, recycling hazardous waste, promoting fire prevention and safety, and disposing of prescription drugs. Plus hunting for Easter eggs with your kids and grandkids.
If the above items don’t represent value for you, you can always fall back on the traditional benefits of living in a community where newcomers are welcomed, where covenants are enforced, where common landscapes are maintained, where walking trails are available, where a Green Scene is active, where physical facilities such as mail kiosks are maintained and renewed, and where external roadsides are kept clean by concerned citizens.
Finally, of course, I would point out that any investment you make is compounded daily by the volunteer efforts of the small army of skilled and dedicated people who make all these things happen. In the final analysis, you are the only one who can decide whether you’re getting something of value for the $11 a month that you’re required to pay. I find that the more I make use of what’s available to enrich my life in Fearrington, the more value I see in the $11 a month that it costs me for the assessment.