Valuing Our Neighborhood Associations!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
October 2, 2008
Aside from our families and our homeowner's insurance policy, there is perhaps nothing more important in the temporal world of our community than our neighborhood association. Being the master of your own household is important, but after that what about the surrounding homes and their inhabitants? The price or newness of the homes in the neighborhood is no guarantee of the quality of the immediate community in which we live.
It is the neighborhood association working with selfless people of goodwill that raises the quality of life more directly than perhaps anything else. Members of neighborhood associations often bring with them the priceless influence of other indispensable organizations to bear on the work of the association. Among others they are: church, PTA, international service organizations and many more.
The neighborhood association conducts a constant vigil over the most critical of elements of a good neighborhood:
- Any items deemed critical by the neighbors (drug dealers, code compliance, inappropriate use of property adjoining homes, etc.)
- Security, including law enforcement, cellular on patrol and SAFFE officers
- Fire protection
- Quality of life, including code enforcement
- Streets & drainage
- Economic development
It is the above critical items on the "neighborhood agenda" that compelled me to form my own neighborhood association over twenty-five years ago along with a very lofty group of neighbors and to perform this important work.
About a month ago, this newspaper announced the unfortunate closing of a neighborhood association in our community. Significantly the association appeared to have lacked the support of the younger members of the community. This is a challenge we see in all organizations.
John Maxwell in his "21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" speaks to the 21st Law being the law of succession. The need for associations and community organizations to continually seek out new blood is never ending and ongoing. Meeting the challenge of succession however, is more readily accomplished when the goals of the organization are seen as clear and compelling.
It is with this in mind that Bexar County allocated $10,000.00 to the Neighborhood Resource Center for the purpose of building membership in our neighborhood associations. Development of youth leadership in our high schools and colleges must be emphasized.
Also, those who share a passion for just plain old good neighborhoods like the ones many of us grew up in, should be the focus as well. Air-conditioning, cable TV, computers and the internet draws us inside our homes. If we were out on the porches to gain a keener sense about what is going on in our neighborhoods our communities and the associations that wish to enhance them would be stronger. Will you join me by joining your neighborhood association or stepping up to lead your community to a better place to live?