Tuesday, April 24

Jacksonville Neighborhood Bill of Rights Means Something Or Other

While I don't appreciate the fact that several Jacksonville entities, including my aldermen, ignored emails from me, I can have some solace in the fact that there's a Jacksonville Neighborhood Bill of Rights. Right? Not really. It means that the HOA president can get emails answered, I suppose. But it's really a CITIZEN's Bill of Rights.

My HOA had five member households show up for the elections, along with maybe less than the needed number of signed letters allowing someone else to vote. That meant there was no vote. That meant the same president and top members from last year, maybe the last decade. And that also means however things have been going will continue in the same way. If our HOA is good with something, that necessarily means I am, too, according to the Neighborhood Bill of Rights. I don't like that.

I should not have to run for office or organize my neighbors in order to be heard by my elected officials. Why is that a thing here? I understand that the HOA leaders should get priority, as an elected member of the neighborhood, and I would defer to that person in most matters. But if I have something to say, it shouldn't result in a deleted email just because I'm not elected to a position. Based on the turnout at the HOA election, it's really impossible to even get elected to a minor position, which would mean I could be a treasurer through an appointment, and still not be the person to whom elected officials will interact.

I can't believe there are so many people sitting around firing off emails that they can't be responded to. The city website even warns that the email address becomes public, which is stupid, but it's probably in order to thwart citizen attempts to get involved. When I am forced to talk on the phone, anything could be said or promised, but an email is an official record, and it seems no one wants to write something down in response to a question.

Here's the City of Jacksonville Neighborhood Bill of Rights, just in case you can't find it online.

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