In the original post I included a letter I sent to my cluster president, who has since retired from the position. When I wrote to him, I mistakenly made the wild assumption that he was a like minded conservative. Boy was I wrong! I never got a reply from him and so I decided to show up at the next board meeting and ask to speak in person. I sat through two very tedious hours of bureaucratic wrangling over the little issues that are so common to community living where every little detail becomes a very big deal. It may be best described as “much ado over nothing much.”
Democrat proudly displaying her Hate Has No Home Here
sign along side her Liberal poster, but these signs are "
not political?" Like heck they aren't!
When it was time finally in the agenda for any “New Business,” I raised my hand and asked to speak. I began by saying how impressed I am at the willingness of the board to volunteer their time to the proper management of our common cluster interests which make living in my neighborhood a positive and pleasant experience. So far the board was with me. Then I said, HOWEVER, I was very sad to see signs appear on the lawns of several of the neighbor’s expressing what I believe is a direct affront to anyone who voted for Donald Trump. I said I was sad to see that for political reasons alone any neighbor would be made to feel unwanted and unwelcomed to live here. I told the board I had tried to resolve the issue by contacting the president, but since I had received no response, I had come to the full board to get their cooperation in ridding our neighborhood of this divisive propaganda.The president then emphatically stated that the board would NOT be taking any action against these signs and that it was me who was being the “divider” by making such a “fuss over the issue.”
I believe the board could have given a gentle nudge to the homeowners that had the signs, to remove them soon, and end this display of partisanship. It was made clear to me that was not going to happen and the meeting was adjourned.The following day I went to the Reston Design and Review Board and spoke to my cluster counselor about filing formal complaints against the signs based solely on their SIZE. Reston has in their infinite wisdom decided these signs are not political so they do not fall under the guidelines which require political signs to disappear within a few days after an election, but there is a regulation that governs all signs which is SIZE. No sign may be posted other than a realtor’s sign that is bigger than 1’ x 1’ and it must be displayed at ground level. Therefore, the existing “Hate Has No Home Here” signs were a violation of rules.
Six complaints were filed. From there things moved at a snail’s pace. The Reston office first had to come to the cluster and see firsthand that my complaint was real, that the signs did exist as I said they did. The homeowners were sent a letter of complaint and asked to remove them or change their size and position to comply with our rules. They were given six weeks to do so. A second inspection by the Reston Assoc. was made to see if they had complied. If they did, no action was taken. If they were still in place, a second warning to comply was sent with the threat of a lien on the property if they didn’t act as required. Again, another six weeks went by and a second inspection was made.Having a lien on your property is a royal pain in the a___, so after this all the signs either disappeared or were replaced by a tiny sign, less obnoxious and close to the ground.
One neighbor, an appraiser of private jet aircraft---someone who has no doubt benefited from the Trump economy, stood his liberal ground and decided to erect a blaze orange flag with the same message and in multiple languages. There is no rule about flags in Reston, if they are hung from a pole attached to your house. (Flag poles are a different story.)After a few weeks, this flag also disappeared. I suppose you could say, he made his point and got over it. I still believe it was important to take formal action against the signs, because rot unchecked only grows and pretty soon it is hard to know where it all began. It was a stressful bother to take action against neighbors I would prefer to simply get along with, but it had to be done for them to understand where their rights stop.
We have new next door neighbors who are from India. Both he and she have PHD’s in technical scientific fields. Very smart people, kind and friendly. When they first moved in we welcomed them. Since we share a common mailbox post we have occasion to engage them in conversation regularly. One day this past summer the wife accidentally locked herself out of the house on her upper level deck which has no egress by stairs. She was stuck out there with not even a chair to sit in for at least two hours in an extremely humid heat that hovered around 100 degrees. She was finally heard calling for help by someone walking their dog and we were alerted to her situation since she thought we might have a key to her house, left by the previous owners. We did not, but we were able at least to toss her some bottled water and a bag of ice and a cup and a folding chair which my husband managed to lift over her railing using a ladder. We called her husband to come home and rescue her, but it was nearly an hour before he arrived, since his job is some distance away. In the meantime, I stood on my porch and kept her company, making sure she did not exhibit signs of the need for an ambulance.
She expressed tremendous gratitude for our assistance and then she said, “You know, when we moved here, I was sure you must be Democrats like us, since you are both so nice. You are always so friendly and I saw that you fed lunch to the men who work in your garden. But then, I saw you put up the flag and the bunting on your porch and garage doors and I thought maybe…., maybe, they are Republicans.” (EGADS!!! LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS!!)I said, “We are Catholics and therefore we are Republicans because we cannot vote for the things Democrats support.”
She said, “We have always voted for Democrats because we believe in democracy.”I guess if you have to have a belief in something, democracy is not a bad thing, but what a shame it is that so many really smart people have no clue what liberal politics are really all about. Whether I will ever convince her that Republicans are not the demons she imagines us to be is yet to be seen. In the meantime, they, like all liberals continue to believe they are better than we are because they want “what is best for everyone,” while we are only interested in making money and restricting “the rights” of others.
And so the madness of this world continues and before long the next election season will be upon us with Trump running against who knows what or whom. St. Michael, get your sword ready. We are going to need it.