Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Homeowner Association: peace symbol is divisive. What happened to "peace on earth, good will towards man"?

Extracts from
Pro-Peace Symbol Forces Win Battle in Colorado Town
By Kirk Johnson for the New York Times, November 29, 2006

Last week, a couple were threatened with fines of $25 a day by their homeowners’ association unless they removed a four-foot wreath shaped like a peace symbol from the front of their house.

The fines have been dropped, and the three-member board of the association has resigned, according to an e-mail message sent to residents on Monday.

Two board members have disconnected their telephones, apparently to escape the waves of callers asking what the board could have been thinking, residents said. The third board member, with a working phone, did not return a call for comment.

In its original letter to the couple, Lisa Jensen and Bill Trimarco, the association said some neighbors had found the peace symbol politically "divisive."

A board member later told a newspaper that he thought the familiar circle with angled lines was also, perhaps, a sign of the devil.

Mr. Trimarco said he put up the wreath as a general symbol of peace on earth, not as a commentary on the Iraq war or another political statement.

In any case, there are now more peace symbols in Pagosa Springs, a town of 1,700 people 200 miles southwest of Denver, than probably ever in its history.

On Tuesday morning, 20 people marched through the center carrying peace signs and then stomped a giant peace sign in the snow perhaps 300 feet across on a soccer field, where it could be easily seen.

Town Manager Mark Garcia said Pagosa Springs was building its own peace wreath, too. Mr. Garcia said it would be finished by late Tuesday and installed on a bell tower in the center of town.

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At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Sylvia said...

I read about this story yesterday and was dumbfounded that someone, let alone a group, would find the peace sign wreath offensive. I hadn't read the follow-up, where the whole town is now showing solidarity by putting up peace signs everywhere. So I guess it turned out to be a good thing that a few misguided boobs took umbrage at this "divisive" symbol, eh?

At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GIVE-me-a-break! ~~~~Susanlynn, peace...out

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Mike said...

This isn't about peace, or symbols. This is about the banana republic type powers of Homeowners Associations.
BTW, Kearns lied when he said people complained about the wreath. No one did. He simply didn't like the wreath, or had a personality conflict with the owners, or simply felt like exercising his power. This happens all the time and it is extremely unusual for the homeowner to prevail in a situation like this.
What is truly ugly about this situation is what is going on behind the scenes.
The Community Associations Institute represents lawyers and managers who profit from out of control associations, and the subsequent legal fees they generate.
The CAI lobby’s against every piece of legislation that would constrain the power of amateur, volunteer boards across the country. The ACLU and the AARP have come out against the powers of HOAs.
Yet homeowners have not banded together (YET) to throw their money at the legislators, and the laws continue to reflect that.
Thanks to blogs such as this, the despicable truth has come out in this case.
Nice job


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