Monday, February 18, 2019



THE GOOD: Hot Springs Village is a beautiful place. Scenic, mountains, lakes, golf courses, and trees. Lots of trees.          
      We have a lot of activities going on, allowing one to be as active as you please. The cost of living is low. Real estate taxes are really low. Our assessment fee is reasonable. And the price for goods and services are usually fair. This is a place you can stretch your retirement dollars to the max.
     The Village is a short drive to Hot Springs, which is a serious plus. Hot Springs is on the rise. This is a huge plus that many people in the Village don’t take advantage of. If you are missing out on Hot Springs, you are missing out on one of the biggest reasons to move to Hot Springs Village. This should be heavily marketed by our PR people. It is easily one of the top three reasons to live in the Village.
     We have a low crime rate. This may or may not be due to the gates. The gates do make getting into the Village on the sly problematic, but certainly not impossible. None-the-less, we are a relatively safe community.  Little Rock, Chicago, LA,  eat your heart out.

THE BAD:  We are a community with higher than average educational achievement and career accomplishment. This is both good and bad. Good from the vantage point that we can seek information to solve many of our problems from our own residents, if we so chose. Bad from the point of view that it is difficult to achieve a consensus among so many critical thinkers who believe they have the only viable answer(s) to whatever issue is confronting us. Egocentric leadership demands that we follow behind perceived superior leadership. In this Village, that will not work.
     Our extensive road system and the need to drive everywhere make for an undeniable dangerous situation. Unlike many retirement communities, which are designed to use golf carts to get almost anywhere you need, Hot Springs Village is spread over a vast acreage. This was due to a design plan maximizing profit from homes built on golf courses and lakes.  With a median age of 65, poor eyesight, slower reflexes, physical limitations, and darkness, all lead to a high accident rate. When you add to this alcohol and prescription pain killers, we end up with a serious problem. We are reluctant to make anyone feel bad about their alcohol and/or drug use, but feeling bad is not near as bad as feeling dead. That’s bad.
THE UGLY:  In the 14 years we have owned property in the Village, the most troubling concern I have seen is our directors and management. Our current CEO was for the most part appointed by the last manager. The directors nodded their heads in agreement. Over the past years, we have been lead down the corporate governance path rather than community-municipal path. This has led to the crisis we face today. We expect transparency, but we get secrets. We have 8 reasons to go into executive session. The state of Arkansas has 3. We expect to know how much money is being spent for what, but often we are not told. We have no idea what we are paying the CEO and other members of her staff. This, in spite of the fact that we are paying their salaries. How much is being spent by the POA to beat back our objections to the directors and CEO leading us down the corporate path? Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent by us (poa) against us (residents). This is a lose-lose situation, which in life you never want to find yourself in.
     The last vote was an undeniable rejection of the directors and CEO. We are unhappy with the direction of the Village and need to right the ship. The next election will hopefully be a big step forward in doing that. We need a board that is in charge;  transparent, inclusive, better at listening, and giving us plainspokenness, not the razzle-dazzle of uncontrolled egos, making our governance much more difficult than it need be.

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