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HSVPOA Board’s Hard Work Begins

By Former Board Director, Frank Leeming,

April 30, 2020

POA board’s hard work begins next Wednesday; where are all those federal dollars coming from?

Musings from a very quiet home front:

Does it seem like it’s been raining a lot?  You’re right.  In the first four months this year, we’ve had 28.06 inches of rain – 9.75 inches, or 53.3 percent, above average.

Precipitation HSV 1995 to 2020, Jan.-April


It’s another sign of global warming.  In each of the last six years, rainfall in the first four months has been above normal.

Now comes the real work

A pat on the back to new POA board chair Diana Podawiltz for two things:

  • Having the guts to tackle important issues right away.
  • Having the integrity to acknowledge she and the new board went too fast too soon.  It was a good learning experience.

The real work will begin at the Wednesday work sessions on May 6 and 13.

Habits could be changed

Breaking long-established habits will be one of the pandemic-induced changes having  the longest impacts on our society.

Back in the early 1970s, I was the city editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer when the Teamsters went on strike.  Without the huge fleet of trucks, we couldn’t deliver our newspaper and had to shut down.

Our biggest fear was the habit of reading the paper every morning would be broken.  Once broken, it’s very hard to restore.

When the strike ended, we launched a massive promotion campaign to bring readers back.  We bought eight new Corvette convertibles to give away in a lottery for new subscribers.  Joyce drove one of the fancy cars around the region for over a week modeling the cars and promoting the program.

Think of all the habits you’ve broken in this pandemic.  Many you’ll discover you don’t miss.  I don’t miss some of the sports we used to watch on television or eating out as much as we did.  Will the habit of going to club meetings or church change?  A lot of challenges to be faced when this ends.

Where does it come from?

I’m sorry, I don’t get it.  How can our government keep giving away all this money?  Where is it coming from?  How are we going to pay it back?  Why do you and I have to balance our budgets at home while the federal government can go $4 trillion in debt this year?  Why should tens of thousands of businesses go bankrupt or out of business, while others like airlines are bailed out?

Our demographics help

Yes, Hot Springs Village is a unique community.  We’re older.  Fewer of us work.  We wouldn’t live here if we didn’t embrace the solitude and low-key lifestyle.  And I’m proud of the way we’ve rallied around the need for social isolation to beat the virus.  This is probably why we haven’t had a case reported in the Village … at least that I’ve heard about.

A book and real life

A good way to scramble your mind: With all the pandemic news coming in from every direction, Joyce and I recently read After Sundown, a new novel by Linda Howard and Linda Jones.

 It’s about a small community in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee near where we used to live.  The earth is hit by a massive coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun, which wipes out all electricity and most electronics.

The book is about how the community comes together to care for each other, finds enough food and water, stays warm in the winter, and wards off bad guys.  If you think being self-quarantined is bad, think about having no electricity, no running water, no internet or phones for months on end. 

Reading the book and then reading about today’s pandemic was quite a ride.

Still in control

If you receive the weekly Village Digest eblast, you probably also receive the excellent daily POA report on the pandemic.  It contains the latest information on what’s going on and exhorts us to stay home and self-quarantined.

 That hasn’t stopped our CEO from being petty and insisting property owners leave their home and come to the locked POA Building to copy reports and other information they request when it would be so easy to simply email the material.

The good news:  Since the new board was sworn in she hasn’t been denying access to the information and saying if you don’t like her ruling, appeal it to the board.  She knows the new board would probably slap her down.

Need 14 straight days

As you know, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has adopted the three-phase plan to re-open society.

Phase One says the following can open “under strict physical distancing protocols:”

  • Large venues such as churches, sit-down dining, movie theaters, and sporting events.
  • Gyms.
  • Elective surgeries on an outpatient basis.

Still to be closed: Schools, youth activities, visits to senior living facilities and bars.

For Phase One to kick in, the state has to have 14 consecutive days with reduced numbers of new coronavirus cases.  Today the number went up again, so the soonest things should open under Phase One would be May 14.

One strange thing the governor said yesterday: When restaurants open for dine-in eating, patrons are expected to wear their masks.  Sort of hard to eat with a mask on.




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