Published: Dec 07, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Mar 05, 2012 06:45 PM
Roses to our neighbors in the Parkwood community off N.C. 54 in Durham, who showed last weekend there are things a lot more important than money.
For more than four decades, Parkwood has hosted a holiday parade that has grown to become a regular attraction not only for residents but for spectators who come from near and far to join in the good cheer.
The parade typically costs about $4,500, for security, refreshments, donations to the high school marching bands and so on. That money comes out of the Homeowners Association's reserve funds.
Three months ago, every dollar in that fund, nearly $200,000, vanished, along with the HOA's bookkeeper. The HOA board discovered hundreds of unauthorized expenditures, and police are investigating
The association had to suspend lawn services and cancel several events.
As for the holiday parade, well, no money, no parade, right?
Durham law enforcement personnel volunteered to provide security gratis. The Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department provided refreshments. The marching bands said they would march and play, donations or not. Local businesses contributed money to cover other expenses.
So last Sunday, Parkwood threw the biggest holiday parade in its history.
"If there's any kind of silver lining," said HOA president Michael Brooks, "it's that the community has really come together and stepped forward and come out to help and just went and did it."
Roses to the officials who were sworn in and took office on our local governing boards this week, and to those who departed.
In Chapel Hill, oaths of office were administered to Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and Town Council members Donna Bell, Matt Czajkowski, Jim Ward and Lee Storrow (the council's newest member and, at 21, its youngest).
And we're happy to add our voice to the resolution of appreciation the town made to Sally Greene, who decided not to seek re-election for a third term on the council this year. She did excellent work as a council member, and we'll miss her.
In Carrboro, incumbent Mayor Mark Chilton was to be sworn in Tuesday, along with incumbent Aldermen Dan Coleman and Lydia Lavelle and newcomer Michelle Johnson.
Joal Hall Broun opted not to run for a fourth term on the board and, like Greene in Chapel Hill, she leaves the town better for her having served.
On the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education, incumbents Jamezetta Bedford, Mia Day Burroughs, Mike Kelley and Annetta Steater, and new board member James Barrett, were sworn in last week.
It's not easy running a town, or a school system. You take on a tremendous responsibility, commit untold hours to reading voluminous documents and attending interminable meetings, and set yourself up as a target for public criticism.
We may sometimes complain about the decisions they make, but they deserve thanks for serving.
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