Thu, July 18

Annexation remains best choice for Verde Village

That can't be said today. Recently, the VVPOA president wrote a gloom-and-doom assessment of the organization for this newspaper that came across as if she was hammering the last nail in the coffin of the association. In reality, it wasn't as much an obituary for the VVPOA as it was a call to arms for the community.

Especially for those who remember the vibrancy of the association in its heyday — folks such as Neil McLeod — it's extremely difficult to admit that its days may be numbered.

Currently, the rallying cry to stave off the demise of the VVPOA is volunteerism. Monday's general meeting of the association was a plea for volunteers to serve as directors for each of the Village's eight housing units. The association is trying to rally recruits to fill ballot spots for the annual VVPOA election in January.

But instead of a pep rally, the officers of the VVPOA need to assess exactly why it's so hard to find volunteers today. They may need to face up to the fact that Verde Village has outgrown the ability of a property owners association to govern and control what goes on in the community.

Today, there is no common bond among those who live in the eight units of Verde Village. Units 7 and 8 have developed up to the boundaries of Cottonwood's city limits. There is an entirely different set of socio-economic dynamics between those who live in the mobile home maze in Unit 3 vs. the more upscale homes found in Unit 1. Plus, there are many in Verde Village today who can't even begin to tell you what unit they live in, much less give good directions to the Verde Village Clubhouse. "Follow the blue signs. It's like a treasure hunt."

The Verde Village of today has a greater population than you'll find in the corporate limits of Cottonwood. It's no wonder volunteerism has waned in the VVPOA. It's too massive a job for a group of unpaid volunteers.

Instead of trying to recruit volunteers for a thankless job that has burnout written all over it, those few loyal people to the association need to face facts. They can choose to hang on to the VVPOA until there's no hope for survival. Or, they can make good use of the volunteers they still have in the organization to make the obvious transition to municipal control.

The best future for Verde Village involves a marriage with the City of Cottonwood. Annexation is a road we've been down many times over the years in Verde Village. In past years, one of the best arguments against annexation was the vibrancy of the VVPOA. That vibrancy has dramatically declined in the past 10 years. It's nobody's fault. The association has not failed Verde Village. The village has simply outgrown the association.

If order, housing compatibility and compliance with community standards is the goal of the VVPOA, then being associated with a municipal government is the best choice for the Verde Village of today.

The VVPOA, what's left of it, needs to put all its eggs in the basket of annexation.