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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Building a society by agreement

The evolution of civilized neighborhoods, villages, cities, states and nations and their sustainability stems from the concept that we can live peacefully and equally in any given community whose members agree to abide by consensus rules and guidelines, for short, society by agreement.

Here in the Puerto Aventuras resort, it requires all stakeholders to observe existing rules and expectations required to sustain consensus. For example, and a vexing problem here as elsewhere, is the voluntary agreement that property owners will render, on time, condo and Colonos fees, a pledge that is understood when signing into this society as a property owner. Timely payment of fees is what sustains our security force, our infrastructure, our credit, our particular society…and our sanity.

Since expectations here lack the full force of civil law, such as the Colonos itself, most condo associations report difficulties collecting fees from a few owners, while the Colonos must also wait for payments from some quarters that evidently do not take these timely commitments seriously enough. There seems to be consensus agreement among varied condo vigilance committees that some relatively simple but effective mechanism is needed to enforce our agreements, such as denying the scofflaws use of common property like water supply and other amenities. Condo Esmeralda Torres’vigilance committee has just adopted monetary penalties. Owners in arrears three months will be assessed a 6 percent penalty. Six months in arrears will be tagged 12 percent until all arrears are paid. The question is: How do associations collect interest when they lack a mechanism to collect the fees in the first place?

Like a pretzel it’s another knotty problem worth debating on a Colonos level. No?

This and other issues underscore the foundation of a consensus society spawned and nurtured by open debate and, barring prohibitive circumstances, rule by majority agreement. This is illustrated by recent correspondence received from two owners, offering food for thought on contrary views of an issue. The following quotes are excerpted from their letters to illustrate differences in expectations.

From Donna Carey year-round resident and business owner: (Some people have received the full letter directly from Ms. Carey):

“At the recent Colonos meeting, I was surprised to hear one of the members of the Board say that he grapples with the problem of who to allow into our little town.  As I understood what was said, the issue is that homeowners do not want to let anyone else in the town for security reasons and businesses want to let more people in for economic reasons.

“If you look around the Central Commercial Area, you will see a slow stranglehold in progress.  Of course, two years of a very slow economy hasn’t helped the situation.   There are too many commercial spaces available for rent.  And even though a couple of businesses have changed hands, the new owners are realizing that a lack of possible clients is making things very difficult for everyone.

“The businesses in Puerto Aventuras are not able to receive the benefit of an open market economy.  And there have been occasions when people have been turned away at the front gate when they want to come to restaurants.  Profiling is frustrating for everyone.

SUPPORTING local business

“Local businesses depend on the people of Puerto Aventuras to support them and yet it doesn’t seem that many homeowners from Puerto come to the Central Commercial Area anymore.  Ergo, a slow, painful strangulation is in the works as people opt to go out to Playa and other parts instead of the marina.  This can’t be good for Puerto.

“I know many of our full time residents are also looking closely at their personal economies and budgets.  And many of the businesses offer local discounts and specials for locals.  But it seems that very few take advantage of these.  If the homeowners of Puerto are not able to support the Central Commercial Area and the front gate is not opened for outsiders to come in, we are facing yet another Mexican Standoff.  The results will be more businesses going out of business with attendant property values going down… who wins in this?  Once again, we have to realize that we are all on the same team!”

From Alicia Venturi, native of Argentina living in the USA, a vacation condo owner:

“I like to see that many of us who are not yet living in Mexico for a long period…are trying to make Puerto Aventuras a safe place. Working together we can do it and you guys (?) are doing it. I believe security as a gated community should be enforced. If not, why are we paying high expenses? Part of being in a gated community and in a condo is to be protected and feel safe.”

GATED COMMUNITIES are as old as recorded time, albeit we’ve lost the moats and the drawbridge concepts and natives no longer attack the forts.

So, what’s YOUR view? Send us your comments!

 

BRIEFLY SAID……

The SuperChe building on 307 across from the Puerto resort continues to move along at a good pace as the photo below by Betsy Amy-Vogt shows, with the outer wall at left being erected now that the metal work,right, appears to have been completed. Once the building is enclosed, workers can move swiftly to complete the inside and hopefully meet a pre-holiday season completion date. Waco Kid reports the sign for the proposed new Pemex station on the same side of the highway is still up but no work has begun on the project.

The overpass project in Playa appears to have slowed a bit. The southern portion is ahead of the northern part. Some of it is paved, the side rails are up and the light posts in place. Hopefully it will be completed by the end of the year, meaning that early returnees from the North Country will still have delays passing through Playa for a while longer.

Hurricane Paula was a no-show and we can all be happy about that, particularly people from the northeast U.S. and Cape Cod who narrowly escaped a humdinger of a hurricane that tracked off to sea and just brushed the coastline. Waco says, “We got very little rain and no wind.”

The Recreation Committee has been stalled again, says Waco. He says Armando Rincon, Colonos GM, is trying to arrange a meeting with an architect to come up with a design for an all-encompassing park but it is tough trying to get people together. Contact has been made with several agencies/groups in the US about donating sports equipment and the Houston ISD, which is one of the largest in the nation, is willing to donate some old equipment. One of the problems is trying to get it down here – how do we get it through customs and who is going to pay for having it shipped?” Good question.

DON’T FORGET THE ROAD RACE IS NOV. 21. SEE PREVIOUS STORIES BELOW FOR DETAILS.

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