I was absent from AR much of last week because I was part of a neighborhood group of 400+ homeowners that were opposed to this large building project that is slated to go into our area. Imagine a house with a nice open living room, and you tell the sellers to cram as much stuff inside to the ceiling as possible and that it will actually be BETTER than what they had before! That is what this project is like - 5 stories, 54 units per acre! There is nothing like it in our region. The City of Roseville wants to build an urban condo and retail center right in the heart of my neighborhood. This is a great project - there are many of them in the U.S. - but this project belongs in a city center, not surrounded by thousands of houses away from any major employers, no transportation, and no retail.
There we were, crammed in the City Council chambers to say our peace. Only allotted 30 minutes, 6 key speakers presented the information on behalf of our group and I sat listening to each present valid arguments against moving forward (I was the behind the scenes communicator for the group). You know I was so disappointed because the council members did not listen to one thing shared with them - and read their prepared speeches at the end. It was evident to me that the people's voice did not matter - the builder's pockets did. The people heading up the opposition invested hundreds of hours of researching documents that had some serious flaws and raising important questions, but in the end, none of it mattered. And so engrossed in the hope that we could make a difference, I was so disappointed when not one city council member stopped to think and wait for more answers.
It was a moment of pure disillusionment for me.
That idealistic part of me that thinks everything is going to be fair, still exists.
The good side - It sure made me thankful for what I do as a Stager! Where my voice is heard - and people do listen - our clients listen. And they pay US for our expertise - and we are HELPING them!! And when we share from our expertise and ideas to help them, they are grateful. Gosh it is so much easier! When we prepare a report or advise on a vacant house, people actually do what we say (well, most of the time :-)) . . . and we really do make a difference in how the house sells, how much money the seller keeps, how much the Realtor earns, and how a buyer finds a home.
That is pure joy!!
Civic pride aside - I'll stay as as Stager, thank you. - Jennie