Eleven members and staff of the Surfside Homeowners Association volunteered thousands of hours of their precious time since March 2006 as members of a task force to benefit all 2,000 lot owners in Surfside. These volunteer members and staff met for two hours each Friday for 15 months, plus travel and preparation time, to review the current covenants, and to propose new and updated covenants to benefit all SHOA members.

A Covenant Hearing for SHOA members was conducted last Saturday. Fewer than 3.6 percent of the total membership attended the hearing. And less than one percent of the total membership, including one candidate for the Board of Trustees, shared their reactions to the proposed covenants with those present. Some speakers impugned the motives of the volunteers, who contributed so much time and effort, by comparing them and the results of their work to that of the dictatorial Chancellor of Germany from 1933-1945, and to the Nazi Party.

As an elected representative of all SHOA members, and on their behalf, I wish to publicly apologize to the members of the task force, and to the current members of the Board of Trustees, who worked so hard and so long for all of us. You deserve far better.

In closing, I am reminded that Walt Kelly's comic strip "Pogo" is timeless. Recall the character "Simple J. Malarky," and what Pogo said when he realized that "we'uns is they'uns." He said, "There is no need to sally forth [to join battle] for it remains true that those things which make us human are curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve, then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tiny blasts of tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, but he may be us."

Jimmie R. Applegate

SHOA President

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