Opinion

First and last HHA meeting

HHA meeting Although I have been a resident of Hollywood Hill for 10 years, I had never attended a meeting of the Hollywood Hill Association (HHA) until last week.
   It was my first meeting. It was also my last.
   This non-governmental organization, which claims to speak for our community, most certainly does not speak for me or for anybody within my circle of friends on the Hill.
   They claim to represent 800 members, but their annual meeting had fewer than 40 attendees.
   I went to the meeting because, as a parent of four kids, I am interested in seeing the South Gateway Park project approved. I believe our community needs the park; I feel strongly that the planned uses are consistent with the lifestyle of Hollywood Hill.
   I knew HHA had questioned the project in its newsletter, so I assumed they would include the issue on its agenda. They did not.
   Instead, the evening droned on with discussions of renaming roads and with what many of us felt was an extended and pointless debate of Proposition 48.
   It's fine for them to cover these issues, if they want. But if this organization truly represented our community, if they were genuinely in touch with our concerns, they would have invited and encouraged discussion on the South Gateway project. Instead, they tried to ignore it.
   They could not. Many of the 40 people at the meeting came specifically to question their questionable stand on the park project. The Q/A period was a spirited, combative session with the HHA board getting increasingly defensive; defending their refusal to poll the local community because land use issues are, in their words, "so complicated."
   I guess they's sayin' we poor folk here on the hill just ain't a-smart-enuf to unnerstand dis real complex stuff, eh?
   Get real. It's very clear that HHA is nothing but a self-appointed, self-righteous, and self-perpertuating organization. They do not represent me, and I am insulted by their suggestion that this community is not smart enough to make sense of these issues.
   In the meeting, one of the strongest proponents of the South Gateway project was a woman who has lived on Hollywood Hill for 31 years--longer, I believe, than any of the HHA board members. They should have listened to her, instead of challenging her. They should have been thoughtful, instead of reactive.
   Based on this experience, I don't believe we can trust HHA to act in our best interests. I will have nothing to do with their organization.

Tony Dirksen, Woodinville