By JESSICA KRAMPE
Highland Park Neighborhood Association met for their annual meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 1212 London Drive.
Food including lasagna, chicken, pasta salad and fruit covered the tables. Chairs were set up in a semi-circle, and people casually chatted. Neighbors gathered for this picnic that also included a guest speaker and a business meeting. Its main purpose: to elect this year’s officers.
The positions to be filled included president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. Elections are held each September go into effect immediately.
Anyone is able to run as an officer, and taking such a responsibility is based on a volunteer basis. For 2010, Highland Park has a new team in charge of the neighborhood:
President: Nancy Holliday
Vice president: Mary Jane Nicholas
Secretary: Cathy Dodson
Treasurer: Kristin Kunze
Holliday is entering her seventh year as the neighborhood’s president. She said she plans to keep on indefinitely.
“I like to take care of my neighborhood,” she said.
After electing the officers, the business meeting expanded into updates and concerns. Problems raised included lack of keeping up yards and rough places in the roads, specifically between London Drive and Rowe Lane.
Paying dues was discussed as a necessity this year because a directory is to be printed this winter. The association prints 150 copies, leaving extras for people who move in later. The cost for the publication is about $400.
One-fourth of the neighborhood currently pays dues, and the association needs more to contribute. All contributions are voluntary. Those attending the meeting brought up suggestions to raise money.
There was also discussion on the garage sale in the spring.
Neighborhood associations are important because they foster togetherness, Kunze said.
“(The association) gets people acquainted,” Kunze said, “and it makes them aware of what is happening.”
Seventeen guests attending the business meeting, and the association would like to see more involvement from others living in Highland Park.
“I would like to recruit new members,” Dodson said. “I like to see new members, and I like to see them keep coming back.”
The association welcomed Kenney Hubble, president of Columbia Board of Realtors, to the meeting. Hubble was there to ask the neighbors to vote yes on Amendment 3 on Nov. 2 and to educate them on the ballot.
Sponsored by the Missouri Association of Realtors, Amendment 3 changes the state constitution so that real estate transfer taxes are prohibited. Transfer taxes are essentially a sales tax. Every time the property is transferred to a new owner, there is a tax on that transfer, whether it is through sale or inheritance.
The state currently has property taxes.
“It would be a double tax,” Hubble said, “so we’ve been fighting the issue.”
Highland Park contains an older section with homes older than 15 years and a newer section with homes between 10 and 15 years old. Neighbors described the area as friendly and quiet.
Bill Moyes and Alice Wondra recently bought a home in the neighborhood to rent out.
“It’s a little hidden gem,” Moyes said about the area. “There are no through streets, so you have to (enter with) a purpose.”