End Of 2012 Report For Crime Data

tumblr_me3yg6UzUy1rbvjfno1_400

This animated gif will eventually be self explanatory.

First off we’d like to thank all of you who have been supportive in keeping San Tan Heights as crime free as possible. We saw a 21% increase in suspicious activity calls in 2012 over 2011. No place is ever 100% crime free, but by you calling in to the PCSO when something doesn’t seem right helps tremendously.

The unfortunate thing is that other critical numbers went up/down:

Type of Call                            Number of Calls          Percentage of Increase/Decrease

THEFT                                      82                                      + 11%
CRIMINAL DAMAGE                  60                                      + 33%

SUSPICIOUS PERSON                58                                       -3%
SUSPICIOUS VEHICLE               32                                      -11%

You can download the spreadsheet for the 2012 end of year report here.

It’s not for lack of trying in getting the word out.  But the sad thing is there is only a small portion of San Tan Heights that knows about the Block Watch. Did we get about 1000 views a month on the website in 2012? Yes. Is our reach on Facebook about 400 weekly? Yes. Are the hits on the weekly crime maps around 100? You bet! Problem is, it’s the same people and it’s not growing as we’d like it to.

If you’re reading this now you probably already use the website to get information ranging from sex offender notices, fraud and id theft, crime reporting, drug abuse prevention, home safety, vehicle theft prevention and most importantly (in my opinion) the hotspot crime maps. These maps I update usually on a daily basis. They are meant as a heads up for you to see what’s been reported in your neighborhood. It alerts you and the more eyes on a problem area the better.

Yet only a small portion of San Tan Heights gets access to this information. Why?

Part of the problem is that our HOA does not actively advertise that there is a Block Watch. That said, we do have a link on the HOA website and we make monthly Board Reports at the HOA meetings. But it doesn’t get our word out.

A). Only a handful of residents actually show up to our HOA meetings, and

B). Very few people actually click the link from the HOA website. I track this stuff on the back end of this website.

At events our brochures are not allowed at the HOA table. The brochures are not allowed in the onsite office, either.

Last June I did a post regarding the relationship between the HOA and your Block Watch and how it has degraded over the last year. Our faltering relationship with the Board didn’t really affect the Block Watch until the Trayvon Martin case happened in Florida. That is when this Board used this as an excuse citing liability issues to the HOA and pulled all of our brochures out of the office.

Well, we’ve changed all of our media to reflect that San Tan Heights Community Watch is a stand alone entity and not affiliated with the HOA, firmly taking care of any liability issues that were initially brought up by the Board. Yet the brochures are still not allowed in the office. The numbers reflect that to limit the amount of people who can access good safety information on their community has a negative impact on the safety and well being of their community. You can refer to the numbers above.

In a Board meeting on May 31st I asked the Board to vote on registering San Tan Heights Community Watch with the National Sheriff’s Association registry for Block Watches. Here is an excerpt from the post on that vote:

I will say this in favor of the Board… we pushed for a vote in the May 31st meeting and they agreed 4-2 to spend the 45$ to register San Tan Heights Community Watch on the National Sheriff’s Association registry for Block Watches. As it turns out this was not necessary as we are registered, along with 22,000 other Block Watches, with the USAonWatch  program which the National Sheriff’s Association recognizes.

For those who have made it this far in this admittedly long read and are curious who voted AGAINST adding San Tan Heights Community Watch to the registry, they are Karen Mooney (President of our HOA) and Gino Duran (a Director of our HOA and in law enforcement from what I hear).

———-

You can make up your own minds on this, but we are selling about 40 new homes a month in San Tan Heights. We are 10 months behind on getting pertinent safety  information to those new home owners. If we only got 5% of those 400 homes involved that would be 40 extra people (husband and wife) looking out for your neighborhoods. That’s pretty huge.

But we’ve been stifled by this Board. It’s kind of like when politicians play cards with other politicians and your well being is in the pot. You’re just being shuffled around.

The saying goes something like this. “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

There are four positions on our HOA Board coming up for election this year. Barring no significant change to my work schedule, I plan to run for a position on our HOA Board and start to fix this.

This community looks the worse it ever has, including when we were facing bankruptcy.

  • Lets green up all these areas we call “green belts” which have been brown for months because we have a surplus of money. Use this surplus to enhance the community.
  • Lets plant [cost effective] grass like the County said in the areas affected by the July 2012 monsoon and get rid of the piles of granite in the wash along Mountain Vista that have been there the last seven months. This has been an eyesore from day one yet this Board has continually tabled any motion on improvements to further investigate the options. Initially they wanted to just hand out the contract to Pure Green (our landscape company). This never went out to bid. Just write them a check. This is NOT the way to do business.
  • Can you wait seven months to make a decision in your house? Me either…here is the video of the flooding. BTW… Grass is significantly cheaper and ok with the County.
  • The main arteries of this community went months without being landscaped properly. Older plants went untrimmed while the new ones got hacked down to nothing and replaced at extra cost to the community.

And to top it off… crime is up.

We started San Tan Heights Community Watch to ensure safety, well being AND retain home values for our community. This Board has led us down the wrong path. That said, it takes a majority vote to go there… that’s four votes.

If we can get four new pro-active, pro-community home owners to run maybe we can change the way our community looks and operates. I’m game.

Sometimes jumping out of airplanes can be pretty cool.

tumblr_me3yg6UzUy1rbvjfno1_400

Vote in March. It’s your community.

Advertisements

About Jeff

Long time volunteer in the San Tan Valley/Queen Creek area of Arizona.

Posted on January 4, 2013, in From STHCW and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Why do we have a new landscape company? Why was it not put out for bids? The community looks like H@ll. We need new leadership again!!!

    • Don, Pure Green (our new landscape company) is the result of the bidding process. There were other bids involved and Pure Green won the contract. That said, the targeted “greening” of STH (main parks and front entrances) had to be a Board decision presumably to save money. I’m not privy to what goes on inside exec sessions, nor are any documents found online as far as meeting minutes – not too sure how legal that is. So finding the reasoning behind this decision can be tricky if you’re not some kind of mental genius that has the ability to remember everything in life and financially sound enough to attend every HOA meeting.

      But yes, this community looks terrible and the HOA dues we pay in San Tan Heights is more than most of the communities in the immediate area. Which look pretty good if you take a drive around in them.

  2. If you really want to get the word out why don’t you just go around and put a flyer on every door in the neighborhood saying something along the lines of; as a homeowner are you aware that San tan heights has a community watch? Join us for our next meeting and like us on Facebook where you can be made aware of neighborhood happenings as well as view neighborhood hot spot crime maps. You would reach a ton of people that way.

    • Agreed this is one way of getting the word out. We are working class folks that commute, work and shop then come home and figure everything else out. To put flyers on doors is an expense I’m not willing to incur, everything we do is pro bono. The original Board saw the value in what that, this Board does not. That is why for the most part all of the people in the volunteer committees pretty much bailed. I know, I Chaired the Communications Committee. We had several very dedicated people whose core purpose was to spread the word that San Tan Heights is a great place to live and play. We created and branded San Tan Heights with the logo you see on all the communications, those banners on the entrances that were left to deteriorate before those seasonal banners went up we also created. But I’m done working for this Board. So my intent is to change the culture of the Board.

      BTW – when you see those cute emails in you inbox looking for volunteers, it’s because everyone bailed on them.

      • Jeff, I completely understand this a totally pro bono thing you are doing. Do you know about the number of houses this community has?

      • Honestly I’d have to call the office for an exact number. Somewhere between 3200 and 3700 I believe.

        Just to be clear… this isn’t just me that’s upset with how things are going around here. I know five other people that are thinking about running as well. They are all committed to this community, have either been on committees serving STH or have been on the Board before. The common denominator is that we all are striving to make this a development we can all be proud of. Which is not the case at the moment.

      • So it would cost right around 60 bucks to reach 3000 houses to get the word out about the community watch program. Seems relatively inexpensive to possibly have a big impact on the neighborhood. The HOA would not fork over 60 bucks for printing to get this done?

      • Well thank you for doing that leg work! They may be willing, but the implied issue is that by the HOA doing this it may be construed as some sort of an endorsement and creating a liability to the HOA. We’ve put disclaimers on everything. It’s personal.

        As long as there are certain residents on the Board that can basically put a Vulcan Mind Meld on the majority (read can’t think for themselves) it’s an uphill battle.

        Feel free to make that suggestion in public forum, but the president has an uncanny sense of timing for calling the meeting to a close when she does not want something addressed. I’ve seen it many times.

  3. Jeff, I am pleased to know that you will run for the Board. I myself will run again. I did my 30 months on the first homeowner board; had almost two years off and now its time again. Ethically, professionally, financially, operationally and esthetically, there are issues that need to be addressed.

    I am with you. By the way great job on the crime report posting and bringing the issue to the forefront. The block watch serves an enormous benefit to the community. It in no way subjects the HOA to any liability as its activities are those of an independent / unaffiliated non profit organization. The benefit is all positive. The very fact that the HOA has the availability of this information and chooses not to support its distribution to its own homeowners is disturbing indeed.

    You have my vote.

    • That is a huge endorsement, thank you Rich.

      Regarding the distribution of information; if you’re on the HOA mailing list you received the link to the quarterly HOA newsletter yesterday. We used to have a spot in there. As a matter of fact we did an article and submitted it before the deadline for this issue. It was kicked by the Board. I resubmitted with corrections and added the disclaimer which I completely glossed over on the first draft. The [missing] disclaimer wasn’t even addressed by the Board in the version which was denied.

      Our article STILL didn’t make it in the newsletter AND we didn’t get any further communication from Rossmar & Graham reflecting that it would not be entered or if there were other issues. So this whole thing may go beyond the Board as this sort of non action is actually passive-aggressive behavior. We pay the wages of those people sitting in the office and to disrespect not only a resident in good standing (current with HOA dues) but a volunteer in this community for the last seven years is so far from acceptable.

      So maybe we need to address the bigger picture in the future.

    • When and where are the block watch meetings? New homeowners and would like to get involved.

      • Ronna, after a few years of trying to be a traditional Block Watch and watching the attendance numbers at meetings slowly go down we decided to go more with social media. We get the info and push it out so people can stay informed on what’s going on.

        The phenomenon is not unusual as we’ve seen many Block Watches just dry up and go away. But by using social media we’ve got a pretty good base. At our peak, meeting attendance was around 40 people at a meeting per month. Through social media we reach on average 300 a week (this week – it changes).

        But we are always trying new ways to reinvent; talked to a woman tonight about guest bloggers on the website which quite frankly would be a blessing. Many popular blogs do the same thing and it keeps things fresh.

        So at this point I can not advise about a meeting, only that we give out our information via the website which you can subscribe too, Like the Facebook page or Follow us on Twitter. Or all three. All of these sites are open for comments so your voice is heard, good or bad. We welcome the dialog.

        If you have concerns and would like to meet we are open for that as well. The more people that are looking out the better. We try to tell newcomers that if you talk to the people on either side of your house and the one across the street about a Block Watch and how it works, and they do the same, it would be golden. 🙂

        Jeff

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: