In the last several years, the way that GHI’s Maintenance Department manages common spaces has changed significantly from when we first moved to the neighborhood twelve years ago. At that time, common areas were actively managed by staff. Now, many common areas have been overtaken by invasives. These areas have not been weeded or maintained for several years. Similarly, there are woody patches of common area near the inner pathway that have been overrun with noxious weeds– poison ivy– for several years, despite members who have called attention to the areas.
Of course, our common areas are mowed by a landscape contractor now. I’m not sure whether that was the case twelve years ago– but I am sure that twelve years ago, there were not piles of dead branches piled in common areas that no one seems to be responsible for picking up. The lawnmowers aren’t responsible for it, and no one from GHI picks them up either. Similarly, there doesn’t seem to be anyone responsible for annual maintenance of parking lots or sidewalks. There are swathes of mud and dirt encroaching on court parking lots, and some parts of the inner pathway are unnavigable after rain storms because of clogged channel drains and slippery, silted surfaces. In some cases, the mud has been there long enough for weeds to also creep in– meaning that this, too, is a multi-year maintenance oversight.
There is also a shift in the way that tree removal contractors are managed. In my immediate neighborhood, there are at least two places where trees were removed, ground was disturbed, and the landscaping company was not held to account by GHI management to tidy up after themselves. The result is uneven terrain (and in one case, a large, deep hole that has still not been filled) that creates walking hazards to all small children and people who walk dogs.
This could be a lament about the decline of services at GHI, or a dig at the lack of direct supervision by management of its contractors. However, it is not. This is an appeal to the membership as individuals to care about the common areas, and proactively lobby for maintenance to maintain your neck of the woods. If individual members ask directly for staff to fix situations that they encounter in daily life, the whole neighborhood benefits. The direct phone number to do so is 301-474-6011.