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.
Vote in March. It’s your community.