Florida: Homeowners Association Says 'No' to Evacuees
News/Comment; Posted on: 2005-09-10 22:06:19

White guilt collides with common sense.


Ocala Star-Banner


OCALA - Tammy Coggins returned to her Majestic Oaks home after a weekend in Atlanta and found the welcome mat pulled out from under her good intentions.

While communities throughout the Sunshine State and elsewhere are welcoming Hurricane Katrina's storm-weary survivors, Coggins and others in the 500-home southwest Ocala subdivision were told by their homeowners association that their deed restrictions prohibited them from doing the same.

A flier, distributed by the Majestic Oaks homeowners association on Saturday, said that rather than allowing "additional families" in the community, residents were encouraged to contribute to hurricane relief funds.

"I came from a city that opened its arms to 50,000 refugees," Coggins said. "I was shocked and angered when I came home to find this."

She was not alone.

On Tuesday, during an often contentious meeting, more than sixty residents packed the community room at Freedom Library to express their dismay over what many termed a "disgraceful" and "embarrassing" response to mounting efforts to help hurricane victims. At one point, board member Christine Beers - teary-eyed and visibly distraught - stood and apologized to the crowd saying, "I, for one, am very sorry."

Though the full board followed suit and unanimously apologized for what Lou Colainni called a "knee-jerk reaction" and what Bob Walsh said was "jumping the gun," the effect of the homeowners association's warning remains in force.

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Source: Gainsville.com • Printed from National Vanguard
( http://www.nationalvanguard.org/story.php?id=6062 )
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