EDITOR‘S NOTE: The Lindale News and Times welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be in the neighborhood of 500 words, be in good taste and are subject to editing.

Dear Editor,

The flooding in Houston created numerous stories of heartbreak and devastation that impacted the lives of thousands of Texans some of which flow back to Hideaway.

Imagine the excitement of a young couple, formerly of Hideaway, buying their first house and the anguish of it being washed away before the first mortgage payment was made. Imagine being the concerned mother, still living in Hideaway, not knowing fully how to help ease the stress of the situation on her daughter and son-in-law except to take in the couple‘s new dogs while they tried to reconstruct their lives.

Imagine how Hideaway has handled this personal tragedy and human interest story involving a current and former resident. Did they do a fund raiser to provide some assistance like the son-in-law‘s hometown?

Hideaway issued a citation and fine to the mother for having too many pets.

Can you imagine?

Hideaway used to be a peaceful community with amenities for older residents and younger ones alike. When did it lose all compassion? When did its citizens become vindictive and uncaring? As often is the case, individual examples are symptomatic of larger issues especially when they are not as random or infrequent as we would all hope.

To identify the cause of the issues, one needs to look no further than to those who purport to work for the community and have its interests at heart.

Other issues include having a problem maintaining members on its board of directors, an abundance of closed door meetings, repeated special elections to fill vacant and unexpired board seats.

Selective enforcement of the rules and regulations of the community is a problem as well, such as discrepancies regarding cars for sale by residents as compared to a local car dealer; the request for the removal of dead trees which posed no threat to anyone‘s property as opposed to any number of dead trees visible throughout the community and a warning letter being issued for an expired license plate on an unused vehicle while the head of security drove around with an expired license on his boat trailer for months.

There are surely many, many more examples of arbitrary, spiteful and inconsistent acts that have been endured by Hideaway residents.

Sadly, as punitive and selective as the enforcement of Hideaway rules has become, we have been told in conversation with ranking members of the community that 90 percent of the issues find their genesis in complaints of neighbors against other neighbors.

Those conversations also revealed that perceived wealth seems to find its way into the enforcement equation.

Nonetheless, this community needs a sweeping change in its culture and apparently some fiscal control. Those changes need to start with a fresh approach which can only begin with a clearing of the house of paid, so-called community leaders.

Frank Forest

Hideaway

Kilgore News Herald

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