One-person board gives ‘little guy’ a voice

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Idyllwild Property Owners Association, once a thriving community club, now serves the purpose of giving “the little guy a voice,” by getting discounts for its members from five different propane companies, and making anonymous donations to community causes, said its only board member, Trish Seward, acting member chair.

Seaward said she has repeatedly tried to call meetings and get others to join the board but has had no takers. Seaward does all the work — taking orders for propane, filling out propane forms and collecting a $15 annual membership fee. “Around the beginning of each year, an email is sent as a membership reminder,” Seaward said. “To those that do not have an email address, I make a telephone call.”

Ed Hansen receives a phone call from Seaward every year and gladly mails in his $15 dues to get the propane discount.

The dues are put into a CD at BBVA Compass because she wanted the funds to stay in the community. She was not willing to go on record as to the CD’s value but did say donation causes have included a local wanting to go to Ireland to learn a dance, a family whose house burned down, the Christmas Tree Lighting and, “One of the donations about three years ago was to Sadie’s Clinic,” she added. “I read that they didn’t have enough monies to continue. So the IPOA donated enough to keep the clinic available for six months and that donation was matched by another donor — enough to run the clinic for another year.”

She said, “I wait to see what’s going to occur and I make donations.” She makes the decisions alone based on “my ethics, my morality,” because no one else has stepped up. Donations are made anonymously because she doesn’t want to be involved in controversy if someone objects. She tells members who ask, where the money is spent but also tells them, “If you want to take the reins, go ahead.” But she said they usually hang up satisfied.

“I would love to be a Pine Cove [Property Owners Association] that cleans up the road and holds potlucks but I have my own business [Natural Solutions]. I don’t have time,” Seaward said.

Currently, IPOA has a little over 400 members. She believes PCPOA became so popular because it was allowed to partner with the Pine Cove Water District’s newsletter mailings. But when she approached both Idyllwild Water District and the Idyllwild HELP Center to grow the membership and board so it could be more active in the community, she said she was turned down.

Why does she continue? “I dearly love this community. I want to help the community and I don’t mind doing the work for the propane discounts.” Seaward said if anyone wants to know about the donations, or join IPOA or the board, call her at 951-468-2072.

 

 

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