Wickersham Road News
This issue of the News has been prepared to address one issue only: Locking of the Big Iron Gate. We will produce a full newsletter later in the summer.
This issue was prepared in haste on the way out of town.
Apologies for any offense that may lie within.
As everyone is aware, we have had good luck with the “new improved” gate locking system for the first part of 2002. This system consists of a simple chain and lock. Everyone using the ranch did a great job keeping the gate locked and it was the opinion of everyone we spoke with that the simplicity was the important factor.
Last week, however, vandalism occurred at the big iron gate. The lock was physically damaged and the combination was changed so that it was not functional.
This act was disturbing to the road committee as we thought we had achieved a level of success in keeping the second gate locked.
To be perfectly clear, essentially everyone has participated in keeping the gate locked and meeting our obligations to our neighbors for security and privacy.
Thanks to all who understand and participate.
It is clearly one individual who does not think the gate should be locked. In a community, however, the opinion of one is not sufficient to change policy or practice.
The Committee is taking the following actions to correct this situation:
The Committee is also reviewing future options and the implications for the Association if this problem persists:
Gate Locking Background
It is current Road Policy that the gates must be locked at all times. Period.
Our neighbors, who are not part of the committee but have an interest in road security, have requested that the gate remain locked. Specifically, the Silva Ranch has asked that it remain locked as this opens a route into their property by non-Wickersham users.
Gate Locking Refresher Course
The following practices should be communicated to new neighbors, guests and employees who may not understand the way rural ranch roads are used.
Preferred Solution / Un-solicited Lecture
Talk to your neighbors. Explain why you want the gate locked (or why you don’t). Convince them that the simple task of getting out of a car and unlocking a gate is a small price to pay to visit (or live) out in such a beautiful place. In fact the act of getting out to unlock a gate should be seen as an enjoyable stop along the way.
For our one or two neighbors who don’t lock the gate, please think about the following:
If locking and unlocking a gate is such a dramatically tedious chore, I personally would imagine the other chores involved in using remote property such as this would drive one back to the suburbs where life is much more convenient.
If the one or two minutes involved to get out and unlock a gate is such a precious drain on available time, why would one even visit property where the road in takes forty minutes to an hour to traverse.
One or two minutes to get out, smell the trees, feel the temperature, get in touch with the place that is supposedly loved seems a very small task.
And if it is such a burden, put the effort into changing policy in a civilized way. Get it on a ballot and see what your neighbors really think.
And once more: my apologies to all who lock the gate. It is very difficult in a non-urban, non-policed situation to find the root of problems such as this. The only means we have is to communicate to everyone.
We hope that all of our neighbors understand that this “attitude” is not aimed at everyone. It is aimed most likely at one person. That person may not even be an owner. It may be a guest or an employee. It might be someone who thinks the gate is public property.
It may be someone who simply has not heard the rules. I personally hope that is the case.
It would be much more disturbing to me to think that in a small community of about thirty neighbors, one of those neighbors would be low enough to consciously vandalize community assets. I have better numbers than that living in the city.
So, apologies for the lecture and genuine requests to share the dialogue and help stop the abuse of our neighborhood.
On Saturday July 20 the gate combination will change to the following:
Front Gate: Call for combination
Second Gate: Call for combination
Thanks to Dave Otero and Dave Schaefer who have spent much of their personal time repairing the locks, replacing the locks and monitoring the gate.
Dave Schaefer has made several trips to the ranch with a full compliment of tools and welding equipment to weld locks on the gate.
Thanks again to all neighbors who help keep the ranch clean, safe and enjoyable