News Archive

A Message From the CGA President January 2019


Dear Neighbors,

Perceptions are funny things – they come to us via our senses.  We see, hear, smell, taste and feel the world around us and as a result we develop perceptions.  However, not everyone interprets experiences the same way; therefore, we develop different perceptions that in turn influence our attitudes.  This is why one person can immediately see the young woman in the following illustration and others will immediately see the old woman. However, with a little help, one can change their perspective and see what they could not see at first.  (Look again and perhaps you will see the jawline and profile of a young woman, or the large nose, mouth and chin of an old woman.)

I’ve lived in Central Gardens since 2007 and have heard peoples’ perceptions and attitudes regarding the Central Gardens Association both negative and positive.  Here are some of the things I have heard both as a non-board member and as a board member.



  • The CGA Board of directors is awesome!

  • This is the hardest working board I have ever seen.

  • It’s amazing that the CGA can support so many things with so little resources.

  • The CGA is responsible for preserving the character and integrity of our neighborhood.

  • The CGA is one of the most active and connected neighborhood associations in Memphis.


  • Why should I be a member?  They haven’t done anything for me.

  • It’s just a bunch of people socializing and drinking wine.

  • They have their own agenda and don’t listen to me.

  • They won’t do things the way I think that they should be done.

  • They just spend money on their own interests.


As I said earlier, perceptions and attitudes vary from person to person due to the way that they have experienced (perceived) the world around them. Obviously, some people perceive the CGA as a benefit to the neighborhood, while others see little benefit. The positive perceptions are what keep us going and contribute to a functioning neighborhood association.  The negative perceptions are the ones that keep me on my toes - I would like to address some of them here.


  1. Why should I be a member?  They haven’t done anything for me.

    • Here are some things that the CGA has done for the neighborhood.

      • Sidewalk replacements – Improves walkability and appearance of the neighborhood.

      • Perimeter signage maintenance – Improves recognition & aesthetics of the neighborhood

      • Median maintenance – Improves aesthetics & enjoyment of the neighborhood

      • Arboretum recertification – Improves recognition & status of our neighborhood

      • Tree replacement – CGA contributes $250 per request toward the replacement of trees for members.  This improves the beauty & enjoyment of each property and contributes to the maintenance of the level 3 arboretum status.

      • 2018 Home Tour – Improves recognition & status of our neighborhood, as well as provides operating capital for the CGA

      • July 4th parade – Improves community & enjoyment for our neighborhood

      • Landmarks protections – Preserves the historic character & integrity of our neighborhood, which in turn preserves the value of our homes

      • New Neighbor Meet & Greet – Improves connection with new neighbors who are not familiar with CGA & formally welcomes them to the neighborhood

      • Safety initiatives – Improves the security & safety of our neighbors

      • Monthly CGA newsletter (eNews) – Improves communication of information within the neighborhood

  1. It’s just a bunch of people socializing and drinking wine.

    • It’s true that as a board we do have a socializing time and we do have wine and snacks at our board meetings.  However, the socializing time is the 30 minutes prior to the actual meeting time and is optional for board members to attend.  Once the meeting begins, socializing stops and business takes place. And one more thing; the wine and snacks are provided by board members from their own pockets.  Nothing comes out of the general budget to support the board or executive board meetings. The only social time that the board supports financially is during the CGA Annual Meeting in May to which everyone in the neighborhood is invited.

  2. They have their own agenda and don’t listen to me.

    • The CGA Strategic Plan for the neighborhood was developed directly from neighborhood listening sessions and surveys in which over 500 neighbors participated in 2016.  Since the development of the 2016 Strategic Plan, the Board strives to ensure that its agenda aligns with it.

  3. They won’t do things the way I think that they should be done.

    • Can you imagine how difficult it is to please everyone with their different ideas, perceptions and attitudes?  It’s actually impossible. However, if you feel strongly about the way things should be done, get involved with the CGA to make a difference.  Staying silent or venting to no one in particular probably won’t change things.

  4. They just spend money on their own interests.

    • See #3.


If I could meet the impossible and please everyone, it would be my wish to turn every negative perception and attitude toward the CGA into a positive one.  All I can do is state the facts, and hope that I’ve been able to help a few people change their perspective regarding the CGA from negative to positive, or at least start the journey.

As our annual membership campaign begins in January, I hope that you will take to heart that we really are working for the best interests of the neighborhood, and we are trying every way possible to make our resources go as far as possible.  I also hope that if you are not currently a member of the CGA, that you will consider becoming a member, and if you are a member that you will consider contributing at the next level. Your contribution is a worthwhile investment in keeping our neighborhood as great as it is.


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Central Gardens Association • P.O. Box 41382 Memphis, TN 38174-1382 • (901) 343-6CGA (6242) • [email protected]