Tuesday, June 11, 2002

PULFER: Rich neighbors

Who can afford to stay angry?

        Marty thinks I'm just jealous.

        My most enthusiastic but by no means lone critic is responding to a column about Wetherington, the Butler County community identified in the Census 2000 report as having a higher median household income than the perennially affluent Indian Hill. Marty, who prefers late-night voice mail messages to an actual conversation, said, “So what if these people put up a fence? I bet your big nose is out of joint because they have more money than you do.”

        Well, Marty, I hardly know where to begin.

        Most important, of course, is that my nose is more or less normal size. (I do, however, have regrettably large feet.) And, second, you would not have to travel all the way to Wetherington to find lots of people who have more money than I do.

        Again, regrettably.

        “Is Wetherington ready for the burden of being the richest new kid on the block?” I wondered last Tuesday. “Already, there has been grumbling about your lockdown program, which seems un-American.”


Closing the gates

        According to Jerry Warren, chairman of the West Chester zoning board when Wetherington was in the planning stages, the newly gated community is as American as apple pie and a love affair with the automobile. Residents “had to endure 11,000 to 13,000 vehicles a day cutting through from Cincinnati-Dayton to Tylersville Road for several years.” Wetherington, designed as a gated community, had to postpone closing those gates until a connector road was completed. “Residents paid their dues to earn the access gates that were part of the original plan.”

        Dr. Victor T. Nicholas wants readers to know we are welcome to “drive around our community. You just have to exit through the same front gate through which you entered.” The front gate is closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

        “The only thing we have denied,” according to John Cook, “is the cut-through traffic.” Mr. Cook also noted that comparing Wetherington, a subdivision of West Chester, to an entire community such as Indian Hill is not “apples to apples.”

        Uncle. I give up.

        When I win the lottery, I am going to buy a house in Indian Hill and a summer home in Wetherington. Maybe I'll have to win two lotteries. “Confidentially,” a Realtor said, “you have probably raised the property value in both places.”

        And in an unrelated embarrassment of riches, the July issue of the Robb Report, a magazine “for the luxury lifestyle,” names Indian Hill as the best place in America for “well-heeled parents seeking a quiet safe setting to raise children.” Available on newsstands June 23, the publication also offers tips on how to “help children gain insight into how wealth is distributed in the real world” and give parents “a forum for opening discussions about affluence.”

        I, myself, appear to have opened an uneasy discussion on the same topic. But the good people of both communities appear to forgive me. Jerry Warren says I can come visit. Dr. Liz Doriott offered to let me ride my horse in the July 4 parade.

        Marty, of course, wishes I would visit a gated community where they would lock the gates and throw away the key.

       E-mail Laura at lpulfer@enquirer.com or call 768-8393.


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