Reporting Carey Codd
AVENTURA (CBS4) – There’s very little holiday spirit left over in one upscale Aventura community.
Residents of Mystic Pointe tell CBS4 News they are furious because they say their homeowner’s association decided to do away with all religious holiday decorations in the common areas last year and this year.
Orit Mimoun said that for years the community had a display.
“You have a beautiful display of a Menorah on one side for Hannukah. and then you have a beautiful display for Christmas on the other side and there’s nothing wrong about it,” she said.
Residents say that at a meeting Wednesday night the board of directors of the master association said no religious symbols can be put up in 2012.
Residents say they are free to put up decorations in their units and in their buildings, however.
We tried to attend the board meeting Wednesday night and ask questions but we were told it was private and we had to leave.
Residents say it got heated.
“Everybody at that meeting when we said do you want a Menorah and a Christmas tree raised their hands,” said resident Patty Zampella. “They were in full agreement. It’s only the board that does not want it.”
Most distressing for residents — they tell CBS4 News that when they ask why the decision was made, they get brushed off.
“When you ask for a reason they don’t give it to you,” said resident George Rechani. “They say, that’s it.”
Residents say in this day and age religious beliefs should not divide a community.
“We’re Christians,” said Mimoun. “We’re Jews. We need to live together. We need to enjoy together. We need to celebrate together. Why? And (the board) just elected to vote no. They didn’t listen.”
Residents said the board members told them there were complaints about the religious displays. However, residents believe it was only a small number who complained compared to the amount of people who live in Mystic Pointe and want the decorations.
CBS4 News spoke by phone to one of the members of the board of directors after Wednesday’s meeting. He declined to discuss the issue.
The residents say they will try to get the board’s decision rescinded. They also want to vote out several of the board members at the next election.