how to resolve a diversity conflict
September 18, 2012 9:49 AM Subscribe
A man died near our condo 7 years ago, and anonymous neighbors maintain a memorial at the relevant telephone pole by attaching stuffed animals, artificial flowers, and other stuff to it, which weather eventually turns into trash. The city has occasionally (rarely) removed it, but the mourners pile more on right away. How can we best negotiate an end to this long-running custom?
posted by mmiddle to human relations (79 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Ours is a diverse urban neighborhood, and this seems to be a custom among the urban poor. The vibe here is not unfriendly, but it's fair to say there is latent resentment of the "rich people" beginning to move in. We called the police this summer when a block party went on too loudly, too long into the night, and heard indirectly that there was anger among the partygoers about that. We would be willing to pay for installing a memorial plaque, but (a) it's against the law to attach stuff to a phone pole, and (b) it probably wouldn't speak to their needs anyway. The local mediation center charges each party. based on household income, from $20-$100/hour, which I'm sure the other, anonymous-so-far party will not agree to.
How can we find a "win-win" solution here?