30 January 2011

Not the sort of people you want to depend on for helping contribute to school taxes

Washington Post, 01/26/2011
Leisure World residents balk at $1 fee
By Katherine Shaver

Sixty percent of residents surveyed at Leisure World in Silver Spring want to change the “active adult” community’s name rather than pay a licensing fee to continue using it and the landmark steel globe, a community leader said Wednesday.

The survey, which was circulated in December, came after Heidi Cortese, the daughter of Leisure World’s initial developer, proposed charging a $6,000 monthly fee because her California-based company, RRLH, holds the trademark to the name and globe design. Cortese lowered the fee to $1 annually for 30 years, saying she needed to charge something or risk losing her trademark protection.

The Georgia Avenue community has used the Leisure World name and enormous steel globe at its entrance for 45 years.

Leisure World’s 35-member board of directors will vote on the issue in March or April after the staff determines how much it would cost to change the name on signs, trucks, staff uniforms and the entrance, said board chairwoman Marian Altman. The community has already spent $35,000 in legal fees.

Of the 2,895 residents who responded to the survey, 60 percent favored changing the name and 32 percent wanted to keep it, Altman said. Another 8 percent gave only comments. The 610-acre community has 8,500 residents age 55 and older.

If the community changes its name, Altman said, it also would change the globe logo.

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