News Ticker

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Homeowners Associations

We live in a neighborhood with an association, this in many ways is a good thing as it keeps the playing field level for all the homeowners as far as junk and weeds and crazy house colors. Those things are really comforting especially when you go to sell the house.

On the other hand they are also another layer of government and bureaucracy that typically includes on the board some people that should just stay home and not be involved. They are not mentally equipped to deal with large issues and big numbers, it is scary for them to commit to spending anything for any reason.

Why am I telling you all of this? Last night the association held a board meeting that I decided to attend since I had been trying to talk to the community manager (contract company) about the letter I received for the weeds that I don't have. She NEVER returns calls. STRIKE ONE
This is where the frustration started for me.

I show up the the meeting early and I am told that "this is only a budget meeting, we will not discuss any other issues" oh really? Since there was no one else there yet from the community and since the meeting hadn't "officially" started, I started asking her my questions and pointing out my concerns. She wasn't overly receptive, but was attentive to me. Come to find out the office had been sending notices for weeds for all 7 of the roads that start with "Desert" to "Desert Basin" which is my street. STRIKE TWO

So the meeting started LATE which is a big peeve of mine, and progressed slowly and as we went line by line through the budget, we started discussing whether to trim, increase or delete certain items. The manager was pretty condescending about it, like the residents didn't know what they were talking about and her budget should be approved out of hand. STRIKE THREE

The meeting ended and as we were mingling with the others I grabbed 3 out of 5 board members and expressed my doubts about the viability of this management company, I explained the above as well as the concerns I have with the slow progress on some issues that have been "in the works" for 2 years. Come to find out the contract with the company is month to month. My day started to brighten. It took very little convincing on my part, but 3 of the 5 board members and the 2 other residents that she was ineffective and needed to go bye-bye.

So as I am typing this the board is exploring new management companies and we will hopefully introduce the new management company at the annual meeting in January.

Little victories - and I don't have to pay the fine for the mystery weeds.

***UPDATE: The property amanger called me this afternoon and is crediting us $125.00 for the assessments that they have put on for weeds and shouldn't have. I love it when an error is in my favor.

4 comments:

Jenny said...

Now THAT's what I call community action. You're the man. Way to stand up for the neighborhood! And way to combat those invisible weeds!

Becky said...

I LOVE a happy ending, especially when it involves $$.:) Good luck in Jan! We'll be waiting to hear.

Schenewarks said...

We have horror stories from our HOA in Texas. Love the clean up patrol as long as I'm not getting the letters. Never got any credits though. Our biggest problem was the community pool and vandalism. Amy Jo

shirlgirl said...

Weeds??? Come to my house--that's all I can grow in my back yard, but it is green. Planted ajuga, a ground cover, several years ago then decided I didn't like it so pulled it up. However, it has crawling roots and is now in the "lawn". In the late spring, it sprouts purple flowers. We keep the yard mowed, flowers in the side beds, and a 40+ year-old Rose of Sharon. My next door neighbor has a "tar" yard. People who lived there before had macadam put in the yard so they didn't have to deal with planting a lawn, so I have that to look at plus a corner full of junk. I love my yard--green weeds and all. As a second note--loved that strawberry cheesecake--Yum!