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Subject: Truly Awful Residents and Contemplating Resigning
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Author Messages
JonL8
(Texas)

Posts:3


07/18/2021 9:38 PM  
Hey all,

I've been on my board for about a year and a half and have really enjoyed it for the most part. It is one of the more stressful things I've ever done (even more so that owning a multi location business for going on 11 years now). The management co has been awful and since a builder was our third member for a year most things became a fight.

We've finally got some new members and things were starting to look up but a dispute with a resident had really made me reconsider continuing on the board. There was an argument about them tossing their tree trimming over the fence onto our trail while I was walking my dog on the trail one night. I recorded the entire ordeal, they did not. Lots of neighbors came out too since they were being so crazy. When the cops finally showed up the said they wanted to press charges for assault. I never did anything to hurt them and the video proves it. The cop has helped us before with issues like this and says nothing will probably come of it, but they didn't record my videos like they usually do. I hired an attorney (cost me $2000) to help before it turns into anything. He said any prosecutor that sees the videos will know they're crazy and lying, and he's going to try to get those videos to the prosecutor. He said if anything, they'll suggest pressing assault charges against them for all the physical threats they made. It's an awful situation to be in and it's been consuming me. I've always feared retaliation from an upset resident, but never lying to the police about something like that.

I've mentioned it to a few of the board members and our manager and they all hope I don't quit. They've said things like no one else in the neighborhood cares as much as you and have mentioned how much it'll help the neighborhood.

I really do care and have put a ton of my own time and money into this. We've got 652 homes and I've only had to deal with 2 or 3 super-Karens. I've never been as stressed or depressed as I've been because of this latest situation. I've never wanted to be at war with any neighbors and go out of my way to make everyone happy here.

I've been researching resigning and was considering forming a trail and pond committee then resigning. I'd help around the trail but not deal with any of the resident stuff. I don't think I can quit via the zoom meeting with residents without crying though, and really don't want to do that infront of all my neighbors. The three new board members all said they joined because I was on the board. I'm torn and don't know what to do.

Attorney has suggested a protection order due to the harassment I've been getting from these guys since the ordeal, but fears these guys may retaliate in a major way if I send anything their way.
JonL8
(Texas)

Posts:3


07/18/2021 9:53 PM  
Meant hurt the neighborhood, not help, lol.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:129


07/19/2021 5:19 AM  
Yes, they can be awful. I had my next door neighbor (condo renter) threaten me in front of a police officer because I and some neighbors reported him for a dog off leash/poop violation. We had a problem and were reporting everyone.

I am now in possession of a "No trespassing" card I can pull if he even rings my doorbell. He still makes comments after 4 months every time he sees me. I just ignore him, but sometimes it is hard. He's a renter and as an owner I'm not going anywhere.

Don't give up. I don't confront anyone anymore, just observe and report. It's crazy out there. Use the MC as a buffer whenever you can. I also went out and purchased a wireless camera for my front and back door areas. With it I can see my front door, back door, and any activity around my car. I found it to be great investment for my peace of mind.

I've been on our Board for almost 9 years. Resigned 2 times. Not because of resident's but because of other Board members. Kept getting asked back after they all resigned. Been on now for over 6 years. Have Board support, but sometimes it's hard to want to stay. No one else wants this job and I really don't blame them.

Savor the accomplishments and keep going!






Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2154


07/19/2021 5:29 AM  
A few comments based on what I've learned after many years of serving on condo boards:

* No one should ever put their mental and physical health at risk to serve on a community association board. You aren't the first to consider resigning - it's a thankless job and some homeowners are flat out crazy. You don't owe anyone anything, especially since most other owners won't return the favor. And plenty of newbie board members consider resigning when they discover what they've let themselves in for - it's part of the learning curve, I think.

* Every community has some awful people in it.

* There are tricks to dealing with difficult owners, and it can take a while to learn them. There is a difference between the garden-variety difficult ones (these are the ones who complain about everything and try to stir up trouble) and those who may be dangerous (physically assaulting someone or pulling a gun). Most of us figure out how to handle the first group, but those in the second category usually require training to handle correctly (ie., the police) and this is above most board members' pay grade.

* If you do stay on the board, you should be aware that it's not your job to correct owners one-on-one. If you spot a violation of your CC&Rs, document it and write up a formal complaint to send to the rest of the board. This is the correct way to handle these things, and it's safer. Even getting into less-serious spats with other homeowners will hurt your ability to do your job, so it should be avoided.

* So... a new board member needs a thick skin and good self-control. You handle difficult situations by controlling your own reactions, not by trying to control others. As I said, it can take a while to learn this if you haven't had to before (eg. having employees report to you), but it can be done. Ultimately, though, it's up to you whether you want to deal with it.
JackJ9
(Oregon)

Posts:98


07/19/2021 7:40 AM  
Posted By JonL8 on 07/18/2021 9:38 PM

I've been researching resigning and was considering forming a trail and pond committee then resigning. I'd help around the trail but not deal with any of the resident stuff.




You're a volunteer. You spend your personal time to help out the association. Why not just make a personal decision to only work on the trail and pond work and decide to let others handle the resident stuff?

It's one of the great things about being a volunteer is you choose exactly what you want to work on and what you don't.

For me, I am primarily on the board to manage our parks. They take a lot of time, and I think it's fun working on it. I don't really care to get involved in compliance, house paint colors, or other things like that, so I don't volunteer for those activities.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:701


07/19/2021 11:29 AM  
Here's a thought, why not resign from the board and become chair of Save Our Parks Committee.
SheilaJ1
(South Carolina)

Posts:248


07/19/2021 2:56 PM  
So first they fight with the builder then they fight with management and now they fight with homeowners. Sounds like a personal problem and dysfunctional board and not following business basics, I say correct the process for complaints or resign. I’m on the side of resigning because you don’t sound like someone who resolves issues without making things more complicated.
AnnaJ1
(Maryland)

Posts:61


07/22/2021 7:40 AM  
It is a shame when @$$holes make you want to leave. In my case, it's a truly awful fellow Board member.

It sounds like you're an asset so if you can, stick with it. It will blow over. However, NOT to the detriment of your mental health!
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:92


07/22/2021 3:38 PM  
"If you do stay on the board, you should be aware that it's not your job to correct owners one-on-one. If you spot a violation of your CC&Rs, document it and write up a formal complaint to send to the rest of the board. This is the correct way to handle these things, and it's safer. Even getting into less-serious spats with other homeowners will hurt your ability to do your job, so it should be avoided.|

Absolutely this is very important advice. I am our sole resident board member while we are under developer control, and I have people urging me to confront people who are violating the rules; such as if an under-aged grandchild is in the swimming pool at our 55+ community. I explain to them that I am not a hall monitor of a police officer. We have a process for handling violations, and that process does not involve confrontation at the time of a violation.

You write it up, send them a notice, and going through the process. The problem in this post was confronting the other resident. That is a recipe for disaster.
JonL8
(Texas)

Posts:3


07/22/2021 3:44 PM  
Understood. Our management company has lied repeatedly about sending letters and they become neighbor vs neighbor fights. Ive got the neighborhoods support to swap management cos but the other board member hasnt wanted to switch. No one asks him for help and he doesn't have to fix all of the things that they just won't do even though they say they will. I've been able to help with almost all of them. These people were super Karen's. I no longer wish to be involved with any of it and am resigning tonight. One of the new board member getting elected tonight and one that just got elected last month are resigning too because they don't want to work with the other board member. The manager called to apologize for not helping more and said me leaving will surely hurt the HOA. She said she hates the management co she works for. I can't do it anymore. Thought I had a heart attack a few years ago but it turned out to be a stress induced anxiety attack. I've been having extreme chest pains ever since this guy lied to the police.
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