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Subject: Knowing your community
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Author Messages
MarkH13
(Tennessee)

Posts:1


03/20/2013 9:29 PM  
Being a new president of a community that has gone to pot. I have found that if you want change to your community and to know where/what your money is going, be apart of your community. If you don't be come a part of your community and like to complain you have know right to have ANY complaints. Yes I have am expecting several comments from this but after what I have seen and gone through in the past year and what former director's have done its time to correct things according to the LAW. I am very surprised what really happens after looking at minutes from previous board meetings. WOW! Now after Lawyers are involved its amazing what can really happen in a community.

Signed
It's time to get thing done right.............
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16706


03/21/2013 2:41 AM  
Posted By MarkH13 on 03/20/2013 9:29 PM
I have found that if you want change to your community and to know where/what your money is going, be apart of your community.




Define Community.

Is it the block you live on, the development you live in, the city, the county, the State? Is it the individuals of those areas, the businesses the governmental process or something else?

Did you intend to say be active in your Association?

Since you mentioned knowing about how your money is being used, I expect that you are considering the community the Association.



Posted By MarkH13 on 03/20/2013 9:29 PM

If you don't be come a part of your community and like to complain you have know right to have ANY complaints.




To me, being part of the Association can be as little as paying your assessments on time to as active as serving on Boards and Committees.

How do you define being part of the Association?


Posted By MarkH13 on 03/20/2013 9:29 PM

I am very surprised what really happens after looking at minutes from previous board meetings.




Since serving as a Director is often a voluntary position, those who serve may or may not be willing to put the needed time into the position (or they may have a difference of opinion of how much time is needed). As you are aware, a lot of this time is learning the governing documents and applicable laws so they may be properly applied and complied with.

Often if there is an individual who appears to know the statutes, documents or how things are ran, other Directors will defer to that individuals comment or interpretation. If that interpretation is wrong and nobody checks, then issues may develop. Personally, I like to trust but verify. However, many won't put in the additional time to read the statutes or governing documents themselves.


Posted By MarkH13 on 03/20/2013 9:29 PM

its time to correct things according to the LAW.




I agree.

Just remember that often what is legal doesn't always mesh with what people believe is ethical. Therefore, common sense needs to be used as well.


LauraR5
(Tennessee)

Posts:216


03/21/2013 8:00 AM  
I call my association a community, mostly because I hope we are creating/fostering a sense of community here.

I think you are absolutely right that people need to get active with their association. Just the other day, I had a homeowner send me an email griping about our dues increases. This is someone that I've never seen at an HOA meeting, yet she has all this advice on how to fix everything. When I explained to her what has been told at the meetings and in all of the community newsletters, she was amazed at what she'd been missing out on and saw my point about the increases. For her, being active would have been as simple as reading the mail she receives from the association.

With 236 homesites, it amazes me that we can't get 50 or so people to a once-a-year meeting to have a quorum. Then they complain because they feel like they have no say because they didn't get to vote on anything. As a board member, I try to keep an open-door policy with my neighbors, even though sometimes I wish they wouldn't call me in the middle of the night or on vacation with issues.

For some, being active is as simple as walking their dogs and talking to the others they meet along the way. Our HOA president is a dog owner, and I feel like he has his finger on the pulse of the community because he knows all about all the dog owners.

However, not knowing your neighbors or getting involved in your community isn't exclusive to HOAs. It seems like people everywhere don't even know the person next door anymore. That's sad to me, and I guess I hope that by attempting to engage my fellow homeowners that I am trying to address the problem.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3061


03/21/2013 8:40 AM  
Indeed. Sometimes I think people forget that ultimately the homeowners decide through their actions (or not) what kind of community or neighborhood that they have, and if there's something about it they don't like, they CAN change it. That doesn't mean it'll be easy or happen overnight, but it can happen if you're willing to do the work.

I was reminded of this at our meeting last night. One of our residents only comes to board meetings when she's pissed off about something and yesterday it was her continuining feud with the tenants of one of our board members. She really does have a legitimate complaint about them and so the guy basically had his arse handed to him last night (which he really deserved). And yet, as this lady was going on and on about complaining for the last two years and not getting any response, I finally said "you know, if you don't think this board is doing what you feel it should be doing, you have every right to vote us out and put in someone who will." To which she replied "but no one else shows up!" and continued yelling, adding she's not going to keep calling to complain or attend meetings or do anything else because she works and has health issues, and so on.


In the middle of all this was another resident, who's been a homeowner for 30 years and yesterday was the first time - ever - that she'd attended a meeting (and after last night, I don't know if she'll want to go to another). It's very frustrating because our community also has some issues that must be addressed, but the Board members aren't the Avengers or X-Men (and women) with superpowers to fix everything overnight. We really need help from the homeowners, but no one seems to want to do anything other than complain and then they scream about their property values being in the toilet.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16706


03/21/2013 8:53 AM  
We have erosion problems in our development which are complained about at every annual meeting. Therefore, we did a massive campaign requesting volunteers to form an erosion committee to document, investigate and make recommendations to the Board. We explained that this work needs to be done but the volunteers of the Board just don't have the time (especially since we were already 1 short on the Board)to devote to the issue. This campaign went on for three months. Zero volunteers.

7 months later at our next annual meeting, one member starting complaining about erosion. The President calmly informed the member about the campaign and asked if that member was now stepping forward to serve on the committee. The member sheepishly said no, mumbled something else we couldn't here and sat down. There were no more complaints that night about erosion.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9136


03/21/2013 9:30 AM  
I did the same thing Laura as your President did to keep up with my community. I adopted a dog and then adopted him a dog. (LOL). It allowed me to walk around the neighborhood and meet and greet people. I got to know who was renters, why some could not attend meetings, what issues some had, and just allowed me to keep a pulse on the community. Dogs were a great way of communicating in your community and for protection!


Former HOA President
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