Monday, March 26, 2012

Change within your association ... it can be done!

We often hear from people who lament the fact that nothing can be done to improve their association from within. The board may be in the grip of a miserable despot, the membership may be apathetic, money may be missing and more.

Some of these folks think the solution is to abolish associations altogether but realistically speaking that is not going to happen any time soon. Others think more state laws are needed but again, realistically speaking, there are plenty of laws already on the books that aren't enforced or are misinterpreted.

There are success stories out there but some folks don't want to hear about them. People who have formerly been categorized as the "disgruntled owner type" have successfully turned around a dysfunctional board through teamwork, tenacity and sheer force of will. From the ones I have met who have been successful at doing this, they are not the flamethrowers or fearmongers. They are intelligent, reasonable people with patience who worked to educate their neighbors and the board members willing to listen.

I recently was copied on an email from an owner expressing sheer joy at the turn of events in his HOA after years of turmoil. At first glance, it seemed over the top to compare a modern association struggle to our country's revolution. Upon second reading, however, it really reflects how long the writer has fought this battle. Here are his words:

"Today marked a day that I had thought I would never see in the annals of Continental Country Club.

I could almost imagine how someone back in the 1770's might have felt to have the Yoke of tyranny lifted from their neck, and to breath in the first breath of Freedom. There were no "Gavels" banging away, no pious sanctimonious people acting like they, and only they, knew what is best for the rest of us!

I could almost imagine what it must have been like on that day, in New York City when George Washington took the first oath as President of the United States of America, and Government "Of the People, By the People and For the People" first sallied forth across this great land.

I take my hat off to our new Board President, Deb Egger, the newly elected Board members and the current sitting Board members, I pray that you, and we can restore the feeling of community and belonging that has been sorely lacking over the last several years.

Like those courageous few, who risked everything and pledged: "Our Lives, Our Fortunes, and Our Sacred Honor", I for one pledge to offer whatever help I can to turn this Community into the best dam place in Florida to live for everyone! And hope never again to see a Board who is constantly one hundred and eighty degrees out of tune with the wants and needs of the People.
Hal Hoffman

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent article. It's good to point out that people who sometimes disagree with an HOA Board can be on the right side of issues and perhaps understand the community by-laws as well as state statues as they apply to Homeowners Associations and are not trying to be disruptive.