The Heavy Burden Of An HOA Officer

21 01 2009

The third term of my tenure as a member of my Homeowner’s Association is drawing to a close. I’ve served as the Chairman of the Architectural Committee, on the pool committee, as Board Secretary, and co-runner of the neighborhood website and forum.

And damn it, I quit!

It is a thankless and aggravating job. Granted, it isn’t terribly time consuming, and I feel that the board as a whole is a very fair group that does a wonderful job of preserving property values and the look and amenities that drew us all to buy here in the first place. Most of the neighbors share the goals of keeping it a nice place to live. And ALL of them agreed to the covenants before buying because no one wants to live next to these people:

junkhouse

Which is why I am left scratching my head when people think that those covenants, for whatever reason, don’t apply to them or their situation. And these are not unreasonable rules:

1. You can not park on the street. There’s a reason for that. The streets are narrow. If cars are  parked on the street, there’s only room left for one car at a time to drive through, and the neighbors will have to do a 12-point turn to get out of their driveways. There are no addendums to the rule that say: “UNLESS your 35 year old son moved home.” or “EXCEPT when your garage is so full of crap you can’t get a car in there” or “UNLESS you have a two inch penis and  bought a 40-foot long truck to make up for it that won’t fit in your driveway.” NO PARKING ON THE STREET. Is is really that difficult?

2. Minor children must be accompanied by an adult at the pool. Another simple one that would seem to be common sense. But no! “MY kids are well behaved!” Great, no one said they weren’t. “I was just up the street.” Swell…your kids shoulda been up there with ya. “We pay dues for the kids to use that pool!” No, apparently you pay dues so you can have an Olympic sized babysitter during the summer months, and trust me when I say no one else wants to make sure your kid isn’t running on the deck, shitting in the water, or (for teens) getting head in the cabana.

3. Trash cans are not to be left on the curb. It looks terrible and, once empty, it doesn’t take much wind to send them into the road. If left out full, it’s an invitation for dogs, raccoons, and bugs. Bring it out the night before pick up and take it in the night of. Simple as that. “There’s no room in my garage!”  Then stick it in your back yard, behind the fence. Or park it in your dining room. The rest of us don’t really care what your reasons are for not following the rules, or what adjustments you might have to make so that you can….we just care that you do. So hike your lazy ass the 22 foot down to the end of your driveway and pull it somewhere out of sight.

Then, of course, there are the whiners. For these people, the dues are never low enough, there is always fault to be found with the landscaping, the pool maintenance, the rules are over-enforced, the rules are under-enforced, and there ought to be SOMETHING the board can do about everything from dogs barking in another neighborhood to overgrown lots outside our subdivision. And the first to scream is the last to act. You can bet your ass the lady who complained that the pool wasn’t opened promptly at nine has never once volunteered to be part of the committee that opens it. And the person who most loudly protests for more street lights, newer pool furniture, and more flowers at the entrances will be the same one who is bewildered and infuriated at an increase in association fees.

So with my term ending, I plan to leave it to someone else. I’ll bring in my trash can, keep my car off the streets, and pay my dues when I’m supposed to but somebody else can worry about whether or not to allow someone to replace their Bermuda grass with fescue.

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13 responses

21 01 2009
Philly

Hey, were you in my neighborhood taking pics of my neighbors house?
Seriously, that is what it looks like, only they have a boat on a trailer .
True story. Ask #2

#1

21 01 2009
Liz

Oh My! Soooo… I guess that Writer’s Block issue is no longer an issue, huh? Go get ’em V.V.! We don’t have a home owner’s association here, but there is sort of an *unwritten rule* that you’re not supposed to live like white trash… or any other trash, for that matter. We still have dumpsters in the alley that get emptied twice per week. (It’s one of the perks of living in SmallCity, Texas. Okay, one of the few perks) I’m not sure Mr. Snoots would be welcome in any homeowner’s association. He tends to take his time removing trimming debris from our yard. Last week he finally removed a huge pile that he’d had OUT FRONT for 6 months. Uh-Huh. Which is WHY I finally hired someone to mow the lawn…..

21 01 2009
Alan

Dude…SCREW THAT! Look…I think you probably did everything to the best of your ability but, at some point, dealing with people gets very annoying. Especially when everyone wants something different. I say 3 years is enough off your life. You shouldn’t have to worry about that kind of crap anymore! Let someone else have it…

21 01 2009
The Vinyl Villager

Philly…there’s one in every neighborhood!

Liz…I dont blame you a bit!

Alan…precisely what I was thinking. Three years is PLENTY!

21 01 2009
The Incredible Woody

Thank God I live in the country. Where we can park by the house or by the barn or by the outhouse. Where I can go naked in my pool (when I get one!). Where we can burn our trash. And whiners will be shot!

21 01 2009
The Incredible Woody

I think you have served your community well by putting up with them for 3 years!!!

21 01 2009
Jason

I could never do this job. But I’m thankful for the people who do.

22 01 2009
excellenceinblogging

I, too, would be too weak for this job. I would crack. You, my friend, are way stronger than I am in that respect.

22 01 2009
Queen of Planet Hotflash

Burn the houses down the sumbitches can’t follow the rules, one warning then burn em out that’ll teach em. LMAO can you tell my hormones are raging and I am back in class with the teenagers again?
You did your time now it’s time for someone else to have the breakdown 🙂

22 01 2009
Mental P Mama

I used to live in a house where we had an association with very similar rules. I could never understand how even the most basic request could go unobserved…especially the little children in the pool. By themselves.

22 01 2009
Little Miss

Oh gawd, don’t get me started… I used to be the Prez of our HOA. The first one from when the neighborhood started. After serving on two other HOA boards and a non-profit board, I tried to run it like a business – after all, that’s what it is. It’s not a coffee clutch or social group. They have to (in Washington state anyway) file forms with the government as they are a type of non-profit business. Still, the VP undermined everything I did, ran around gossiping, and they tried to let one person do something they wouldn’t let another do (sheds, fences, etc.) It was all so negative I had to get away from it. They are completely stupid with what they do now. For example, we used to have a snow plowing and street sweeping service. Cost very little for a big benefit. Um, someone thought that was a waste of money. This year we sure needed it. So apparently they have brough it back, but a bit too late. And then they sweep the streets a few days ago to get rid of all the sand the plows brought, and winter isn’t even over yet. So, now we have ice, and no sand under it. Great. I want to bonk them all upside the head, and that’s putting it mildly. Oh, and parking? Apparently my family had different rules applied to us than the rest of the neighborhood. They could all do what we weren’t allowed to do – we got the nastygrams for doing what everyone else did all the time for YEARS. I fought back. They shut up.

Good for you for doing your time. I’m happier away from the nutsos.

22 01 2009
imom

“And the first to scream is the last to act.” True dat!!! I’ve been the president of this group and that group. Most currently the President of the PSO at my daughter’s school. I passed the torch at the beginning of the school year and by November I had it back. You never realize how much people whine until you are leading them! You deserve a break and whatever you do, sit on your hands at future meetings so you don’t end up back at the helm.

22 01 2009
cuteasasa

We have all of the same rules. #1 is my only issue here. For the first year, rule number 1 wasn’t enforced because not all driveways were done and having the parked cars did tend to slow things down. Without those cars, people drive like idiots. I live on a curve and leaving my drive it’s not at all unusual to have to hit the gas like the little old lady from Pasadena to get out of the way of the people peeling around the curve. Honestly, they didn’t drive that way when there was maybe going to be the ass end of a car sitting there. I miss those days. Now the best I can hope for is that one of the jerks hits my empty trash can after it’s blown into the street …………

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