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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What Causes a Trustee to Abuse their Position?

In the HOA Primer, this member speaks to a common propblem--the rogue board member. We often wonder why a board member will abuse their power, but what makes them do that?

We know that Roy Walker won't attend board meetings. He won't give over the records or check book to the new secretary and treasuer--he wants to disqualify ballots on tehcnicalities (he lost his presidency) and if that doesn't work, he lies about the candidates, he is making decisions for Hideaway that are not in a noticed board meeting, STRICTLY unlawful and spending our money on an attorney to keep himself in power, again without authority--what makes a man do that and then lie about the new board members in our ocmmunity that want to serve? It is senseless--everyone deserves a chance to serve our community, but Roy doesn't seem to think so.

Below is an insightful article from a property owner in another state who has dealt with our very same issues here in Hideaway--the article is well worth reading. Enlightening and gives insight into what may be going on with Roy.

This is as good an explanaiton as any:

The Board: "neighborhoods designed for neros
The Board is usually made up of eight to ten volunteers. These volunteers decide among themselves who will be the president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, etc., etc. In most cases, the Board will also include a representative from a Management Company. The management company is what you might call a “conflict for prophet” organization. But we’ll have to wait until the next chapter to expose those reprobates.

The purpose of the Board is to oversee the maintenance of the common area and uphold the CC&Rs.

However, I think you’ll find in most CIDs, maintenance comes in a distant second to covenant enforcement, which can become an absolute obsession.

The board has a fiduciary obligation (meaning they are being trusted by the rest of the homeowners) to act in the best interests of the association, but they rarely do.
If there were high levels of participation among the homeowners then, theoretically, you should have fewer problems. But in almost all cases, the homeowners have no time for, or interest in, neighborhood politics. These are the homeowners who have jobs and children and numerous other familial obligations. This situation creates a void, which will attract those most likely to abuse these positions of trust. This group would include those homeowners who, for whatever reason, have a great deal of time on their hands and a distinct inclination towards adversarial engagement. In a CID, the inmates really do run the asylum.

What I’m describing here, and what you’re most likely to get, is what is referred to as a “rogue board.”

And what’s so appealing about these volunteer, board positions to people of this sort? The answer is simple - complete power over one’s neighbors.

the keys to the kingdom
The CC&Rs provide board members with powers and perks that would make any third world totalitarian dictator emerald green with envy.

No experience is required. There are no minimum levels of education or competency required. Any idiot can be an HOA board member.

Freedom from prosecution. HOA board members cannot be held legally responsible for their actions while serving on an HOA board. There is no punitive incentive to hold those maniacal, totalitarian tendencies in check.

Personal vendettas are financed by the HOA. Board members can bring suit against a homeowner for any reason. The association pays all their legal expenses.

Democracy is no obstacle to tyranny. The HOA private, corporate government provides no system of checks and balances. HOA board members simultaneously occupy the legislative, judicial, and executive branches with absolutely no local, state, or federal oversight. The homeowners are sitting ducks. In disputes with homeowners, the board acts as accuser, prosecutor, judge, and jury.

barbarians at the gates
Now who do you think will be just dying to occupy these positions of boundless authority completely free of personal accountability and requiring no more qualification than a measurable pulse? Of course, it will be the neighbors from hell!

You know who they are. Every neighborhood has its crackpots, its loose cannons. Your parents warned you about them when you were kids. “Don’t go near their house on your way home from school, and don’t hit your baseballs into their yards.” Well now those crackpots are going to have complete control over your neighborhood, and to an alarming extent, your own personal property.

Any of your neighbors who shows a pronounced inclination towards aggressive, anti-social, adversarial, and authoritarian behavior is going to be fighting tooth and nail for a position on your board of directors because, for these personality types, that's where the action is. They’re drawn like a moth to a flame; It’s simple human nature at its worst.

Once on the board, these people tend to develop an adversarial posture towards the other homeowners, imposing on the association their own personal standards of neighborhood appearance and homeowner deportment. They will micro-manage your property through means of creative interpretation, and outright embellishment of the CC&Rs.

Our neighborhood, because it had almost no common area and no standardized appearance had few restrictions, but within a few years, our board had re-interpreted the CC&Rs to include every conceivable enhancement or alteration to be subject to board approval.

1 comment:

  1. Since Roy is such a personable guy, until you question him on anything, it is hard for some to realize how irrational he gets and how he abuses power. I requested the association records, as is my right and yours--but Roy says "no"--he won't produce them--now or ever! Remember this is the man who SUED the association just a few years ago because he wanted the records--so what is he thinking? I personally spent two days of my time making copies (of records that were already on the website) because Roy wanted them. I personally agreed to guarantee that he would not pay over 9 cents a copy--I agreed to pay for it myself if need be so he could have the records. Now he won't give us anything! He owes the association $143 for records. He never paid it. Why? He got back on the board and "forgave" himself the debt!

    He owed that money when he ran for the board--our documents say that when you owe money to the board you cannot run. Roy is not a legal board member nor has he ever been since May of 2011 when he incurred the debt.

    You think this is rational? One set of rules for himself and a different set for you? You want to see him get irrational? Ask him for the minutes to the meeting he had when he decided to cancel the election, invalidate the ballots, hire a lawyer to write a letter saying he is the real board, decide not to give over the records to the new board, decided not to let the new treasurer on the bank account, decided to print and mail a newsletter and call a meeting for Sept? See how he acts when you ask him for these legal documents that he is required by law to keep for 6 years. He won't give them to you because there are none--he has NO authority to act outside a board meeting and he has not gone to a dingle board meeting in months and he has conducted a LOT of business--mostly hiring attorneys with your money. Ask him for the checks he has given to Harrison--it is your right to see them, ..Ask. see just how irrational he can get.

    Oh, and if you ever want copies for anything? You have $147 worth coming before the association can charge you--if he forgives himself that amount, by our documents we all have to be treated the same--I suggest we all have $143 in credit coming. Go ask for it.


Any one is allowed to make comments. You can use your real name and lot or an assumed name. Please be respectful of everyone, especially our trustees who donate a lot of work for us. Even if you believe they are not acting in our best interests or following our documents, stick to the facts--no name calling or innuendos and unfounded accusations. We want to set a good example for our trustees.