Whenever something is termed a “necessary evil,” that’s an indication there are no warm and fuzzies associated with its very existence.
It’s akin to paying to have a septic tank pumped. Or perhaps shelling out a few thousand dollars for a new transmission.
Oh, how I wish I was making up examples of situations I faced this week. And I’m certain you have had the same type of bank-account draining events.
I guess paying dues to a homeowner’s association fits right in here.
As I drove past neighborhoods the past few weeks, the signs were rampant: All these neighborhoods announced in various ways it was time for the mirthful gathering.
It’s the complete opposite of a Christmas party.
You know there’s a cost to be invited. And whether you do or don’t attend, you’re going to wind up writing a big check for the privilege of admission.
Happens every year. The meetings can be downright boring: the HOA board members sit up front, review what they did the past year, what they will do this year and how far you’ll have to dig into your pocket.
I have lived in the Sweetwater neighborhood for 24 years. Twice I served on the board and sat in front of fellow owners and listened to ideas and complaints.
We have a board made up of four guys who care, are conscientious and are good stewards of how money is spent. Nothing or no one is perfect. But these guys are doing their best, volunteering time away from family. “Volunteering” as in no pay.
Work yourself silly and receive no compensation. I applaud them.
Sadly, the whole HOA thing has become much more complicated through the years. In simpler times, the need for a watchdog was minimal. There was a benefit to having a sense of pride, living in a neighborhood that reflected pride of ownership.
Can you imagine having an HOA meeting in the double-wide parked in a neighbor’s driveway?
“Clem, it’s your turn to tell Earl his front yard looks like a rummage sale for an auto parts store. He’s got three carburetors, four tires and an engine block in his planter.
“And Eustice, you’re in the batter’s box this time. You gotta make sure those California folks know the pool is not ‘clothing-optional,’ and they can’t let their kids tap the keg every Saturday afternoon.
“And make sure they tell Grandpa that a diaper in no way can be considered proper pool attire.”
An exaggeration? Maybe a little bit. But I like order and we have each other’s back.
Now, since legislation has become so complex and complicated when it comes to regulations and changing legislation, property management companies have become another “necessary evil.”
I was amazed at the encyclopedia-like knowledge possessed by the Tolley Management rep for our neighborhood. He’s on top of what makes a neighborhood compliant to laws.
Another blessing is the fact that dues are submitted to the management company. Any opportunity for a board member to play games with funds has been eliminated.
As hard as it is to believe, neighbors on the board have been tempted.
However, my issue with Tolley came when I inquired about the possibility of having a meeting on Sunday, instead of during the week. School nights and work travel are a reality for many.
The answer I received was that he goes to church on Sunday and that he wasn’t giving up his family time on weekends.
I’m about to write that annual check to this individual’s company. I tried to speak with him, and he was unavailable.
As I licked the stamp, I wondered: “Who is working for who?”
Mike Tasos’ column is published every other Sunday. He’s worn out a raincoat this year and promises to never say “we need the rain.” Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.