Terravita HOA vote reflects "my HOA can do no wrong"

The members of the Arizona Terravita CA voted about 1000 to 100 to accept the extensive amendments to their CC&Rs. (See   HOA ethics: vigorous performance or collusion?)  In response to a member’s concern about any affects of this vote, I answered as follows.

So have the people in Terravita spoken, with their overwhelming vote to accept what is handed to them by the board under the advice of their attorney.

I am sure that you are aware of the expression: “You are identified by the people you associate with.”  That expression holds true for the community in which you live, the Terravita community, whose actions and failures to act set the character of the community, and of the people who live in Terravita.  The Terravita mindset is: In the name of “maintaining property values”, the HOA is beyond reproach and can do no wrong. 

From my years working to bring the American democratic system of government to HOAs, I have encountered HOA “true believers” who adhere to the ideology that “my HOA can do no wrong”, and who refuse to look at the facts. They are primarily concerned with a narrow self-interest: how will it affect my finances and my property value? The 1000 to 100 vote in favor of the extensive amendments clearly demonstrates that Terravita is infected with this malady.

HOA members do not want to hear that they live under an undemocratic government whose legal objective is to maintain property values, and not concerned with protecting the individual’s rights and freedoms. It’s a commune environment where your property rights are not under your control, but under the control of a board and your neighbors — now under the control of a minority of your neighbors — in a corporate form of government where a member has less rights than those not living in an HOA. Do you really want your home to be collateral to a regime that is authoritarian, and not having your best interest in mind? Under law, the HOA board has it allegiance to the HOA corporation, which is NOT the same as to the membership.

The one-sided vote reflects a mindset in Terravita that the board can do no wrong, and the attorneys advising the board have the best interests of the members in mind, and not a personal agenda to protect and defend the un-American HOA government that serves to feed their revenues. Attorneys who play loose with the laws and judicial system, ignoring irregularities in order to get their way.

HOA members need to reevaluate their value systems and to understand the character of their community. Do the members stand up for ethical and moral values, for the equal application of the laws and adherence to the Constitution? Or does only property value have any meaning, any importance?

Here’s my review of Rediscovering Values, Jim Wallis, Simon & Schuster, 2010. Mr. Wallis a preacher who has appeared on numerous TV discussion panels. And many people see no wrongs. Wallis wrote:

There are some things that we all should get angry about. First, we were told a lie. Second, the rules of the game failed. Third, our good was supposed to trickle down.

Do we want [property] values to prevail everywhere and in all things? Are there some areas of life where [property] values should not determine what is most important — personal and family relationships, ethics and religion, community and public service and social justice? Are there certain things degraded when [property values] are allowed to be the ultimate measure? Are there certain social values and practices that are higher than market values?

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 11:35 am  Leave a Comment  

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