I submitted the following comment to the shreveporttimes.com article, “A sign that we need more neighborly love.”
HOAs were never really about neighborly love. They were promoted as such a fellowship of people with a common goal, “building better communities” and “fostering vibrant, harmonious communities” by the national lobbying organization. But, in reality, they are highly divisive and adversarial because strict enforcement of often arbitrary and capricious rules abound, enforced by the “protection agency”, the HOA, whose directors are reminded that they can be sued for not enforcing the CC&RS or declaration. Couple that with aggressive HOA lawyers whose income is not based on contentment and neighborly love, but on adversity that leads to the courtroom. It’s in their best interests to preserve the HOA in its current form.
This authoritarian form of government, backed by pro-HOA laws to inflict severe penalties on homeowner offenders but give a slap on the wrist to HOA offenders, make an excellent environment for the power seekers and misguided true believers who believe that they are part of a grand and glorious new America. And for the profit-seeking developers, HOA vendors and lawyers.
IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, HOW ELSE CAN IT BE? No country, no community has ever obtained strict compliance to rules that are aimed to preserve the state, like Nazi Germany Communist Russia, without imposing restrictions on the rights and freedoms of its inhabitants “in the name of the state.” Its corporate form of government is no different from any other business where there are the managers who control and the people who are to obey. HOA directors are in the “management” class and homeowners are in the “employee” class, even though the “employees” may also be owners of the corporation. And we all know that management does not have the 100% whole–hearted agreement and support of its people.
Yet, the courts and state legislatures truly believe that the board speaks for the members on all matters, great and small. That the HOA is imbued with public government attributes and, ignoring the reality of a contract, by merely living and remaining subject to the HOA the “employee” surrenders all his rights and freedoms contrary to constitutional law. But, as we all know, how many people, employees, work and remain at a business for valid reasons other then that they fully consent to be governed by the corporation? The public officials have adopted this “remaining within the HOA” argument not because it is valid, but because it offers a plausible defense for their actions.
Want more neighborly love? Hold HOA boards accountable for their actions, and provide protections for the rights and freedoms on the owners. Forget the “we don’t want government” and get to “we want the same government protections as all others.