the age of HOA enlightenment is coming?

I’m beginning to see more and more evidence of enlightenment by pro-HOA supporters. The dogmatic insistence on enforcing the CC&Rs is falling away to a proper concern for the principles of democratic government and the fair and just treatment of homeowners. The strict view of the covenants is weakening.   There is a growing awareness that HOA boards are governed by other laws and ethical and moral considerations, if indeed HOA regimes are to meet the CAI propaganda of vibrant and harmonious communities.

The Berding-Weil blog, (California), shows recent evidence of this enlightenment as is recent posts introduce a degree of reality of events. Now, Donna DiMaggio Berger in Florida reminds boards of good government practices with,

Lastly, when you poll your community members and they voice an opinion on a proposed course of action, boards who disregard that input do so at their own peril. This is not to suggest that the membership must be polled on every course of action, particularly on routine maintenance which is one of a board’s main functions, but if you ask for input on discretionary spending it’s probably best to heed the message your members delivered.

 Avoiding the appearance of self interest as an association director

 Wow! What a thought — poll your community! Why didn’t I think of that very democratic tool? As claimed, the HOA board is the representative of the owner-members. Gee, asking for input is a radical suggestion for an undemocratic corporate form of government. Long overdue as HOA regimes are de facto political governments. Congratulations Donna! Excellent message for HOA boards as HOA member servants.

Now, Mr. Berding, why didn’t you address the recognition of the HOA de facto government in your “Reform Community Associations?” post? After all, you do hold a PhD in Government from the prestigious Claremont School. Your message was that HOAs were too big to fail, and we all have to live with the way things are.

 Every year the California legislature, and the legislatures of other states tinker with the enabling statutes for homeowner’s associations, but these efforts are usually paternalistic, constituent-favoring amendments that do little or nothing to solve the fundamental problems.

 How about the simple amendment that would go a long way to solving problems by restoring the equal application of the laws and due process protections of the 14th Amendment to homeowners, as it should be, and create a unified country rather than a myriad of independent HOA principalities?

The association hereby waivers and surrenders any rights or claims it may have under law and herewith unconditionally and irrevocably agrees 1) to be bound by the US and State Constitutions, and laws of the State within which it is located, as if it were a subdivision of the state and a local public government entity, and 2) that constitutional law shall prevail as the supreme law of the land including over conflicting laws and legal doctrines of equitable servitudes.  

HOA member Declaration of US and State citizenship.


Published in: on July 16, 2012 at 10:27 am  Comments (8)  
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  1. […] the age of HOA enlightenment is coming? […]

  2. […] report on what HOAs are all about (13 Investigates: HOAs). Your article joins the newly emerging HOA Enlightenment Movement that looks beyond the special interest, national lobbying trade entity, CAI, propaganda. For more […]

  3. Well, maybe not so fast here in Florida. Our State’s Supreme Court has not ruled on the issue of whether a private residential community’s governing documents can restrict signs without running afoul of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment protections which prohibit government from abridging the freedom of speech. Generally speaking, there would have to be some “tie in” between a private residential community and state action in order to have the First Amendment apply. Some people think that the fact that Florida condominiums are regulated by the State is sufficient to create that necessary state action but that theory has not yet been tested in our courts.

  4. […] few more enlightenment articles (see the age of HOA enlightenment is coming?) by the legal-academic aristocrats have appeared in the media and on the internet. Among these […]

  5. I may not always agreee with what George says BUT most of the time he get us headed in the right direction. If HOA Boards are becoming more enlightened it is because of people like George K. Staropoli have been leading the way. My thanks to George for all of the enlightening articles he writes. My thanks to George for all of the things he has done to protect the rights of Homeowners in HOAs!

  6. Ms. Berger’s words are cheap, as are all words. As totalitarian and punitive as many HOAs have become, forgive me if I suspect it is nothing more than pandering – to make sure that Boards can keep patting themselves on their collective backs for doing the ‘hard’ job of abusing and fleecing homeowners, and to lure more victims to buy into HOA smarm with the ‘we’re a democracy’ BS. Forgive me , but BA HUMBUG.

    • I’m sure they are all saying, “Let’s say something nice” at this point. Then they will realize that they have to back up these “nice” sayings at the state legislatures.

      • Ha! Rest assured that they are saying something entirely different in the State House. They are lobbying for their interests, which will always be consistent with abusive power to the board, and the absence of any recourse to homeowners when HOA boards go off the reservation.

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