the importance of endnotes, references and links

The Lone Ranger remembers.   Lone Ranger1

Back in my college days I had a history professor who liked to do “surprise quizzes” (remember those college grads?) based on the reading assignment for that day.  There usually was a question based on a footnote or picture caption. He made his point and we began paying attention to these items in our text.

I’d like to mention to my followers and readers that endnotes, footnotes, references, and links contain important material related to the topic of the post.  They amplify and clarify issues.  Please read them to better understand the message at hand.

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Published in: on October 2, 2017 at 7:48 am  Comments (3)  

The Realtor association and HOA-Land

The RA-CAI-RE Triangle, Part 1

(I use the following notation in this series.  “RA” is the collection of the national and state chartered Realtor associations.  “CAI” is the Community Associations Institute.  “RE” is the collection of state real estate departments.  Specific organizations will be identified as such.)

The very powerful National Association of Realtors (NAR) played an important role in the development of HOAs when it split off its research function to form ULI (Urban Land Institute) in 1936.  ULI then spent a lot of time and energy over the years resulting in the publication of the HOA-Land “bible,” The Homes Association Handbook in 1964.

According to Ron Stabile, author of the 2000 self-congratulatory book paid for by ULI and CAI (emphasis added),

The innovators of CAs were entrepreneurs . . .. The dilemma [as far back as the 1930s] was how to ensure their widespread acceptance among government agencies, builders and developers, and prospective home buyers.[1]

Furthermore, parallel to ULI’s activities, the FHA set up its own land planning and usage division in 1938. NAREB (National Association of Real Estate Boards, now NAR) ‘had a large influence on the formation of FHA.’ In 1963, Byron Hanke, an FHA employee on loan from FHA, was the Handbook’s Study Director and Land Planner.  (He later became the primary founder and promoter for the creation of CAI in 1973.)

In 2016, CAI released its White Paper,[2] or as I call it, the CAI Manifesto.[3]  These papers contain, among other things, CAI’s attempts to influence other dominant organizations like AARP and NAR (National Assoc. of Realtors).[4] Furthermore, CAI calls for not only influencing legislatures, but the judges, too.[5]

For the most part the Arizona Realtor trade group (AAR) has been low-key, but active behind the scenes.  In 2013, Rep. Ugenti boasted to the AZ GOV committee, stating (emphasis added).

[W]orking through a stakeholder process and allowing the stakeholder process to filter the proposed legislation   . . . representing a consensus from the AZ realtors, and AACM (AZ Association of Community Managers, the beneficiary of this bill).[6]

This bill granted unlicensed HOA property managers the right to represent HOA in small claims court, a right not enjoyed by certified paralegals, known as a AZ Certified Legal Document Preparers. AAR supported this bill. Homeowners were not included as part of the “stakeholder” group in this back-office meeting. “Stakeholder” as commandeered by the pro-HOA forces means the special interest vendors feeding off the HOA consumers.

How else has AAR been working behind the scenes?

 

References

[1] Community Associations: The Emergence and Acceptance of a Quiet Innovation in Housing, p. 68, Donald R. Stabile (Greenwood Press 2000).

[2] See Community Next: 2020 and Beyond (May 5, 2016).

[3] CAI manifesto: CAI’s plan for HOA-Land in America.  “A manifesto is a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization.”  “A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body’s philosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.”

[4] Supra n. 2, p 4-5.

[5] Supra n. 2, p. 13-14.

[6] See my Commentary, AZ HB 2371 allows unlicensed managers to represent HOAs in disputes.

Published in: on September 29, 2017 at 3:52 pm  Comments (1)  

AZ R.E. dept. removes CAI and AACM from its list of resources

The Arizona real estate department (ADRE) took the high ground and did what was right and just:  it removed the HOA special interest vendors, AACM and CAI, from its list of Resources (under HOA Due Process).  To those familiar with CAI’s opposition to OAH adjudication of HOA disputes, this was the only acceptable decision.   (See Is AZ ADRE violating 1st Amendment free speech on HOA public issues?)  I congratulate Commissioner Lowe and Deputy Commissioner Dettorre for protecting the consumer, the HOA homeowner.

I am told that ADRE believed it was helping homeowners to better resolve HOA disputes.  When presented with the facts on the conduct of these vendor special interests ADRE reacted accordingly.  The department can play a significant role in restoring homeowner protections that were denied under the adhesion CC&Rs “contract” and under pro-HOA state laws. (More to come.) The defenders of the status quo, and that includes CIA and AACM, invoked the misguided argument that the homeowner agreed to be bound.

ADRE has authority to act under the statutes specifically regarding HOA disputes, and in general under real estate statutes. However, the department must be on guard not to fall into the clutches of the wolf as it appears to have done with respect to the resource issue.

Perhaps it was influenced by the Arizona HOA Coalition that claims to speak for the people.  It is a closed group run by a strong personality, as I’m told, that has no qualms working with the Evil Empire to bring about justice for homeowners.  It is a de facto lobbying group and not an educational group.  AZHOC, as it is known, is following a failed approach that was used by another so-called group in the 2000 – 2oo5 period.

AZHOC has already submitted proposed legislation to CAI, and others, as part of ADRE’s stakeholder group.  Obviously seeking CAI’s blessing before obtaining legislator sponsorship.  Yet, the public HOA member is not privy to this proposed legislation and cannot provide valid feedback.  But, CAI and others can.

I will not participate in the stakeholder meetings as a matter of principle, because CAI and AACM are usurpers of homeowner rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities.  What is important to keep in mind about these meetings is the failure of AZHOC to advance substantive issues for HOA reforms, while arguing for changes in the law relating to the daily operation of HOAs.  I don’t think CAI would support these substantive reforms nor even allow them.

HOA operational reforms are commendable, but falls far short of effecting meaningful change like supporting effective enforcement of HOA board violations as a detriment, fair elections procedures, reform of the laws regarding OAH dispute handling, requiring the HOA to swear allegiance to the Constitution as all other local governments, challenging the sales process that is ripe with misrepresentation, etc.

I have not been consulted by AZHOC, although I’ve volunteered as such last year, nor have I received any copies of its proposed legislation.  That alone speaks for itself.

ADRE must continue its good work. However, ADRE must not fall into the clutches of the wolf.

Published in: on September 27, 2017 at 9:33 am  Comments (9)  

Four 2006 unanswered questions on HOA constitutional issues

In my last Commentary, The Lone Ranger has never stopped fighting for HOA truth and justice, CAI Editor Durso mentioned my 2006 “open e-mail questionnaire to CAI’ containing four questions.”  Below is a copy of those questions initially addressed to the AZ Legislature a year earlier.  I never had any answer, either from the Legislature or CAI, nor any debate on the issues.

———————————————————-

Dear Mr. Durso,

As I wrote to the legislators, I now address these questions to CAI, as a public interest organization that repeatedly lobbies every state legislature, and ask that it respond to these important issues in its upcoming article —

Replacing democratic local governments with authoritarian private governments: Is this good public policy?

At the heart of the matter is the continued replacement of democratic local government, governments subject to the U.S. Constitution and 14th Amendment prohibitions, with contractual, authoritarian private governments that are not subject to the prohibitions of the 14th Amendment.  The two broad prohibitions within this amendment are the equal application of the law and the due process clauses that are not applicable to private agreements. Or are they?

I ask the legislators, the public interest organizations and policy makers to consider the following questions:

1. Is it proper for the state to create, permit, encourage, support or defend a form of local government of a community of people, whether that form of government is established as a municipal corporation or as a private organization that is not compatible with our American system of government?

2. Is it proper for the state to permit the existence of private quasi-governments with contractual “constitutions” that regulate and control the behavior of citizens without the same due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment; that do not conform to the state’s municipal charter or incorporation requirements; or do not provide for the same compliance with the state’s Constitution, statutes or administrative code as required by public local government entities?

3. When did “whatever the people privately contract” dominate the protections of the US Constitution? The New Jersey Appeals Court didn’t think so. Does “constructive notice”, the “nailing to the wall”, the medieval method of notice, measure to the requisite level of notice and informed consent to permit the loss of Constitutional protections?

4. Please state what, if any, are the government’s interests in supporting HOAs that deny the people their constitutional rights?


George K. Staropoli, Pres.
Citizens for Constitutional Local Government

March 16, 2006

Published in: on September 25, 2017 at 11:19 am  Leave a Comment  

The Lone Ranger has never stopped fighting for HOA truth and justice

Time to reflect a bit.  The following is an excerpt from CAI’s Common Ground article attacking homeowner rights advocates.

(Common Ground, May/June 2006, Christopher Durso, Editor).P1000486

CCLG’s [Citizens for Constitutional Local Government] founder and president, George Staropoli, for example, originally agreed to an interview but later changed his mind. In a brief phone call during which he’s quiet and almost courtly, he explains that Common Ground is CAI’s “house organ,” and that he’d be more comfortable with a debate or similar format where he could express himself at length, without the risk of being quoted out of context. He asks that his prolific writings on the CCLG website speak for him, although a week or two later he sends an “open e-mail questionnaire to CAI” containing four questions that sprout from CCLG’s mission, which reads in part: “To inform the public (a) of the private government nature of HOAs and their governing bodies, the homeowners association; (b) of the restrictions on homeowners’ civil liberties; and (c) of the lack of effective enforcement of state laws and the governing documents under the ‘private contract’ interpretation of HOAs.” It’s unclear how many members Staropoli has attracted to CCLG—Carpenter [Scott Carpenter, AZ CAI attorney] calls him a “lone ranger“—but certainly his approach is more philosophical than other advocates’.

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Says Carpenter: “George Staropoli believes he’s leading a revolution…. To him, this is a struggle against tyranny. And he uses that word all the time.”

According to the website, Staropoli—who launched CCLG in 2000—at one time served as treasurer of an HOA in Pennsylvania. Nothing more is written about his personal experience with associations, but today, he clearly thinks they go about things the wrong way. Or, rather, that they’re permitted to go about things the wrong way, free from the constitutionally imposed checks and balances that bind municipal governments. “When the board fines you, where do you go for your due process?” he said in a recent interview with the Middletown (Ohio) Journal. “You go right back to the same people who fined you.”

Published in: on September 23, 2017 at 5:59 pm  Comments (5)