By this time I believe some are beginning to realize the larger objective of my posts. It’s about HOA-LAND, that collection of HOAs across America, and SCG was just a prime subject for study that provided detailed documentation. Through acts of commission and of omission, by both the board of directors and the members in general, my research was revealing.
Now that the board of directors meeting was held, without write-ins being allowed and no outcry of foul by the members, I conclude my study of a failure to act in good faith that contained documented violations of state laws and the governing documents.
My case study showed that an HOA with members above average income and education exhibited the same social and political dynamics of the prevalent HOA culture. It is a culture found throughout HOA-LAND that allows for the classification of HOA-LAND as a nation within America, consisting of independent principalities allowed to exist outside the Constitution. In the face of demonstrable violations of the law and the governing documents, the silence by BODs and the majority of the members places HOA communities above the law as outlaw communities.
Although participation in the SCG polls and focus groups was in the thousands, the failure of members to participate in my nonpolitical “Values” poll is indicative of the HOA Culture. It is very disappointing, but not unexpected. Early results do not show a heavy leaning for or against but a balanced response that I see as truthful, honest replies. Another failure by the members to accept criticism.
Check out the poll — it’s anonymous. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NF7FVR2
I was texted by a member who said this failure was due to fear on the part of members. She was partially right; fear is one aspect of the social dynamics of the HOA Culture in SCG. Others texted asking, what does this prove and where are you going with this? In a broader context, we are dealing with simplified explanations by apathetic members. Why is this so?
In my well founded argument of the social and political dynamics at work included findings of the existence of:
- an authoritarian environment made possible by members’ authoritarian followers behavior. In short, trusting in authority figures. (It is in keeping with the increase in American authoritarianism);
- a cult-like behavior by members who religiously support the board of directors, who completely believe that the BOD can do no wrong, and who will intently not discuss or debate the issues, but ready to attack and disparage the messengers (as found in cult followers);
- a “You can’t fight city hall” mentality stemming from the adhesion governing documents granting powers to the HOA and supported by pro-HOA statutes mimicking the governing documents in many ways (the practical ability to seek justice in the courts is subject to unattainable financial and emotional bars;
- a “I just don’t care” attitude by members who are in love with the amenities and benefits made possible by the HOA, and the means to that end doesn’t interest them;
- a fear in being rejected, ostracized, and socially distanced as “not one of us,” and “should move out if not happy here,” if critical or disagreeing with the prevailing views of the “establishment.” Or, in other words, the equivalent of not being politically correct.
The making of this culture falls only partially on the members to the extent of their being all too willing to accept pro-HOA propaganda — carefree living, affordable housing, resort style living etc. CAI (Community Associations Institute) has for over 40 years 1) heavily influenced and dominated the formation of HOA-Land as an institution – accepted without question as that’s the way it is; and 2) conditioned and indoctrinated the public and members with its CAI School of HOA Governance (my label). NO, that’s not the way it is!
This business trade group has advanced its mission to support its members, the attorney and manager “venders.” Collectively, its program of education and acceptance can be found in its CAI Manifesto, which is a collection of all CAI documentation including town sponsored seminars and conferences, court filings, and legislative testimony in almost every state.
As I presented elsewhere, SCG has a “clique” of CAI members who, over the years, are also or were SCG presidents and directors. And their presence continues and can be seen on the BOD and as committee chairs today.
How SCG, and all HOAs, go forward depends on a proactive and involved membership, starting with reforming pro-HOA state laws and trickling down to conforming governing document revisions.