Lost Constitution Webinar

Veritas para justitia

May 22, 2020 11:00 AM PDT

This FREE webinar dares discuss the CAI taboos!

The overall intent and purpose of this webinar series is the education and reorientation of HOA members, especially the board of directors, to long ignored issues of constitutional validity; issues that the public will not find in the multitude of materials and publications of that business trade group, Community Associations Institute, CAI.

Geo zoom

The reorientation project is the first step toward the understanding and acceptance of my Plan Toward the Restructuring the HOA Model of Governance; it requires an examination of the role and influence of CAI in supporting and promoting the HOA legal concept and model of government.

To participate you will receive an invite with a password giving the time and date of the session. You will need this info when you sign up for the session at webinar time.

To receive an invitation please respond to gks256@NYU.edu with “webinar” as the subject and the email address that you will use to participate

BOD education webinar on HOA realities in final stages

A FREE StarMan Group webinar series to educate and reorient HOA boards and the public in general is in its final stages of development. This HOA educational series is based on the collection, “Restoring the Lost Constitution to HOA-Land.” See “HOA board education in constitutionality.”

The first session makes the case why HOA boards need to be educated as they are functioning in the blind with respect to constitutionality issues and the denial of member rights and freedoms. The final session will address The Plan to Restructure the Model of HOA Governance.

To participate you will receive an invite with a password giving the time and date of a ZOOM session. You will need this info at webinar time when you sign up for the session.

Coming soon . . .

HOA constitutionality Plan supplement – BOD education

The Plan Toward Restoring the HOA Model of Governance[1] called for both a systemic restructuring of the HOA legal scheme and the need to reorient the BODs and legislators. The long ignored and inexcusable questions of constitutionality that continue to harm members and the greater communities across this country must be exposed, understood and accepted.

hoa-const.jpg

The above picture reflects the rewrite of the Preamble to the Constitution as applied to the HOA-Land nation. It reads,

“We the people of a private HOA, in order to protect property values, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of increased property values to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Declaration for the United HOAs of America.”

Why is there a need for board of directors education on HOA constitutionality? Why? Because:

  • HOAs are a form of local government not subject to the Constitution, and have created divisiveness and a separation from the greater public community resulting in member confusion regarding the law and their constitutional rights and protections;
  • the national lobbying entity, CAI, has indoctrinated the legislators, the courts, and the public with its CAI School of HOA Governance program that contains just lip service to constitutional questions, for example,

“A global nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization, CAI is the foremost authority in community association management, governance, education, and advocacy. Our mission is to inspire professionalism, effective leadership, and responsible citizenship—ideals reflected in community associations that are preferred places to call home.”[2]

while opposing the application of the Constitution in its numerous amicus curiae briefs to the courts, for example,

“In light of these statutory, contractual and common law standards protecting the interests of community association members, they need not claim constitutional protection from the conduct of governing boards to exercise their rights with respect to the associations.”[3]

  • The Findings, Section II, Education for Homeowners Associations and Board Members, of the North Carolina HOA study report to the NC General Assembly recommended,

“In order to provide accurate and readily available resources to educate homeowners, board members, and interested persons about the duties and responsibilities of property ownership in an HOA community, the General Assembly . . . to seek reliable and unbiased information available from private entities . . . and provide for published and online documents and programs offering HOA education . . . .”[4]

  • Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government, the 1994 landmark book based on the research of UIC Prof. McKenzie, and highly appropriate today, called the reader’s attention to,

“CIDS [HOAs] currently engage in many activities that would be prohibited  if they were viewed  by the courts as the equivalent of local governments.

“In a variety of ways, these private governments are illiberal and undemocratic. Most significantly boards of directors operate outside constitutional restrictions because the law views them as business entities rather than governments. . . . [They] are inconsistent not only with political theories of legitimacy but with the normal process by which governments are created. . . . Thus these ‘private governments’ may violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” (Chapter 6).

  • A Table of Authorities,[5] not all inclusive, supporting the Restoring the Lost Constitution.
  • Unanswered questions on HOA constitutionality:

CAI Common Ground 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.

In a 2011 email to the North Carolina Legislature House HOA Committee I asked, “the legislators, the public interest organizations and policy makers to consider the following questions.” And I concluded with, “I await your reply, or a reply from any of the legal-academic aristocrats.”[6] Still no answer.

    • Can a legislature delegate its functions, not government services but functions, to private entities without oversight or compliance with the Constitution, as required of all government entities?
    • Can private parties enter into contractual arrangements using adhesion contracts and a constructive notice consent that serve to regulate and control the people within a territory (an HOA), to circumvent the application of the Constitution?

 A webinar is in the plans that summarizes and follows the materials – the text — comprising the HOA educational series to reorient HOA boards and the public in general. The text is available online under the collection, “Restoring the Lost Constitution to HOA-Land.” Will be coming soon.

Notes

[1] See https://tinyurl.com/sr27yq3.

[2] About Community Associations Institute, April 4, 2020). https://finance.yahoo.com/news/community-associations-institute-cai-provides-181931116.html. April 4, 2020).

[3] CAI amicus brief, Jan. 3, 2013, Dublirer v. 2000 Linwood Avenue Owners Assn, N.J. Docket 069154 (2014).

[4] “Study On Homeowners Associations”, Luke A. Rankin, Chair, South Carolina General Assembly (December 18, 2015). (http://www.scstatehouse.gov/CommitteeInfo/HomeownersAssociationStudyCommittee/HOAStudyCommitteeFinalReport12182015.pdf). April 27, 2020).

[5] http://starman.com/m…/restructureHOA/restructure-reading.pdf.

[6] See Too hot for NC HOA committee – withdraws legal-academic “experts, George K. Staropoli, HOA Constitutional Government (Nov. 17, 2011). https://pvtgov.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/too-hot-for-nc-hoa-committee-withdraws-legal-academic-experts/

HOA board education in constitutionality

HOAs have, as local private governments are not subject to the Constitution, created divisiveness and a separation from the greater public community resulting in member confusion regarding the law and their constitutional rights and protections. StarMan Group presents an online educational series, with numerous authorities, to instruct HOA boards in regard to their obligations “in the best interests of the members”.

This HOA educational series to reorient HOA boards and the public in general is available online under the collection, “Restoring the Lost Constitution to HOA-Land”:

1) HOA Common Sense: rejecting private government, a summary of 6 constitutional defects,

2) The HOA-Land Nation Within America, presenting the scope of outlaw private governments that deny constitutional protections,

3) The Plan to Restructure the Model of HOA Governance that advances an approach to restore the Constitution to HOAs while keeping the desired benefits of the “real estate package,” and

4) Establishing the New America of Independent HOA Principalities,” a history of the HOA scheme.

For a historical perspective of HOA-Land, see: 1) The Homes Associations Handbook (ULI, 1964). (Not publicly available but I have a copy of the 434 page document); 2) Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government (1994), Evan McKenzie; and 3) Community Associations: The Emergence and Acceptance of a Quiet Innovation in Housing (2000), Donald R. Stable. (ULI and CAI production).

CAI attempts turning volunteers into HOA leaders

Tom Skiba, CEO of CAI, is concerned about the lack of member volunteers to lead their HOA in his Ungated post under the column, “News and Insights on community association living.”[1] As he argues for more volunteer leadership and activism, he doesn’t realize that he’s admitting to 45 years of failure to solve HOA problems.

That’s why, for more than 45 years, we have supported the belief that homeowner involvement is essential, and that education is a critical component to an association’s success. . . . At CAI, we know there is usually a correlation between the level of homeowner involvement and the long-term success of a community. . . . it’s the homeowner volunteer leaders who are accountable to their neighbors.

Skiba’s concern is understandable when, illustrative of the problem, a large, active adult resort style HOA has been facing failure and having difficulty attracting members to become active in management. And that’s after 3 years earlier an independent and professional strategic plan recommended an educational program to assist in obtaining members to serve in management.  It has been ignored.

CAI has introduced a program designed to educate volunteers to become effective and productive HOA leaders by taking its CAI Board Leader Certificate Course and obtaining the CAI Board Leader Certificate. It seems however, that Skiba is a little bit unsure of this program to create leaders from average people: “After completion of the course, students will acknowledge that they’ve read and understood three key CAI educational resources:” Why the acknowledgement? For what purpose? Is this an oversell of CAI’s attempt to bolster the ego and acceptance of board directors and officers as being “somebody” and an authority? “Community leaders who complete the CAI Board Leader Certificate will receive a certificate of completion and recognition on the CAI website”.

This course, recognizing that “leaders are responsible for setting policy and making decisions . . . . highlights what every board member needs to know to serve effectively,” contains 5 modules:

    • Module 1: Governing Documents and Roles & Responsibilities.
    • Module 2: Communications, Meetings and Volunteerism.
    • Module 3: Fundamentals of Financial Management.
    • Module 4: Professional Advisors and Service Providers.
    • Module 5: Association Rules and Conflict Resolution.

From what is available online, as indicated above, my thoughts are more of the same. There is nothing to make me believe that this course addresses questions of effective leadership. It appears to make use of the inbreeding and indoctrination by the CAI School of HOA Governance.[2] A doing it my way program without any discussion or presentation of effective local government management[3] or any general qualities of what makes a genuine leader.

Travis Bradbury explains leadership:

Leadership has nothing to do with titles. Leadership has nothing to do with personal attributes. Leadership isn’t management. Leadership isn’t something that anyone can give you—you have to earn it and claim it for yourself.[4]

In addressing the management of nonprofit organizations, eminent management consultant Peter F. Drucker wrote: “The first job of the leader is to think through and define the mission of the institution.” [5]

In the inbreeding atmosphere within HOAs where the volunteers are sought who are not disruptive — who do not dare criticize the BOD — Terrin Allen warns about YES men.

In my experience, most people get this way because they are responding to a culture or people in management who elicit and reward this type of behavior. . . . [in order to] survive on a dysfunctional leadership landscape where all the signals and messages confirm for them that dissent is bad and agreement is good.[6]

Summary

I appreciate Skiba’s concern for responsive HOA management, but CAI’s approach is severely lacking. There is the continued absence of democratic institutions and principles. that would send a message to those truly seeking to create a healthy and productive community; a true community not focused on property values and enforcement of the governing documents alone.

A healthy society and community must be supportive of their membership who still naively believe their HOA is a democracy in action and protective of their individual rights and freedoms. Where they truly have a voice and fair elections to make that happen. I offer an alternative legal model of HOA governance to accomplish this task. See HOAs are in need of a major restructuringg and sequel under Restructuring.

consulting SIG image1Notes

[1] Tom Skiba, “Effective leadership: How board leader education moves communities forward,” (March 5, 2020).</p>

[2] I collectively refer to CAI’s policies, best practices, guides, communications, seminars and certifications, and in its Manifesto as the CAI School of HOA Governance.

[3] Roger L. Kemp, “Forms of Governance,” Managing America’s Cities: A Handbook for Local Government Productivity, McFarland & Co., (2007).

[4] Travis Bradbury, “What Makes a Leader?”, Success.com (May 25, 2019).

[5] Peter F. Drucker, Managing the Nonprofit Organization: Principles and Practices, HarperCollins (1990).

[6] Terin Allen, Are You Creating ‘Yes Men’ And Hindering Your Own Leadership Success?”, Forbes.com (Nov. 10, 2018).