Laws without enforcement are just recommendations

In response to a post by Maria Winlet on the FB page, “HOA Reform – stop the abuse”,  reporting an article by Jessica Boehm of The Arizona Republic, I posted the following on the FB page:

“Want to stop this flagrant abuse and lack of homeowner protection by pro-HOA biased legislation, here in az or in any other state? Let’s hope that the uniform law commission — creator of UCIOA and its failed 2008 bill of rights version — agrees to pursue a legitimate bill of rights focused on limiting HOA government and protecting member rights, as is the intent of the constitution’s bill of rights. Set to decide this Oct. 29th. * * * * the ULC scope committee is handling the review. Timothy Berg is the committee chair. You can send an email to info@uniformlaws.org attn T Berg with a reference to member bill of rights. They have my history of HOA member bill of rights as posted here and on my website. We must offset CAI’s influence.”

All advocates and homeowners need to do their part if substantive reforms are to become real.

Restructuring HOAs: “CAI School and member benefits” pt. 2

Mentoring: “CAI School of HOA Governance”

Part 2 addresses the heavy influence of the CAI and its affiliated, shill, organizations functioning as supporters of HOAs and the questionable claim of also supporting homeowners.

CAI heavy influence

Several HOA attorneys have maintained that the expression of the common interest of all the members is found 1) in the Declaration that they all agreed to be bound by and 2) because the members still remain a resident and a member of the HOA. It is through the Declaration itself that provides their benefits and the BOD is not derelict in its duties and obligations to the members. And that’s all there is to it!

However, herein and in my intents and purposes paper[1] I argued that the BOD’s mission statement, vision and values are one-sided and heavily influenced by the mindset created by the CAI School of HOA Governance[2] that neglects constitutional protections for the members. The alleged benefits for the members as contained in the CC&Rs do very little to provide the benefits of a democratic government. In fact, they restrict or deny the application of constitutional rights and freedoms, and the privileges and immunities of citizens of this country and their state.[3]

The policy makers have failed to understand that the HOA CC&Rs have crossed over the line between purely property restrictions to establishing unregulated and authoritarian private governments.”

In order to correct these serious defects in the HOA legal model the HOA must be restructured to conform to and be subject to the Constitution and laws of the land. It must begin with a declaration of citizenship to be made a covenant in all declarations, charters, bylaws and other governing HOA documents. State laws and CC&Rs must be amended according as proposed in my HOA Member Declaration shown in part below:

Therefore, the members of the association, having not waived or surrendered their rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities as citizens of the United States under Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, and as citizens of the state within which they reside, the CC&Rs or Declaration for any planned community, condominium or homeowners association shall state that, or be amended to comply . . . .”[4]

In order for this revision to become a reality the BOD and HOA members must be reoriented away from the teachings of the CAI School and toward the forgotten and neglected principles and values of democratic America. The CAI School needs to be replaced with a qualified program of education and training on municipal government: its structure, objectives and mission, functions and operations.

CAI support of HOAs

Why does CAI oppose holding HOAs subject to the Constitution? How can CAI take this stance and still assert that it’s supportive of the homeowners? It seems by adopting the WW II Fascist philosophy of Italy’s Il Duce, Benito Mussolini, who proclaimed, “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”[5] And who described Fascism a being “for the State; and it is for the individual in so far as he coincides with the State[6] Just substitute “HOA” for “state” and it all makes sense. Essentially, this is CAI’s true position on HOA governments.

While there is much to support and justify the need to remove the heavy influence by CAI over HOA-Land, a few instances are provided.

In the context of community associations, the unwise extension of constitutional rights to the use of private property by members . . . raises the likelihood that judicial intervention will become the norm.”[7] (NJ).

In other words, CAI doesn’t want our constitutional judicial system to be applied to HOAs. They can rule themselves without judicial oversight. All other forms of local government, including the most liberal of self-government charters under the home rule doctrine are subject to the Constitution.

AGAINST

[CAI] Kathe Barnes, Self(02/10/2020); Jason Barraza, AZ ASSN OF COMMUNITY MANAGERS (AACM)(02/10/2020); Terry Carstens, Self(02/23/2020); Quinten Cupps, Self(02/06/2020); [CAI, AACM] Mary Jo Edel, Self(02/06/2020); Alexis Glascock, COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS INSTITUTE(02/09/2020); [CAI attorney] Lynn Krupnik, Self(02/06/2020); [AACM] Linda Lang, Self(02/10/2020); Mark Logan, Self(02/10/2020); Dave Norton, Self(02/06/2020); Jeff Sandquist, AZ ASSN OF COMMUNITY MANAGERS (AACM)(02/10/2020); Vicki Sears, Self(02/06/2020); [AACM] Mark Wade, Self(02/06/2020); Donna Wood, Self(02/06/2020); [AZ]

The above quote represents the persons and/or organizations against Arizona Senate bill SB 1412 (2020). The bill would bring homeowner protections for HOA political activity and free speech rights. Note the absence of any identification of several persons who are members of one or the other mentioned organizations, CAI and AACM (AACM is a spin-off from CAI in 2003). That’s 8 out of 14 persons in opposition. Please also note that none of these persons have identified themselves with any HOA. Where are the HOA directors or presidents?

California’s SB 323 (2019) introduced fair elections procedures for HOAs that protect homeowner voting rights. It addressed one of my 6 substantive defects in the HOA legal scheme.[8]   It has become California law. Long time California lawyer Adrian Adams is heavily involved in CAI policy and management at the HQ and chapter levels. He writes:

Last year, the Center for California Homeowner Association Law (CCHAL), an organization hostile to community associations . . . The train wreck legislation . . . The bill also forces members . . . In another hostile move against associations . . . The California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) is a volunteer organization consisting of homeowners and professionals serving homeowner associations by monitoring legislation, educating lawmakers, and protecting the interests of those living in community associations.[9]

CAI’s California LAC:[10]

The California Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) is a committee of Community Associations Institute (CAI), a national not-for-profit educational and resource organization dedicated to fostering vibrant, competent, harmonious community associations. CLAC consists of homeowners and professionals serving community associations.

We worked hard to defeat SB 323 and we came very close, especially on the Assembly Floor where the bill passed and was sent to the Governor. . . . Let’s work closely together to make sure legislators understand the negative consequences SB 323 potentially will have on community associations.

It should be obvious by now that CAI is not a friend of the homeowner in spite of its lofty, high sounding pronouncements, policies and Best Practices. The acts of its members both in CAI HQ and in the numerous state chapters speak an entirely contradictory message. CAI is there to support the HOA and the BOD that is the real person representative of the HOA association. It is obvious that granting and admitting individual rights and freedoms to the homeowners presents an obstacle to its personal agenda; CAI is a business trade tax-exempt nonprofit entity to make money for its members, the attorneys and managers for the most part, the

After consideration of the above and earlier posts under Restructuring HOAs, I ask and answer: Does the Declaration provide covenants that implement and accomplish the intents and purposes of the HOA that serve the interests of the members? My answer is NO. It raises the question of why BODs accept the HOA model of local government and resist revisions in order to bring the HOA within the Constitution for the protection of its members?

Notes

[1] See “Restructuring HOAs – intents and purposes,” George K. Staropoli, HOA Constitutional Government (Feb 2020).

[2] The basis for a definition can be found in “CAI claims Factbook 2018 at home with Democracy in America.”, in HOA Constitutional Government, footnote 9.

[3] See “Would the HOA legal scheme collapse under a democratic form of government?” in HOA Constitutional Government (2014); “HOA-Land and the decline in democratic institutions” in HOA Constitutional Government (2019).

[4] See “HOA member Declaration of US and State citizenship” in HOA Constitutional Government (2012).

[5] See Benito Mussolini: What is Fascism, 1932.

[6] Fundamental Ideas of Fascism,” Benito Mussolini, Souciant, Inc. (2016).

[7] CAI amicus curiae brief in CBTR v. Twin Rivers, 890 A.2d 947 (NJ Super. App. Div. 2006).

[8] See HOA Common Sense: rejecting private government, Democratic elections, No. 5. (2019).

[9] Adams Stirling Newsletter, Adrian Adams, Esq. (Feb. 24, 2019). Adams is a member of CAI’s Community Association Research Foundation, CAI chapter director and CLAC delegate.

[10] CAI-CLAC Feb. (2020).

 

 

 

Authorities for protected HOA political speech — SB 1412 poll

In regard to Arizona’s SB 1412 seeking free political speech with regard to HOA governance issues, please see the following Commentaries containing relevant court opinions and California bill, SB 323, passed into law last year. Don’t forget about the important references — endnotes — found in these Commentaries.

Take the HOA public issues poll in confidence. Complete privacy. I don’t get name or email address, so take the poll today!

  1. Political free speech both without and within the HOA (2018).
  2. NJ Supreme Court upholds constitution against HOA free speech electioneering violations (2014).
  3. CA SB323 a model on fair elections for all states (2019).
  4. courts hold HOAs as political second governments with public issues (2009).
  5. Protecting HOA political free speech on matters of general community interest (2015). Applies anti-slapp laws protecting HOA free speech.

 

 

HOAs are in need of a major restructuring

Whether you like your HOA, or dislike your HOA, is immaterial. It’s all about the Constitution and the HOA legal scheme. What matters is whether the HOA legal structure is a danger to the country, because it will happen again. And none of us can have confidence, based on the historical record, that it will not happen again because . . . every day it is allowed to continue at will.[1]

It is well past the time for a restructuring of the HOA model of local government formulated some 56 years ago by ULI in 1964 — The Homes Association Handbook. In 1973 CAI was formed to deal with the persistent problems facing the HOA model, and in 1992 CAI was forced to change its educational tax-exempt status to that of a business trade group in an attempt to deal with the continued problems with HOA.[2] In 2005 it had to drop HOAs as a member due to conflicts with the purpose of a business trade group — HOAs are consumers of CAI services.

These HOA problems and issues are endemic to the legal model of unconstitutional, private governments as a result of the intents and motivations behind the introduction of HOAs: to make $$$ by means of a mass merchandising effort.[3] Constitutional considerations were ignored and avoided by focusing on the legalities of real estate law and equitable servitudes to justify the legal authority over the HOA members. The policy makers have failed to understand that the HOA CC&Rs have crossed over the line between purely property restrictions to establishing unregulated and authoritarian private governments.

There is no denying that the HOA subdivision managed by competent boards and professionals appeals to the desires and wants of home buyers and bring many benefits. It comes as no surprise that the vast majority of persons living in an HOA approve and love their HOA, finding only minor problems with the board of directors or HOA managers. The annual “satisfaction” surveys produced by the pro-HOA trade group, CAI, reflect this positive attitude.

However, the HOA legal structure and scheme is authoritarian in nature: strong central power, limited political freedoms, no accountability, and under the rule of man, not law.

But the HOA is truly a totalitarian democracy. A totalitarian democratic state is said to maximize its control over the lives of its citizens by using the dual rationale of general will (i.e., “public good”) and majority rule.[4]

Prof. McKenzie wrote in 1994: “HOAs currently engage in many activities that would be prohibited if they were viewed by the courts as the equivalent of local governments.”[5] The authoritarian nature of HOA-Land is masked by a thorough indoctrination that presents a false picture of the real estate subdivision as democratic, inappropriately named a community, simply because the members are allowed to vote, as meaningless as it is.

The HOA danger to the Constitution has been presented in several Commentaries herein, and in the white paper found in the book, The HOA-Land Nation Within America.[6]

There is no denying that the HOA subdivision managed by competent boards and professionals appeals to the desires and wants of home buyers and bring many benefits. However, as this whitepaper addresses, the means to this end are highly suspect and harmful to our democratic system of government.

StarMan Group, HOA Management Consulting, offers a program to resolve many of the substantive defects with HOAs by means of the complete restructuring of the model: a program of organizational development. It also requires the removal of the adverse influences by the CAI School of HOA Governance as I collectively refer to CAI’s policies, best practices, guides, communications, seminars and certifications, and in its Manifesto.[7]

consulting SIG image1

References

[1] Rep. Schiff’s (Rep. Adam Schiff is the leading Democratic impeachment prosecutor), opening argument Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, appealing to the Senators to uphold the Constitution. “Whether you like the president, or dislike the president, is immaterial. It’s all about the Constitution and his misconduct. What matters is whether he is a danger to the country, because he will do it again. And none of us can have confidence, based on his record, that he will not do it again because he is telling us every day that he will.”

[2] See in general: Evan McKenzie, Privatopia: Homeowners Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Governments, Yale Univ. Press, 1994; Donald R. Stabile, Community Associations: The Emergence and Acceptance of a Quiet Innovation in Housing (funded by CAI and ULI).

[3] See in general, “Analysis of The Homes Association Handbook,George K. Staropoli (2006).

[4] George K. Staropoli, The HOA-Land Nation Within America, p. 22 (StarMan Press 2019).

5 Supra n. 2, Privatopia.

[6] Supra, n.4, p. 4.

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

 

HOA social dynamics — “freedom of mind” pt. 1

HOA social dynamics and the loss of “freedom of mind”

By: George K. Staropoli, March 18, 2019

Part 1.

A very disturbing  behavior by the vast majority of HOA members in many HOAs, both large and small, is their willingness, their wholehearted obedience, and their unquestioned loyalty to behave as instructed by their board of directors (BOD).  When confronted with contradicting views, criticizing and opposing the BOD’s actions and conduct — supported by documentation in statutes, correspondence and BOD behavior — members simply ignore the evidence.  These unknown neighbors, these strangers for the most part, who apparently cannot think for themselves can affect your home without your consent.

And when questioned and confronted as to their reasons and justifications for these outright illogical and wrongful acts by their BOD, the questioner is met with a cult-like resistance and dogmatic defense.  The defenses are a combination of, among other things,

  1. the BOD can do no wrong;
  2. the BOD is made up of volunteers doing what’s right for the HOA;
  3. outright denying and disputing the opposing arguments without investigation;
  4. labelling the questioner as a troublemaker and attacking his motives; ostracize, and disparage;
  5. a defense consisting of slogans and mottos, like “no government interference.”

The BOD demands faith (never question), loyalty (agreement with the BOD),  and obedience (suffer the consequences for disobedience, both financially and emotionally). However, there may be a small opposition group, but it usually lacks the power to be effective because the governing documents have been designed to restrict such “upstarts.”   HOAs restrict the freedom of political speech as permitted in the public domain.

I am aware of two instances —  both in Arizona by upscale, large HOAs — of the extreme degree to which members display a lack of “freedom of the mind”[i] concerning amendments to the governing documents that have material consequences.   In both cases the membership was given notice of serious violations of the law and governing documents supported by hard evidence. In both instances the BOD failed to address these concerns and to justify its actions.  The vote was allowed to continue and the amendments became, in my view, falsely effective.

There is clear and convincing evidence that this irrational behavior is the result of a long-term, systematic program of indoctrination using propaganda[ii] as the means to accomplish the aims and goals – the “party line” — of the propagandists.  Enforcement of the party line can be found in the same methods used to enforce cult obedience.[iii]  The causes of this state of affairs in HOA-Land[iv] are analogous to the pressures of the pre-WWII Germans and today in America with respect to Facebook and other  businesses fostering social media for their own self-serving agenda, respectively.

Milton Mayer interviewed average Germans in 1955 asking how could they let the Nazis take control. One telling response was that the “good” Germans went along “in the usual sincerity that required them only to abandon one principle after another, to throw away, little by little, all that was good.”[v]  The vehicle for this abandonment was the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.

Roger McNamee[vi] describes Facebook’s motive and mission as to make money by allowing people to “talk” to each over the Internet.  Facebook uses behavioral modification techniques such as, playing on “’lizard brain’ emotions such as fear and anger,” “giving users ‘what they want,’” and “[nudging] user attention in directions that Facebook wants.”  Both examples seek to control and limit the people’s “freedom of mind” by indoctrinating them to their self-serving agendas. The analogies to HOA-Land are striking.

Continue with Part 2.

References

[i] See Social dynamics freedom of mind.pdf (2019), footnote 1.

[ii] Propaganda techniques: glittering generalities; testimonials from prominent people; name calling; use of false and misleading statements.

[iii] Obedience: “a form of “social influence in which a person yields to explicit instructions or orders from an authority figure.”

[iv] I have defined HOA-Land as a collection of fragmented independent principalities within America, known in general as “HOAs,” that are separate local private governments not subject to the constitution, and that collectively constitute a nation within the United States.

[v] They Thought They Were Free, Milton Mayer, 1955.

[vi] Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, Roger McNamee, Penguin Press (2019).