There is a serious defect in the HOA model of local governance based on a private contract that requires a board of directors to manage the association through the use of unpaid volunteers. It seems as though the framers ignored the old truism: you get what you paid for. Now don’t get me wrong, there are qualified directors and those with an honest belief in volunteering and pitching in to make their HOA a better place. But the legal structure to often prevents them having any real impact. A topic to be addressed elsewhere at another time.
The framers of the model were well aware that to ask homeowner/members to fork up assessments that included director/officer salaries or compensation would never fly. It would not even fly today. Recourse then was made to the utopian concept, the private commune, where everybody chipped in and did what they were capable for the benefit of the commune. And that required individuals who believed in the model to volunteer their time. Without this above and beyond call for volunteers the mass merchandising of HOAs would have failed.
In order to explain my opinion, I must take members back to 1964 and the framing of The Homes Association Handbook that became the HOA declaration of CC&Rs “bible.” All HOA declarations flow from this Handbook and constitute the vast boilerplate found in all CC&Rs over the past 58 years.
This topic was addressed in the Handbook. And since the growth in size of HOAs led to incorporation of the associations, the need for a board of directors was mandatory and a solid and necessary requirement. The answer was solved, they thought, by unpaid volunteerism. Further reaching out in order to make the HOA legal scheme work, the demand for involvement in the affairs of the HOA, especially for directors, ran against the national data on citizen involvement in government. (Just check the number of voters in presidential elections as a percent, not of registered voters, but of voter age people, shows on average a 35% turnout.)
As it has become apparent, many HOAs have resorted to “conscripting” members just to sit on the board to meet the statutory and governing document requirements. They are generally YES men, going along with the power clique or president’s wishes. This has led to anyone, qualified or not, to get him on the board.