Preface to Restructure HOA Supplement

Preface

People could care less about the truth. People buy promises and dreams. They’ll do anything to avoid reality” (anonymous)

The above quote, reflecting human nature,  gets to the very heart of the HOA-Land problem. It applies not only to SCG but to all HOA members throughout America.  In a sarcastic Nextdoor  post, the writer expressed his feelings that my posts were, in my words too cute, and that he didn’t want “to be in an association that George had anything to do with . . . and take his trouble making rhetoric to other lucky people.” I responded:

“My HOA right or wrong! So what if it has violated state laws and the governing documents, and refuses to defend itself. So what! As long as the amenities keep coming and assessments stay low, I guess all is OK.”

I have high hopes that all HOA members will follow their conscience and do what is right for their community, their state, and for America.  The alternative is a rejection of our democratic institutions, our constitutional government,  and the principles and values that we, as Americans, stand for.  The alternative is an acceptance of the HOA-Land Nation Within America.

* * * *

For this case study, my objective was to unveil the truth and advise the BOD of a $22 million revenues, 9,500 unit, active-adult community in Arizona as to its conduct in deciding difficult and controversial  issues.  I put my management/BOD skills to work and began the study. It is very important in the learning process to share recommendations with others, and to accept their constructive criticism. Readers can reject, modify, or remove recommendations. This approach sharpens one’s thinking and helps to make a more solid case for HOA reforms.

In regard to the SCG members at large — apathy evidenced by silence or perhaps fear — prevailed as commonly found in HOA-Land. The vast majority of comments  to my posts on social media and elsewhere were irrelevant and without merit. They failed to address my messages concerning  violations of the laws and governing documents by boards of directors.   Rather, they focused on my HOA right or wrong, take it or leave it, and move out

 The necessary first step for democratic reforms, as proposed in A Plan Toward Restructuring the HOA Model of Governance, is the reorientation and reeducation of the pubic and especially boards of directors. Based on my experience I presumed that  they are uninformed and many prefer to remain uninformed; wrongly believing, and being led to believe,  that their HOA is  a wonderful country club instead of a legally binding contract between them and their HOA. 

The findings from this research reaffirmed this view of HOA directors and members regardless of income or education levels — they are highly uninformed about the legal and governmental issues of an HOA association. It seems that the  boards of directors over the years were and are heavily influenced by the Community Associations Institute’s teachings and programs.

Collectively referenced as the CAI School of HOA Governance  stemming from its focus on “large-scale associations,” such as SCG. Some 13 SCG members served as CAI members, including CAI presidents or directors, while serving as SCG’s presidents, directors, and committee chairs.  Its impact is devastating and cannot be underestimated.

This finding was very disappointing!  The behavior and conduct by the leadership displayed false and misleading information, an illusion of “no problems here,” and for the most part, silence. It supported the position of authoritarian and cult followers as maintained in the Plan’s view of the HOA Culture, and its description of the social and political dynamics at work in HOA-Land.

This Supplement is organized in time sequence based on posts made to the HOA Constitutional Government website, including comments,  referencing or alluding to emails, to  the official Sun City Grand website’s News of the Day posts; and to posts and comments to social media websites: NextDoor (Desert Sage); Facebook’s Sun City Grand Members (AZ), closed by Administrator’ opposition; and Members of Sun City Grand AZ.

These exchanges are all reproduced as is, unedited except for  omissions of non-relevant sections.  In this manner, lacking audio-video materials, one can get a feeling of the posters’/commentators’ message tone.

George K. Staropoli

February 14, 2022

Restructure HOAs supplement released; join new website

To the concerned public and HOA members:

I am extending an invitation for the public at large, and in particular to members of HOAs across America, to join this FB group and keep abreast of critical developments and information regarding your membership and property rights in your castle, your home. Information not covered by the establishment, the self-proclaimed HOA educators.

In 2020 I released my 68-page A Plan Toward Restructuring the HOA Model of Governance, after 20 years of HOA reform activism. I also published a FAQ to answer questions regarding concern that a restructuring would damage the highly desirable HOA real estate package. “HOA” can also refer to the de facto local government of the real estate package, the condo or subdivision PUD. I believe that my plan would return HOAs to constitutional government with its protections for the rights and freedoms of citizens, severely lacking under your declaration of CC&Rs.

A detailed 27-page supplement, supporting the positions contained in the Plan and documenting the events and developments of a $22 million HOA in Arizona is now available. 

Just visit the site Restructure HOAs Plan and click on the JOIN button. It’s that easy.

Hope to see you there!

new Restructure HOAs Plan website

ALERT!!

Please join my new Facebook group Restructure HOA Plan.

PLEASE click on JOIN and get the latest info that will help understand why the HOA legal scheme must be and can be reformed. See FAQ for answers as to the effects of the Plan.

Web address: https://www.facebook.com/groups/restructureHOAS

What makes for an effective nonprofit  HOA board of directors?

(For the record, I am not a lawyer nor work for a lawyer and I am not providing legal advice or opinion.)

First and foremost, an HOA is  a chartered nonprofit corporation given authority to function as such under the AZ Constitution.   The association’s Governing Documents, an agreement between the HOA and the members, gives the HOA the authority and powers to function as the governing body of the subdivision.

As you are well aware, both nonprofit corporation law and the Governing Documents place the ultimate authority and responsibility for managing the HOA – in the true meaning of “managing” and not CAM — in the board of directors (BOD).  CAM keeps the HOA functioning smoothly delivering the services and providing for “groundskeeping.”  In order for the HOA to accomplish its mission and goals, which provide the necessary guidance and direction for performance, it is the BOD that must decide 2 important questions: What is our purpose?  What should it be?

What then makes for an effective BOD? To start at the beginning and get right to the point, my emphasis at this important juncture (Managing the Nonprofit Organization, Peter F. Drucker, p. 171-172, 1990),

“The board needs to know that it owns the organization. But it owns an organization not for its own sake — as a board — but for the sake of the mission which that  organization is to perform.”

“If you find that the board has become inflexible, you have to look for ways of renewing the board with fresh appointments. The more power is concentrated in a few people on a board, the more likely the situation will turn unhealthy.”

And this is where the BOD has failed the members!

As pointed out in earlier posts, “mgmt case study #1”, SCG’s continues to widely publish its nonsensical vision and mission statements providing no guidelines to act or of any value to measure effective performance. What we have witnessed is a BOD deciding on its own where to go and what to do, cleverly masked as fulfilling the wishes and desires of the members.  In actuality, all those meet the board, chats, Q &As, etc. allow for a presentation of grievances without binding the BOD to action.

There is no provision to require the BOD to hold a vote on a member’s proposed amendment to the governing documents as permitted by state law with respect to removing a director or all directors.  Or to nullify an act of the BOD.

Drucker continues with, “Ducking controversy or minimizing difficulty, snowing people with reports that are not realistic either about the quality of the programs . . . or whatever . . . that’s terrible leadership”

It’s well beyond time for a necessary change in attitude and culture before SCG descends into chaos. Adoption of a new approach, as recommended in A Plan toward Restructuring the HOA Model of Governance is needed, today!

HOA management (BOD) is more than property management (CAM)

I continue to be baffled as to how real estate attorneys and property managers, unlicensed in most states, have been allowed by state legislatures to advise and dictate to HOA boards (BOD) on how to govern a community by an Association that  is very similar to a local government body.  Governing a community is more than managing a property in a subdivision.   

 Many other experts and authorities have attempted to explain this complex concept of “what is management”  — including the renowned Peter F. Drucker. (The Practice of Management and Management). My take is a simple, down-to-earth explanation as part of “Reorienting the BOD and its followers,” the first step in A Plan Toward the Restructuring the HOA Model of Governance. 

Management (noun) – Management is an entity — an organization whether a business, a nonprofit, an HOA, a charity, a club, a group, or a person. It applies to any person, or organization, or entity at all levels with respect to its level of authority and responsibilities — CEO, president, division director, department manager, supervisor, or committee chair. The difference in organizational type is related to their purpose and mission. Businesses  are to make a profit for their stockholders. Nonprofit membership organizations, like HOAs,  have a mission or goal as  laid out by the founders and initial directors that is designed to attract and maintain members — for $$$$$  — who identify with the mission.

Management (function) —  Management is a practice (as first described by Drucker in 1973). It’s an actual application by practitioners/managers — whatever the designation: manager, governor, administrator, board of directors, trustee, etc. — of the set of beliefs, principles, and values held by the organization. The quality and success of the management function is measured by its performance in attaining its mission, objectives, and goals. They may set by its constitution, charter, bylaws, Declaration of CC&Rs, or by department/section/committee descriptions.

Executive level management — at the state legislature through its lawmaking authority or at HOA board of directors level — has final and total responsibility for the successful performance of the organization and sets the mission, goals, conduct and operation of the entity. It has the duty to 1) set policy, plans, rules, regulations, controls, procedures, etc., and 2) organize and structure the entity. All in keeping with its powers under the legal documents and laws granting it the authority to so act.

The very first task for the BOD is to determine just what is the purpose of the entity, and what should it be. Once this reason for being has been determined and stated in terms that permit the evaluation of performance, a valid mission statement can be issued.  From the mission statement a single goal  or set of goals can be issued that permit a measurement of the entity’s performance.  Value statements can be adopted to guide the BOD and members with respect to acceptable means and methods for achieving the goals.

A mission  statement has to be operational; otherwise it’s just good intentions. A mission statement has to focus on what the institution really tries to do.” (Managing the Nonprofit Organization, Peter Drucker, 1990).

The mission statement by the HOA Management Case Study #1 subject, SCG for example, speaks  in the present tense using the word “IS,” making it more of a propaganda statement — it already exists or has already been accomplished — rather than a condition, an ideal,  to be achieved.  Consequently, SCG’s mission serves no value for the establishment of goals that can measure performance, leaving the HOA essentially without any direction.

* * * *

Cautionary note:

Management when it fails to abide by the authorizing documents and marketing materials that appeal to the wants, desires, and wishes of the members will result in members exiting  the organization, taking their future member donations, dues, fees, etc. with them. With businesses, except small, closely held businesses, exiting is a simple task of selling one’s stock and buying another.

HOAs are more like a small, closely held businesses where exiting is not a simple task primarily due to the need to find some other private buyer (investor) willing to ignore why you are leaving. The status and situation of members can be viewed as a form of indentured servitude: you can’t leave unless you have  money to leave (like having paid off your servitude obligation), or you die.

Consequently, management in membership nonprofit organizations, like local governments, must keep the members happy.  Any changes or  modifications to the purpose, or mission, or goals of the organization must consider  the effect on the members.  And must follow the law and the controlling documents – the CC&Rs in HOAs.  The BOD is not a free agent to do as  it pleases as if the HOA were its own private club.