Thursday, June 22, 2006

'The' Homeowner’s Association Meeting

Last night I attended my first neighborhood HOA meeting in about 4 years. The last time my wife and I had gone to one of these, there were police, attorneys, and about half the neighborhood showed up because of something stupid was going on -- like some people wanted to sue everybody for taking down trees, somebody’s barking dog, or another “recall” of the board (The drama went on forever…). I forgot what exactly happened because the whole thing was very Jerry Springer-like and we left (ran out the door) early. So like most residents (800 in our HOA!) we just stay away, I have enough things going on that are more important.

But recently I’ve gotten pretty active in our little spot; we have a common area that needs a gate (outside the houses is a major street that small kids have run out on a few occasions) so I got neighbors to sign a petition to the HOA to install one. (I would much rather pay for it myself rather than go through the HOA…but you just can’t do that).

When I stood up to speak (with a 3-minute timer running) it was like addressing congress. I got no reaction and the board members were sweating, looking around nervously waiting for one of the others to talk first. Once the timer had “tinged”, one whispered into the HOA lawyer’s ear (like the OJ trial). Then my turn was over and another resident hippie-type woman talked about frogs in our lake and how the HOA should kill them all and artificially inseminate them with rabbits (or something stupid like that). Another stood up asking the HOA to take away kids skateboards and throw them to tigers or piranha’s (or something like that), another asked to have kids shot, or sent to China, so they stop yelling at the pool because he can’t hear Wheel of Fortune (or something like that).

I don’t think I’ll be going to another HOA meeting again. Unless I want to ask the HOA to have everybody paint their cars yellow (to keep aliens away), and people should only wear roller skates in the summer.

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