Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Up to here with the homeowners association

When you buy a house in a suburban subdivision, you often find out that you’ll be in a ready-made community with certain amenities like a pool, a clubhouse and more, but then you soon learn that you’ll have the one thing you can’t do without: a government.

[Caution: Strong language in middle of posting.]

It’s in the form of a homeowners association. The main job of such a group is to maintain the orderly appearance of the community and enforce the rules governing things like what color you can paint your house and if you can put a shed in your backyard.

I’ve lived in such developments for years, and have made it a policy to have as little to do with the association as possible. I pay my assessments, try to keep up my property and don’t make outside modifications. In all, I try to be a good neighbor and a good resident.

I have, until now, attended all the meetings I could attend. I went to my last homeowners association meeting on Wednesday night.

In my subdivision, homeowners association meetings have been dominated by behavior that would get you suspended in middle school: screaming, whining, griping, filibustering, etc. Every meeting I went to, from the first one, turned into a session where some people just could not stop talking.

When I lived in Sarasota, I lived in a development in which one board member talked for 30 solid minutes about how and where to obtain flowers to plant in an area outside of your unit. Finally, she stopped talking and the meeting was about to move on when she said, “One more thing,” reclaimed the floor and proceeded to repeat her previous utterance.

Slowly, people began walking out of the meeting until only the board was left. In a community newsletter delivered the next month, it was promised that the procedures that allowed her to talk for so long had been modified, and it wouldn’t happen again. I wasn’t about to invest another night of my life to find out different.

I have yet to live in a subdivision where at least one person has not told me that the president of the association and/or at least one of the board members was a stupid, moronic, son of a bitch bastard fuck who should be voted out of office. Of course, if the person was voted out of office, someone else would take on the title of stupid, moronic, son of a bitch bastard fuck who should be voted out of office.

Second verse, same as the first. Repeat 10 times.

Life is short. I’m 51 years old and want to have memories of my life that don’t include spending an evening sitting on an uncomfortable chair or bench listening to people whine, gripe, complain, piss, moan and bellyache about some aspect of living in a community.

We live in a country that’s 100 times better than some other places I can think of. I know I’m glad to live where I live. I go to meetings and listen, but if nothing is going to be accomplished, there’s no point.

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March 31, 2012 - Posted by | Life lessons, Living in the modern age | , , , ,

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