Tuesday, March 13, 2018

My Awkward Reign is Over

Yep.  I quit the condo HOA Board.

It's been building since Day One when the previous Chair did not want to hand over the binder with resident info to me.  She finally ended up making herself another copy.  (She would have been FURIOUS had the Chair previous to her did not relinquish all pertinent HOA documents.

She has been on the Board off (but mostly) and on for 20 years.  She is very frugal which is a great attribute and our HOA has more than enough Reserve Funds in case a tornado comes through and rips off our roofs.  She is a full service Mother figure to most everyone who lives in all 112 units.  She's hands on if she gets a call that your cat ran away at 11:00pm.  Your garbage disposal not working at 10:00 pm?  Yep!  She walks over and tries to help.

The property management company has worked with her for years, usually as the Chairperson.  And they continue to do that.  You'd think, just as a courtesy, they would include the current Chairperson?

Probably my main gripe is that she doesn't apply our written House Rules to everyone.  We went through a big expense four years ago changing the locks on the Clubhouse and the Pool area.  The keys cannot be duplicated and we got everyone to sign an agreement that lost keys will cost $100.  We had people using our pool who hadn't lived here in years.  We had people who live in the apartment complex across the street use the pool.  Even the hot tub after hours!

It was a massive undertaking but with several helpers, all keys were signed for.  But now if someone misplaces their keys, she gives them a new set.  NO CHARGE (and it costs us $20).  Property Management companies who rent out units can afford to pay if the previous renters do not hand over the keys.  New buyers also get free keys.

But the final straw was when I asked for an "on demand" check (rather than waiting two weeks for a check run) for our new trellises.  The committee talked with about 7 vendors, most would not even give a bid on a project this small (9 trellises).  The committee chairperson talked the vendor into giving us a discount and he agreed!  10%.  He wanted to get started ASAP before the summer busy season.

I got Board approval and his terms were 50% down, 50% when complete.  I emailed the property manager on a Wednesday afternoon about 4pm.  No response.  I emailed on Friday to see when the check would be mailed.  FINALLY got a response saying Monday.  I check in again on Monday.  Oh golly, the assistant has it and she will send it to Accounting and they will send it and then they will have the Treasurer approve it and BY THE WAY this is NOT how we do things.  You should wait until the March 21 Board meeting to discuss in front of the owners (maybe ten people show up) and you must get three written bids and ... and ... and the lecture went on.

I was embarrassed for our community and the landscape chair as she was meeting the vender on Monday, to finalize measurements and hand him the check.  Nope.  He had to drive over on Thursday afternoon.

Previous Chair (and the only other active Board member) did not think this should be an issue ... that's just the procedure, JB.  This weekend I went and talked to the former Treasurer who agreed that an on-demand check is usually 1-2 business days.  But Previous Chair would not answer my email about NOT paying $35 for an "on demand" check.  I texted her the same question.  Again no answer.  She finally left me a voicemail saying she could talk but only until the Bachelor came on.

She knew I was mad as she informed another resident.  And the next morning she texted me as a friend with no mention of my email or text.  I wrote an email to her and the property manager saying I was resigning.  She was surprised and hurt and confused and hurt and we went back and forth.  She wanted to meet in person to discuss because I was making it sound like it was her fault (I could use support now and again).  I had MOHS surgery and had a Olaf bandaid on my nose and who could take me seriously???

I slept on my decision overnight but honestly felt so relieved to be done.  She has run this place for a long time and can continue.  Six months and I'm throwing in the towel!  I sent an email to the other four Board members ... have gotten a "thank you" (yes, just two words) from each of those two.  The Vice Chair (who will take over for me) has not responded.

Remind me to never ever buy into an HOA neighborhood again.


  1. Sounds like a royal pain in the butt to me. I'm sorry it turned out this way for you.

    1. It was! My (former???) buddy who has been on for so long is ticked because I didn't inform her of my thoughts. I felt like all I did is COMPLAIN! I'm far from the first person to not finish a term!!!

  2. I agree with Jean. A royal pain and no gratitude. You don't need the stress.

    1. Who knew it would be so stressful! It was hard for me to have people think I was "in charge" when the property manager didn't follow through for weeks or months! I sent an email to my acquaintances here (including the long term Board member) explaing my side of things AND listing the things I did get accomplished. I was pleasantly surprised at that, actually!

  3. I would have just written the trellis people a check from my account, so as not to be embarrassed. Of course, I probably would have never been compensated. That's why I don't do these kind of leadership/management things. I can't take it when things aren't done correctly and on time and thus, tend to do it all myself, which can lead to big trouble. LOL

    1. That's exactly what was happening. Then I'd feel stressed when an Owner's request never got a response. People who pay $$$ every month just need communication ... if it's something that is going to take a month to get done, then tell them that up front!