When Will These Useful Idiots Ever Learn?

Seniors, seniors, seniors! You’re supposed to have learned a few lessons in life. How the hell did you decide to turn all your assets over to the Sun City Shadow Hills Community Association?

Shadow Hills is a few miles southeast of Palm Springs, California. It’s only for older residents, a 55 and older community. But now that this Del Webb development is all built and sold out, the Shadow Hills board of directors has sold out to the infamous Texas state senator, John Carona. All of a sudden, the residents say, the HOA managers have gotten heavy handed.

There are threats, fines, liens and all the other good stuff that goes along with life in HOA Amerika. But there are also questions about how the board and management company is, without transparancy, handling its nine million dollar a year budget.

Ah yes, I almost forgot to mention. The HOA private security guards use radar guns. They have police powers.

A Home Depot truck was delivering carpet to one of the Shadow Hills homeowners, the first of several deliveries that day. And the driver was going seven miles-an-hour over the limit. When he hit the HOA speed trap the make-believe cop asked where he was going. He gave the name and address of his first customer, and who do you think got the $50 speeding ticket? The homeowner!

But folks, that’s the way you’re treated in a neighborhood where Associa is the management company. Yes, dear friends, Associa is Senator Carona’s company. Oh, he’s got lots of subsidiary companies like banks, insurance companies, businesses which he can mandate that the 9000 Homeowners Associations he manages patronize. ‘Patronize’ is too kind a word for Carona since these conflict-of-interest businesses are jammed down the throats of homeowners. They don’t get a choice.

But seniors? And I’m one, too. Seniors, why are you idiotic enough to buy into a Del Webb or Associa-managed community? Are you dumb as a box of rocks?

By the way, Senator Carona looks a little fat in his pictures. But that’s not fat. It’s just that his clothing is stuffed with conflicts-of interest, ethics problems, deceit, sneaky tactics, and some of the billions of dollars that he’s raking in.

Good luck, Shadow Hills seniors! Good luck.


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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

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