George Staropoli, one of the nation’s leaders in the homeowners rights movement, has an excellent blog post we should all commit to memory. If his five proposed legislative changes are ever enacted, this would be a far different country; a country of neighbors instead of embattled homeowners and power-tripping board members.
(click here for 5 proposed changes in law)
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.
> If his five proposed legislative changes
I read this blog post, and I see zero “proposed legislative changes”.
Oh, he’s identified “5 fundamental areas that require substantive reform legislation”
but no actual proposals for legislation.
And that, to answer the title of his article, is one of the “Obstacles To Effective HOA Reform Legislation”. We complain about what’s wrong. We can expose the flaws in the system. But I don’t see anybody proposing solutions.
George Staropoli has proposed lots of solutions on his website. I was probably not complete enough to add his specific legislative changes. But the first part of the legislative process is identifying the problem, which he does well.
> George Staropoli has proposed lots of solutions on his website.
Yeah, George mentions that in his blog post.
So if somebody asks us, “What do you think should be done?”, we’re supposed to tell them to read 10 years worth of George Staropoli’s blog, and look for the answer there? Seriously?!
Back when you were in the television news business, what would your producers have said if you went on the air and told your viewers, “There’s something you should know. I’m not going to tell you what it is, but here’s where you can find out”? My guess is you would have been fired.
What was the rule-of-thumb; you had something like 5 – 10 seconds to get and keep the viewer’s attention, and 1 to 2 minutes to tell your story? We cannot tell people to spend years studying the issue and expect results. That is utter insansity.
On page 320 of your book, you state that
Last year, George wrote that
That’s an 80% failure rate.
As a movement, we can’t afford to keep trying to pass dozens of bills to remedy narrow problems. We can’t keep the public-at-large interested in the minutiae of legislation about xeriscaping, solar panels, sattelite dishes, treatment of military service members, displaying the flag, bumper stickers, child playsets, lemonade stands, collections policies, manager licensing, voting regulations, the power to fine, some “homeowner bill of rights”, or even H.O.A. foreclosure. Otherwise, nothing will get better, no matter how many bills get passed.
If a legislator came to you and said
could you do it?
The fact that you weren’t able to list any specific solutions offered by George suggests to me that he has not actually offered any specific solutions. Yes, the problem has been identified. Let us move on to the next step. Otherwise, we might as well get used to the bitter taste of failure and hopelessness.
Much of the homeowners rights movement would not have gotten any footing in this country without George Staropoli, Evan McKenzie and Jan Bergemann. George’s research has been tireless and his website is a treasure trove of information for all of us entering the movement. He has testified in the Arizona Legislature and certainly has had an impact. Enough of an impact? No, because he’s up against an amazingly abusive fifty billion dollar-a-year tort machine. As for specific solutions, I have just one: Restore the Constitutional right of due process to all residents of HOA Amerika.