guest blog by George Staropoli
And how does one stop a bully?
Here’s a short, direct answer, not from me but from Alexander Hamilton:
“If there is no penalty [for] disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation.” (Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #15)
Proposed HOA reforms must include necessary and sufficient detriments to put an end to HOA bullying and abuse. People do not become angels when they become a board member, like our astute, politically savvy legislatures would like you to believe.
“If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” James Madison, The Federalist papers, # 51.
“CIDS [HOAs] currently engage in many activities that would be prohibited if they were viewed by the courts as the equivalent of local governments.” … Privatopia, Evan McKenzie(1964).
Much of HOA legislation does not contain external enforcement provisions, such as an outright “null and void” statement, but rely on the goodwill of upstanding citizens and officers of the court to do what is right as intended by the reform legislation. Well, we know that that is a vast delusion. We see HOA attorneys seeking loopholes in statutes, bring up vague and unsupportable questions of law, etc. to intimidate homeowners into not taking action or else pay through the nose. All those words and clauses that the attorneys seem to find vague and unclear and seek civil action to clarify their meanings.
No, stop the bullying by imposing civil penalties on those who do not serve good public policy to make better communities, rather than to stuff their pockets. Like special taxing districts, civil penalties abound in the laws of all states. I prefer misdemeanor charges to make the message clear.