A regular reader of our Neighbors At War blog sent along this link about how a certain Arizona HOA does business. They use HOA funds to hire a well-known character assassin to ruin the reputations of homeowners who oppose board members or policies of the board.
As you read this, just recall that Arizona is the same state where a frustrated homeowner once gunned down members of his HOA board.
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association
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.
Ward, over the past year or so it has becoming increaingly apparent to me that HOAs often collude with their local government elected and agecny officials to the detriment of HOA residents — both homeowners and tenants. Don’t forget, HOAs would not exist without the tacit or explicit support of local land use planning officials and all of those related agencies that permit construction and new development.
Just visit opensecrets.com to find out how much money your state and local legislators, and even judges in some states, are receiving from big developers, banks, and insurance companies that provide policies for HOAs. Attorney and Real Estate firms are big donors, too, and this is often done through PACs.
Nasty business in HOAs? Please see:
03.21.15 – Phoenix, Arizona
Ahwatukee letter: “Time for new ABM leadership”
Ahwatukee Foothills News
Fewer than 100-200 homeowners would vote for HOA board members during elections. This may explain why homeowners have met such nasty …
“Letter to the Editor
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2015 2:30 pm
When the Ahwatukee Board of Management (ABM) HOA hires a political damage control expert, using homeowners’ monies, it is time to elect new board members.
The question is: “Should board members be entitled to use homeowners’ monies to get re elected?”
Perhaps a hard look at our ABM HOA needs to be taken by homeowners. Until recently, ABM HOA dealings were virtually ignored by the 5,000-plus homeowners it collects dues and transfer fees (houses bought/sold) from, due to homeowner apathy. Fewer than 100-200 homeowners would vote for HOA board members during elections. This may explain why homeowners have met such nasty negative resistance from longtime board members and employees of the ABM. Apparently this longtime group, many family relatives, fear losing the unfettered control they have had over homeowners and their monies for the last 20-25 years.
Homeowner participation is actively and publicly discouraged by the ABM when homeowners appear at meetings or try to run for a board position. As a homeowner I am writing to object to funding the reelection of current board members with my money. HOAs should work for the benefit of the homeowners not homeowners funding “Lifer” board members.
Please cast your vote for open disclosure, positive homeowner relations and integrity. Ben Holt and Linda Swain have those proven community attributes and relations. Time to look at the bigger picture of our Ahwatukee future.
Wouldn’t it be great to have an ABM HOA that welcomes homeowners? Please take the time to cast your vote April 1.
David Leibowitz is well known here in Arizona for his ties to ‘Dark-Money’ and his mudslinging campaign tactics. And while I’m no fan of City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, this may be the first time he’s actually doing the right thing by speaking out. I certainly hope his motives are genuine.
Well, well! Check this out: http://www.ahwatukee.com/news/article_8aa86868-d1a3-11e4-862a-6b27ce53c607.html
Now it seems “strangers” are going door to door handing out and collecting ballots, and supporting the incumbents on the Board. Of course, the Board members deny playing a role in this ballot campaign. I guess the Boogie Man put them up to it?
I love the irony here — the remark that ballots must be mailed or dropped off at the management office and that some owners will be called randomly to confirm they actually voted and “did not vote twice.”
Is the management company really a neutral third party, for the purposes of collecting or verifiying ballots? Maybe not, especially given this contentious election.
And what of owners of more than one unit? Aren’t they voting more than once – one vote for every unit they own?
All kinds of vote rigging can happen if the people collecting and counting the votes happen to be working with candidates up for election. See Nevada FBI investigation for details.