I Have Met The Enemy and He is She!

It’s been forty years since the last syndicated Pogo comic strip. My headline is a bad re-write of the famous Pogo line. But it happened to me at a gathering of authors and publishers last weekend. A very attractive young lady approached me and said, “I’ve been wanting to talk to you about your book, Neighbors At War.” That’s not an extraordinary experience. I’ve been approached by many other authors at such events. But it’s what she said next that stunned me.

“I am C.A.I.”

“Huh? What?”

“I am C.A.I. The Community Associations Institute. I’m their spokesperson. And we all know about your book.”

“Well, you’re the enemy,” I told her. She said she’d only been working with them for the past year and said the organization was working to change it’s image.

“Absolutely not possible,” I said. “The only thing you can do to improve your image is disband, dismantle the entire warped structure of Homeowners Associations and start over with a new organization of communities that respect and honor the U.S. Bill of Rights.

What’s really hilarious is that several other authors/writers gathered around us and began supporting me with their own stories of HOA horrors. One or two of them were former HOA board members and said they quit because of the bullies on the board. How weird is all that?

Anyway, we later exchanged cards. I told her if she and her buddies would actually read my book I’d agree to pay for lunch. I’m not sure if that’ll ever happen but it was an amusing way to spend a Saturday picnic.

 

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About

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.

7 thoughts on “I Have Met The Enemy and He is She!

  1. Deborah Goonan

    Don’t you just love when an organization is more interested in changing their IMAGE rather than realigning their MISSION and core VALUES? I’ve noticed some reputation management from CAI lately. More smoke and mirrors.

    Reply
  2. Cynthia

    Ward, I apologize. I am having computer issues and there was an error in my previous post. I am re-posting it here:
    Ward, what a great encounter! I am glad you had the support of the other authors and writers, but I am sure this woman must be aware of the syndicate she is affiliated with and their “educational” mission. Was she an attorney? I have heard a few truths of what some of their attorneys really think about HOA homeowners and I have even been told by their CEO, Tom Skiba that “they know they have groups (CAI “credentialed professionals”) out there who are out of control, but they don’t know what to do about them…” I am surprised that she did not offer you a free membership and designation of our choice! Maybe, a PMPD, CMCA, PCA, CIRMS or other I may be missing. As far CAI’s image issue, they have earned every bit of their bad image, bad character, bad influence, bad operations and more, bad “reputation,” in my opinion. I believe they know it too and could care less. Be careful Ward, they may try to coerce you to drink the same kool aid!

    Reply

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