Because it’s Christmastime, we usually expect a little more embezzling by employees of Homeowners Associations. Michelle Haughton, the accounts receivable employee for the Bear Valley Springs HOA apparently took the word ‘receivable’ a little more literally than her job description intended. The cops won’t say how much money was missing, but it’s greater than $2000. She’s now charged with embezzlement and grand theft.
It won’t matter much to homeowners. They’ll just see a special assessment come along and no one on the board will tell them them what it’s for.
(HOA embezzlement arrest in Bakersfield)
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So strange to think that a whole movement would begin around the subject of backyard chickens. In our American frontier, no one would give a second thought to a hen or two laying eggs for the family. But things have changed. Chickens are about as welcome in most neighborhoods as ticks on a picnic blanket.
Still, there really is a movement to convince city councils everywhere that chickens in the backyard can actually be a good thing. In fact, another small town in Colorado has just approved it.
There’s a new high rise luxury condo on Mission Street in downtown San Francisco. Built in 2009 with every classy aesthetic feature, it was high-priced and all the units on its 22 floors sold out quickly. It’s called The SOMA Grand. It’s governed by an HOA, of course.
Residents of the new building say almost immediately after they bought in, they started having problems with flooding during rainstorms, cracks in walls, and failures of sealant joints. The HOA has scrambled to get into court to sue everyone connected with the construction. “Going for the deep pocket”, as lawyers say.
Never, never, never did I think this would ever happen. But the American Civil Liberties Union is finally taking a peek at the fascist practices of a Homeowners Association.
Like many other HOAs across the country, the Diamondhead Property Owners Association in Southern Mississippi forbids political signs and door-to-door campaigning. Suddenly, an ACLU lawyer thinks a de facto government like a Homeowners Association kind of, sort of, maybe, possibly, should recognize that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects freedom of speech and political expression.
A reporter for Channel 8 News in Las Vegas tried to help a homeowner in the Terra West Homeowners Association. It seems the woman, Esther Sardina, had inadvertently underpaid her HOA dues by twenty cents. The woman wrote a check to the HOA for a dollar but they started hitting her with late fees anyway. So this reporter swung into action, confronting a board member.
Terra West dropped the fine. But that’s beside the point. This HOA board simply doesn’t want this woman living in the neighborhood. They want her gone. No HOA puts a 42 cent stamp on a fine for 20 cents…unless they’re intentionally trying to provoke an expensive fight where both sides have to run out and hire lawyers.