In Greek mythology, the Hydra was a terrifying sea monster that had many heads and used them to devour innocent seafarers. Our hero, Heracles, forced the Hydra into the open and began chopping off its heads. But each time a head was severed two new ones grew back. It seemed like a hopeless task but Heracles was undaunted. He finally figured out that if he used a torch to cauterize each severed limb they failed to regrow.
This one happened right under my nose here in the Denver area. The Denver vicinity, as some of you know, is home to one of the biggest HOA embezzling cases in the country. A management company stole homeowners blind in a largely minority community. But these homeowners were smart enough to catch this jerk. The bitterness, though, never really goes away.
Now there’s another incident, this one in the same part of town. David W. Martin, PMG Enterprises Inc., has had to surrender his state license to manage Homeowners Associations. He may be the first to do so under Colorado’s new licensing law. The law isn’t perfect. It has very few teeth and some appointed state officials who are really out of their league.
Christmas. What a wonderful holiday. I love it as much as I love Hanukkah and the Seder and all the other religious holidays. In fact, I love any religious person’s special days. It’s just what we do in America.
But why, oh why, are Homeowners Associations coming down so hard on holiday lights? I get it that some light displays are over the top. I get it that gorgeous light displays bring more traffic into a neighborhood. But the greater spirit I see during the holidays satisfies an inner part of my soul. Homeowners Associations, as far as I know, are the only entity in America where expressing your religious beliefs is verboten.
Just amazing! Just in time for Christmas, counties in Florida are offering rewards for turning in criminals. Just look around your HOA and you can find plenty of board members and property managers who are stealing, bribing, defrauding and embezzling from homeowners. There’s your Christmas money.
Just take this advice from a long-time investigative reporter. Whenever the cops ask you to anonymously call an 800 number, the dirty secret is that you’re not anonymous. The Crimestoppers 800 number is a complete and total scam. Call from a phone booth.
A few days ago, I wrote of a Homeowners Association in Hayden, Idaho that threatened to sue a homeowner who put up excessive Christmas lights and decorations. HOA officials were upset because the display attracted lots of traffic to the neighborhood.
But isn’t that what we all do at Christmas? We drive around looking for the most beautiful light displays. It’s a time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. I know plenty of Jews, atheists and agnostics who drive around admiring all the wonderful decorations. “Peace on Earth, good will to men,” is how the song goes. And that message resounds through all religious barriers.