There are all kinds of Board members and all kinds of reasons to want to become a Board member. Maybe you think expenses are too high. Maybe you think there’s not enough transparency. Perhaps you want to bring some diversity to a Board that has basically been the same group of folks for the last decade or two. Each of these reasons are reasonable for wanting to become a board member. No problem so far.
Some of you however may want to become a Board member because you want to bring some peace back into the community. You’re tired of the fighting, the lawsuits, the warning letters and the fining. You’re tired of the screaming matches at Board meetings and believe in the theme song to Condo Craze and HOAs……Why Can’t We Be Friends?
You know why we can’t be friends? Because some people are just jerks, that’s why. Some people have no problem stealing from your community. Some people have no problem being rude and noisy neighbors. Some people have no tolerance for living with any rules in the community. Some people don’t care if their unit or home looks like crap and negatively affects your property values. Some people don’t care that they live in a no pet community; they’re going to have one anyway, even if they have to get a fake doctor’s note and you’re afraid of their pit bull dog. Some people are not only lousy neighbors, they’re miserable human beings.
And that’s just the people you live with. We also can’t be friends with contractors who promise everything and deliver nothing or managers who say they know everything about everything but have no clue about how to manage.
Sometimes, while your intentions of bringing peace to the community are honorable, you learn quickly that your peace offerings are ammunition for your opposition in the community. It’s taken as a sign of weakness and simply opens you up to more lawlessness in the community from all the parties I previously mentioned. Sometimes the only way to get to peace is to wage war. Bad employees need to be fired. Rowdy deliberate rule breaking owners or tenants need to get kicked out or restrained. People who stole need to be reported to the police and contractors sleeping on the job need to be woken up fast or have their contracts terminated.
Often times new Board members are simply not ready to take on this roll. They think by playing nice with these cast of characters, they will eventually see the error of their ways, come on over to the Board’s side and utopia will be restored. I have news for them…..it won’t happen. Some people just live to create havoc, rob, and get away with whatever they can get away with day in and day out. Ignoring them or playing nice won’t make them go away. This job is not for everyone. I understand and appreciate that. But, if you’re not ready to fight back for your community and take on the bad guys, you’re in the way and should let someone else steer the ship.