I know what you’re thinking after reading the title of the blog today. Has Eric lost it? Is this a serious question? Obviously, much more important to me is the election of the President of the United States. The owner of unit 3N vs. the owner of unit 11B simply doesn’t match-up to Obama v. Romney. Wait. Hold that thought.
Several years ago, I represented an individual in a civil rights lawsuit against a municipality. The gist of the complaint was that the local officials, including the Mayor, City Manager and Building Official were purposefully violating my client’s rights to live in the community with the same rights as everyone else and that because of a personal vendetta by the mayor, my client’s rights were violated through never ending harassment.
In preparing my research for the case, I remember coming across a court opinion that basically said something like —- don’t be afraid of The President, your Senators and other federal officials. They are too far removed from your day to day life to cause you any real personal harm. On the other hand, you should be wary about local officials because they have the power to make your life a living hell if they want to.
If we agree with that court’s opinion, then it certainly bears true that nobody has more power perhaps to make your life more miserable than the President of your own association. Especially if that President is not shy about his or her dislike for you and is not afraid to act outside the bounds of the law.
During the last presidential election, over 64% of eligible voters participated in the election. That percentage is traditionally greater than the participation in the typical condominium or HOA election. Yet, the next President of the United States won’t be able to tow your car, foreclose on your home, slander you in public, harass you with threatening letters, lien and foreclose on your home, prevent your guests from visiting you, turn off your electric, scream at your kids or steal your money. At one point or another in my career, I have known rogue association Presidents to have done all of these things and more. Any one of them can make turn your life into a nightmare. Two or more of them can make it impossible to even live in your home. On the flip-side, I have seen Presidents who turns the community from an army barrack into a fun loving friendly environment.
So now that you have had time to think about it a little, I’ll ask again. What’s more important to you personally in your day to day life, the election for President of your condominium or your country?
P.S. time is running out to register for the Condo Craze Board Certification Seminar at the PM-Expo event in Orlando on August 15th. To register, please go to: www.condocrazeandhoas.com.