Rationality Takes The Reins!

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Well, it had to happen sooner or later! The most feared organization finally pushed me to the limit…not the FBI, nor the CIA, not even Homeland Security…but our Home Owners Association.

Yesterday, all the home owners in our community received a letter through the mail. Basically, it said that due to a funding shortage, everyone’s home owners fees would double in 2009. Not up 20%, not 50%…but up 100%

And that’s not the worst of it! Every single home owner must pay approximately $700 in an emergency assessment. The amount must be paid in full within, oh, like three weeks, or the HOA will put an 18% interest penalty to each home AND a lien against the house.

So, last night, we got to meet all our neighbors! Everyone was up in arms about this incredibly high emergency assessment, not to mention this is coming right about the time property taxes are due AND Christmas is just a few weeks away. Ridiculous. And everyone knows it.

Grass roots efforts take place and everyone gathered together to determine what we can do about it. I begrudgingly went to this meeting, ready to have to listen to a bunch of crazies shoot off their mouths in anger. When emotions run high, people end up checking their brains at the door. But ya know? It wasn’t like that…

I was so pleased that any time someone started off on a tangent, some level-headed person would reel that person back in. When people start complaining about one thing, so often, it becomes a downward spiral. First people erupt about the high assessment, but the next thing ya know, they’re screaming about the college students partying too much, a street light that’s out, blah, blah, blah. Only once did this happen. When it did, a very controlled, rational owner stood up and said, “We need to be sure we’re keeping complaints separate. We gathered together tonight due to the assessment. We’ll have more power to negotiate the assessment if we don’t get bogged down in additional complaints.”

Ah, someone who knows how to get ‘er done! I love it!

One of my biggest pet peeves is inefficiency. A gathering of angry home owners has every possibility of having about as much efficiency as a mesh waterbed. Yet, those who understand the situation and want it corrected took the lead and, with a mission and purpose, kept things moving along.

What will be the outcome here? I don’t know for sure, but I’m very, VERY pleased to see leaders emerge. True leadership comes from an ability to step outside one’s emotions to complete the task at hand. And since some of our neighbors can do this, it makes me glad to know we’re on the right track.

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