Blog of a Million Dreams

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Homeowner's Meetings

We had our Homeowner's Meeting last week and I was appalled.

The morning of the meeting, the President (I'll call him Larry) went around and duct taped the agenda to everyone's door. When we removed the tape and the agenda, the paint peeled off of our doors. Two of us complained at the meeting later about the paint and Larry essentially said, "tough shit".

When I looked at the agenda, the major item to be discussed was painting the exterior of the units. Our building doesn't need painting. It looks good. But Larry's wife, Jojo, has been complaining for a year that she wants the complex repainted. She doesn't like the color.

Jojo has painted the inside of her unit yellow and purple. Downstairs is pea-green. Jojo has a bunch of ideas about paint colors, none of which are the existing paint color of our complex which is a nice, pleasant, unobtrusive blue...

When I first moved into my complex, I couldn't remember how much Homeowner dues were. Jojo was bouncing around outside her unit, talking with a neighbor. As I walked by I asked her how much dues were.

She looked up at me with an empty look in her eye and airly said, "Oh, I don't know...I don't do any of that money stuff, my husband pays the dues for us..."

Jojo is not the brightest cookie in the jar. So it surprised me when she was able to get a job at Cisco but I figure, since it's a contract job, and she works from home part-time most of the time, it's probably some assistant to the assistant of the assistant secretary position...proof reading letters or something.

Anyway I digress. But having this airhead setting the agenda for our Homeowner's meeting put my teeth on edge.

And there's more.

The huge, sprawling complex across the street is set to be demolished. This year. Painting our complex during their demolishing process is pretty stupid. We'd just have to repaint right afterwards.

So I pointed this out to Tim and Nancy, my other neighbors. Nancy is pregnant. But this does NOT excuse her reaction.

"Oh I kinda want to paint the complex," she cooed.

"And I think we should paint it maroon."

Maroon. Have you ever seen a maroon house? I have not. I think there is a good reason for that. Namely, that a maroon house looks pretty bad. I asked Nancy if she was serious. She was. So I ended that conversation and geared up for a pretty unpleasant homeowner's meeting for that evening.

It started off pretty badly. Nancy thought that since there were two of them (her and her husband), they should get two votes and they were voting for repainting the complex. And repainting it maroon.

Larry pointed out to her that since Nancy and Tim only owned one unit, they only had one vote. She was shocked and said that wasn't fair. He had to explain the voting process to her and I think she still didn't get it.

The repainting was voted down. Larry, Jojo, Nancy and Tim were pissed. Mainly at me since I was the most vocal about NOT repainting our complex.

So then they decided to raise everyone's homeowner dues in some misplaced vendetta to get me back. I explained that would impact the resale value of our units. This was Tim's response:

Tim: "Since the cost of living goes up every 3 to 4% every year, we need to raise our homeowner's dues 3 to 4% every year also. You know, inflation is really rising..."

Me: "Tim, what does the price of bread have to do with real estate and, specifically, Homeowner dues?"

Tim (ignoring me): "And even though we don't like our gardeners, we do have to give them raises to keep up with the cost of living and so we need to raise our dues to probably $60 more a month."

They voted to raise our Homeowner Dues. When I explained that they would have to notify people that dues were going up, that they couldn't just raise the dues and not let people know, Larry said he would just duct-tape a note to everyone's door telling them to pay more. I tried to explain that there probably is some sort of process or way of letting people know in the CC&R's but everyone talked right over me. So, I'll probably be the only one paying more for dues because these morons haven't notified everyone else properly.

I live with the stupidest people on the planet. I used to feel sorry for Tim and Larry, thinking that they had married some pretty dumb women but now I think they are well-suited.

And I'm looking for a house.

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