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Friday, December 30, 2005

Annual Board Meeting Bliss...Almost.

Three weeks ago was the association annual board meeting. I think I attended one when I was in school, the rest I skipped because of finals. The board meetings have gone downhill since I started going to them. 40-50 people used to show up in the clubhouse. This year was around 10 people.

The meeting went smoothly for the most part. The good news was were stopped the financial bleeding and were not in more debt! The association decided to foreclose on some properties to get some backdues. How wonderfully mean and astute of the board to do that. The only bad news was the fact our monthly dues are going up $20, but most people expected that. The only reason for the extra $20 was to build up the fund used for emergencies and capital improvements. Trust me a few things need improving around here.

However, there is a very specific reason I hate going to meetings and dealing with the public all the time sometimes: The Bitcher. You know who I'm talking about. People who want to complain and gripe about things, but have nothing constructive to add to the debate. The conversation goes something like this.

B: This sucks!
The Board: How does it suck?
B: I hate this. This sucks!
The Board: I can tell you don't like something about this plan. Can you please tell me what you specifically don't like.
B: This is going to cost so much money. It sucks!
The Board: We went over the reasons this is viewed as a necessary cost. By doing nothing we just go further into debt.
B: Why the hell weren't my gutters cleaned?
The Board: We discussed that the fall lasted 3 weeks longer than normal. The trees held onto their leaves longer and you can't clean out the gutters until all the leaves have fallen. Sadly once that occured it rained and then we had the snow. You can't clean leaves that are wet and covered in ice.
B: That sucks! When I was here in 1981 our association dues were only $52 a month.
Me (under my breath): That was 25 years ago. Accounting for inflation alone it should be double that now.

The Board: It isn't 1981 now...
B: How can you raise our dues without us voting on it? Do we even have a quorum here?
The Board: The bylaws say the dues can be raised 10% without any vote by the association. As for the quorum only 15% need to show up.
B: You tellin' me the 10 people here are a quorum?
The Board: If you count the proxies the carry sure they're a quorum. But the board doesn't need a quorum since the dues aren't going up more than 10%.
B: Proxies??? All them papers that you sent out??? Hell you get to vote with them to raise our dues! That sucks!
The Board: The people present at the meeting get to vote any proxies given to them.
B: Suppose I don't want them to vote for a raise. Whoever I give my proxy to can vote however they want to.
The Board: That is why you need to talk with the voter so you pick someone who has the same views as you.
B: Well this just sucks!
Me (under my breath): Remind me again why I'm not allowed to shoot stupid people.

On the plus side I discovered the association will pay for fixing my fence and shed. About half the sill has rotted away and parts of the fence are leaning at a 20 degree angle. After reading the by-laws I'm pretty sure it says I am responsible fence and shed repairs, but if the board things they are responsible and have a custom of fixing those items who am I to say otherwise.

I can't wait to get out of this hell-hole. The neighborhood truly has declined over the years. Too many people have a renter mentality, not a home ownership mentality. Legal job -> Saved Money -> Down Payment On A Real House = Happy Me. That is the equation now.

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