May 28, 2010

My HOA is About Ready to Get a Timeout

My HOA board is currently on the top of my "naughty list." If I could give the board members a time out, I would.... and they know it. The other day we received our monthly newsletter. (Really, it's more like a "whenever we choose to send it" newsletter, because we certainly don't receive one every month). Among the items in the newsletter was a snippet about the neighborhood pool. Due to "financial and membership needs" the pool will open at 11 am and close at 9pm during the week. Last year the pool opened at 9 am every day. I would take my girls to pool in the mid-morning hours when it was still somewhat cool out, the sun wasn't shining directly overhead and the teenagers weren't there swearing and making out. To me it is a drastic change to open the pool two hours later than normal... and the members weren't consulted. It's technically my pool. I pay my dues. My account is in good standing. I think I should have been consulted. I'm not the only parent who would go to the pool early in the day. A lot of moms (and a few dads, too), were there on a regular basis for a morning of swimming, a quick lunch on the grass, maybe a little more swimming and then, presumably, an afternoon of napping. I get that the board is trying to cut costs. The pool doesn't have a lifeguard but we do have a "monitor." This is typically a teenager paid to sit in the shade all day while listening to her IPod and checking IDs to make sure only residents use the pool. She's not there to enforce rules... she's mainly there to chat on her cell phone and make a quick buck. The shortened hours are to cut back on the money being spent to pay her. But is it really necessary to have a pool open until 9pm on weeknights? Couldn't there have been a compromise? Open at 10 am and close at 8 pm? I know working parents want to have pool time, too, but last summer I rarely saw anyone in the pool after 7 pm, regardless of what night it was.
I immediately fired off an email to the board. I pointed out that surely I'm not the only homeowner who can't attend monthly HOA meetings. Hubby's schedule just doesn't allow it. I just feel like we should have been notified sooner than two days before the pool opens that the hours are changing. One board member called me back right away.... AND HE AGREED WITH ME! According to him, though, he was the "odd man" out. He didn't want the hours changed at all, but no one would listen to him.
So, now I've got to start a "movement." I'm making it my mission to get all those other parents who like to use the pool in the morning to complain to the board. Maybe it will help. Maybe it won't. But at least I'll feel like I made my point clear.


MaryAnne said...

How frustrating. I hope you manage to get the hours changed.

Quadmama said...

The HOA board seems to do what they want, so I doubt it will change, but at least I will have tried.

Anonymous said...

This is your Aunt in Mi. I can hear it now on the radio as I drive into work. Please stay tuned after our local station break for breaking last minute news.....Upset Quad Momma in Co. takes on her HOA...more details to come ..
Remember if Mama ain't happy no one is!

Amanda said...

I hate HOA's. Mine sends out whenever they feel like in newsletters and it's pretty much the same thing. Plus they just raised our fees and all we have are street lights, seriously. Makes my head hurt.

Quadmama said...

Our HOA raised the monthly dues this year, too. Know why? To make up for all the money lost from delinquent homeowners. Gee, thanks. So I get to pay more since others don't pay at all? How about you go after them legally like the liens the HOA threatens to put on the properties of delinquent homeowners but never does.

Janel said...

Oh wow. This topic is a bit too timely for me. I'm having HOA woes that are actually getting me to the point of considering getting a lawyer. The really stupid thing is it's all over getting our house painted.
We *want* to paint our house, but the HOA has, out of nowhere, decided that the only acceptable colors now are the 32 most popular Sherwin Williams color combinations. This does not reflect any of the already painted houses in the neighborhood.
The whole thing is so deeply and fundamentally stupid that I have a hard time believing that I'm actually this worked up over paint.
I have so much to say, and it's all so very useless and meaningless. So, I'll just go with saying how very, very, very much I dislike HOAs.

Quadmama said...

Our HOA has paint rules, but they're pretty broad. The colors need to be "natural" (mainly not pink or purple. I can't imagine being confined to 32 colors... especially if it doesn't fit the current color scheme in the neighborhood!

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