Letter: Love thy neighbor
I belong to a homeowners' association. My development is a lucky one; the association is run by a board of volunteer neighbors.
You can hear some pretty awful stuff about association boards being tyrants and dictators. There are rules that were made to keep the grounds neat, clean and safe for the residents. Everyone reads and signs off on the rules. There are no surprises. Association living is not for everyone. We live in close proximity so our behaviors affect our neighbors. We all have a big financial stake in the upkeep of our community.
I have always been appreciative of our volunteer board. I recently joined them to do my part. I am amazed at the amount of work they do on behalf of their neighbors. The secretary, treasurer and president are diligent in their duties. They deal with realtors, insurance agents, city planners and inspectors, lawyers, tax accountants, banks, contractors for garbage hauling, utilities, lawn and sprinkler maintenance, and on top of that, the residents. Every time a unit changes hands there is an abundance of paperwork.
If you are lucky enough to have a volunteer board, be kind to them. They are your neighbors, and are doing you a service. They have a life and family like you do. Because they pay the same fees you do, they watch out for your money. They sift through bids to find the best quality at the lowest price. They try their best. The board is responsible to collect dues from each homeowner and pay utilities on time. This is a big job.
Report problems to the board, but don't complain in anger. If a contractor missed something, report it, but don't blame your neighbors. If you are healthy enough, take care of it. (Yes, you shouldn't have to, but life is messy and not always fair.) Help your community and association board by being of service where you can.
Do your part, join the association board. My grandma always said, "Many hands make light work." Consider being on the board if you have a talent for banking or accounting, secretarial or business expertise / knowledge of spreadsheets or Excel. You are needed in your community, and would be welcomed. No one wants to be on the board forever. Those duties could be turned over to an impersonal management conglomerate who doesn't give a fig about your finances. I love my volunteer board members, my neighbors.
This letter is solely my personal thoughts and opinion.