We seem to live in a culture of unprecedented intolerance, incredible rudeness and bullying. None of these traits are conducive to a society that is civilized, fair or pleasant. In fact the opposite is true. Do we continue down this path, unchecked, acting and behaving like animals? What are the consequences of such abusive behavior?
For a glimpse of where we might be headed, we need to look no further than the HOAs that are forced on America’s homeowners. Without the checks and balances required by the Constitution and absent any oversight the so called leaders in these associations act and behave like the adult versions of the bullies they probably were in school. And absent any “adult” to prevent the abuse, there will be tragic consequences.
Deborah Goonan joins us On The Commons. We are both very saddened to announce that a homeowner who fought to protect her home, her family and her rights lost the biggest battle of all, her life. Many of you had corresponded with Andrea Barnes over the years and are familiar with the terror and insanity she had to put up with in her HOA. Andrea was a young mother of 3 children that she loved and was very proud of. She was a very talented photographer and a gifted writer. And as everything in HOAs the problems and the HOA complaints were petty.They included her trashcan, a birdhouse her kids made her in school, a hose wheel (unapproved? Wrong shade of gray? who knows!). So quite apart from the barrage of violation notices for petty alleged infractions, the association isolated her, the abuse spilled onto the kids at school and they removed her from the community Facebook page.
They parked at the end of her driveway and sat there watching the house. Oh, she also had Meniers disease, a disability that is not outwardly visible but a disability nonetheless. The stress she lived under in her association was relentless. But then this is what HOAs are about. I have to wonder if the HOA had the authority to do any of the things they did to Andrea and do to countless other homeowners on a daily basis. It is time to pull the plug on homeowner associations! It is time to learn how to be a caring, polite and civilized country once again.