This article is based on the experience of myself and my neighbors.
When you decide to live in an association such as a condominium or gated community, you may one day be asked to serve on the board. It is not only a duty but a privilege, just as it is your duty to serve on a jury. Being too busy is no excuse and you can't have your doctor write a note to get out of it. Working full time, going to church, being on a committee at school, coaching little league, being on the local election committee, and volunteering at the library are no excuses either.
If you don't bite the bullet and get on the board, only that retired guy or gal with way too much time on their hands will do it and that means they will take their job of keeping on eye on you way too seriously. If your little Snuggles does squat on the neighbor's yard unexpectedly and you run home home to get a baggie, that informant next door will already have a picture of it on Facebook and have the complaint half-way filled out before you get back. Better take your turn as a Trustee.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you should serve:
- To maintain the quality of life you expect, especially to repave the road in front of your house. Otherwise that will never get done!
- To monitor your association's dollars and make sure that your community's deadbeats who don't pay their fair share get to pay huge collection fees on top of what they already owe--that'll get their attention.
- To go after those a-holes who abused so many residents when they were on the board. You'll show them what being a bully is all about.
- You will also have the opportunity to throw some business to your wife's Uncle Louie who owns that Refuse Disposal business.
- To protect your property values by making sure everyone's garage door isn't open for more than 10 minutes at a time, that they all have the same color tones on their houses, approved blinds in their windows, Weber grills and exactly 64 tulip bulbs straddling each walkway. These things are important for property values.
- To make sure point five is strictly enforced so your association doesn't go into receivership.
- To find the right collection and foreclosure attorney when the ungrateful owners balk as you show due diligence regarding points 5 and 6.
- To give back to your neighbors and your community and to have your neighbors give back to the association via fines, late fees, penalties and interest. You have the power. Use it.
- To advance your standing in the community and look good in the eyes of your spouse and children with your dedicated volunteer service. Anyone who says otherwise is just jealous.
- To learn how badly you can treat people and rationalize all the while how you are protecting your members, property values, and community's good name.