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Good Point – Apologizing to Specific Members of My HOA

In my post about losing the election to be on my home owner’s association (HOA), one of the commenters asked me to take a look from my HOA members’ point of view even though she probably knew some of my supporters may lash out at her for it.  I’m glad they didn’t.  Linda’s comment was:

Crystal, do you think there’s a chance that other HOA members were offended when you said the HOA is “crazy” and “annoying”? Not sure if you can see the other point of view but I wouldn’t want you on the HOA either because of all the public venting. HOA is a private matter and I’m sure people will worry that you will complain about them publicly and the real estate development.

Even though I think that venting posts that happened before I actually met the actual members of my HOA shouldn’t matter after the last 8 months of getting to know all of them better, I realized after Linda’s comment that I only praised specific members of the HOA after those attended meetings verbally to my friends and husband.  I never blogged about it.  And it is obvious from the meeting that they read my site, so here I go.

I Apologize

First of all, let’s get the awkward out of the way.  To any of the members that weren’t specifically targeting me and my family, I’m sorry.  I should not have lumped you all into one group to vent about, especially before I even met you.  Specific members of this neighborhood have gone out of their way to make me feel unwelcome, but not you.  In fact, there were at least 3 members of the past board that made me feel like they were truly listening and empathizing with me.  To any of you non-bullies that were hurt by my words, I sincerely apologize.  I hope to get to know you better the longer we live here.  Please feel free to reach out to me in passing and I promise not to lash out again.

Thank You

Thank you to the neighbor who let me know about the guy campaigning specifically to keep me off the board.  You didn’t know me, but you thought that what he was doing was wrong.  So thank you for speaking up.  To everyone with kinds words for me before and after last week’s meeting, thank you.  To the neighbors who showed up to the meeting to participate because you listened to me during the door-to-door evenings, thank you.  And thank you to everyone in the neighborhood who smiles, nods, or waves while we all go about our daily lives.  You are the reason that this neighborhood is as awesome as it is.

For the Rest…

As for the other point about keeping all HOA stuff private, I can’t apologize for blogging about things that affect me.  That’s my personality – I talk and blog about anything that seems big to me.  I don’t use real names or break confidentialities, so the internal workings of the HOA meetings and what they cover wouldn’t be here, but of course I will blog about the big stuff that is public.

Anyone could ask our management company about the number of deed restriction violation letters sent out.  I only blogged about the ones sent to me.  Anyone at the big meeting last week would already know what happened and that I was targeted negatively and publicly by the guy running on the same ballot.  I only blogged about that public setting.  I’ve been attending the HOA bi-monthly meetings since February but haven’t blogged about any of those details.  Those are private to others and don’t just involve me.  I know the difference.

So if anyone from my neighborhood is reading this, please be assured that I know the difference between sharing about my life and sharing about everyone else’s lives.

Okay, so for all of my regular readers, I promise this isn’t turning into an HOA blog.  I just had this on my mind since the comments on my last post, and  I thought it would be better to get it out there now.  For any neighborhood readers, please feel free to ask my anonymously in the comments or directly in person if you have any other questions about me.  I really am a pretty open book.  My general mind-set is: bullies=bad.  That’s it.  Most of my readers can vouch for me too.  ;-)

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6 comments to Good Point – Apologizing to Specific Members of My HOA

  • I love that you still write about personal things intertwined with the finance stuff. :) HOAs can be tricky I think because they’re just like any other “club”. There’s a hierarchy and a way people are used to doing things etc. And when someone rocks the boat, people get prickly. I’m not saying that someone shouldn’t rock the boat though, change is often very good! :)

  • I agree… bullies are bad (I stopped actively participating in one online group because its owner was a bully… i suspect you understand what i am speaking of here…). You are really a stand up person for apologizing to those who you may have hurt. So proud of you for that! As for venting your frustrations, let me give you a different view on it. You are doing your community a public service. if certain people in leadership positions abuse their role and you blog about it, others will become aware. Perhaps knowing that you are watching (and can get pretty chatty online – lol) those bullies might curb their bulliness, just a tad. Good luck!

  • @Christine, thanks! And yeah, I think that my rocking the boat at least got more people involved. :-)

    @Denise, there will be a FinCon forum right around the corner – I’ll email you when it’s ready to go. :-) And I think admitting mistakes is a good idea – I should have thought about it sooner. But thanks for your support!!!

  • retired

    HOA are not “private”. Most actually believe they are, but they are in a mutual contract with the homeowners, and as such, ALL of their dealings are open to ALL members of the HOA and most of it is open to the public, especially is they have restrictions against solicitors and and are incorporated as a not-for -profit corporation or some other legal entity.
    I haven’t read the entire post, but Linda’s comments seem wrong. All officers should know that their actions can lead to legal suits. Whether you blog about them or not does not matter. If a HOA topic is deemed “private” and you agreed to keeping it private, then blogged about it, then they would have grounds to tak eyou to court. Not voting for someone for what someone else THINKS you might do is not very intelligent, especially when you are voting for people you know are planning to be in collusion with each other by bad mouthing one of their neighbors, in order to maintain majority. In essence, they slandered your name in oder to make sure they could do whatever they wanted.
    For this reason, I quit reading the post. Yes, I do believe that bventing or writing something on impulse should be aoided. This is the new age of making money on your life, as such, you were using an experience to promote your site. If they do not like it, they should move. They do not own your house, the neighborhood, or even the city. their worries should not top yours just because they feel you are giving them negative publicity. You are invested in the neighborhood as much as they, so its not like you are costing anyone any more than you are willing to pay with your negative comments. Their strict, narrow minded interpretations are what is ruining the neighborhood, not your reactions to them. Whether you voiced them publicly or not, I assure you people talk (especially realtors). No one will want to buy in a neighborhood being bullied by their HOA. Most failing neighborhoods have HOA’s, so if they think they need to harass their neighbors for the good of the neighborhood; they are not looking at where the most foreclosures and empty neighborhoods are appearing. Very strict enforcement of HOA restrictions does not lead to a happy community, as they already know probably. They are bullies who do not care. Reasonable people don’t go door to door with misinformation about others, much less their neighbors. They do not tell new comers that no one has ran for positions, then have their friends run. If I were you I would make sure to attend every meeting and make sure the new board members are attending their minimum required of times. What happened at the meeting/election makes for a real good case for breach of a lot of things. These people were on a witch hunt, probably because they have a lot to hide.

  • nunu

    Crystal, I’m glad I googled your blog and got to hear your side. You see, I was in that HOA meeting that day and not having a prior clue what they were talking about, the whole thing just made you look really bad. In fact, I had previously made up my mind to vote for you but as soon as I heard about your HOA bashing post, I thought to myself, she’s trying to get on the board for the wrong reasons. So I didn’t vote for you but now having read your explanation, I see that you would definitely make a good board member…oh well, there’s always a next time, chin up :)

  • @nunu, yeah, that meeting was brutal. It’s hard to know the right words to say when you feel attacked. And Bob already went door-to-door just highlighting the parts he wanted others to read. I was hoping everyone would see that he was just being antagonistic, but that didn’t happen. :-(

    As far as “next time”, the two 2014 positions that will be open are currently filled with two nice people with common sense, so I won’t run against them if they decide to stay. But I’ll be trying again in 2015. The three positions just voted in are all friends with the same viewpoints, so they will have the majority for the next 2 years.

    Thanks for reading!