Land 'Or Lunacy, Volume I: budget nonsense and rising crime
Posted in the Ruther Glen Forum
#1 Jan 18, 2010
I am by nature a relatively laid-back person and I am certainly not quick to pass harsh judgment on others. Indeed, I'm much more likely to pass harsh judgement on myself. However, after living in Lake Land 'Or for two years and observing a frankly deteriorating neighborhood despite excessive fees charged by thr HOA, I feel that I must stand up for the average homeowner by offering criticism. In this initial volume of what I'll tenatively call "Land 'Or Lunacy," I'd like to address two examples of glaring budget and resource mismanagement--one of which will directly impact the safety of homeowners.
First, my wife brought my attention to a recent summation of expenditures by the HOA, which was presented in the HOA newsletter. I was astounded to learn that publication of the newsletter costs approximately $8500.00. If you haven't had the pleasure of every reading the newsletter, it is printed on 8.5 inch paper in black and white, and contains graphics that appear to have been designed on an operating system akin to Windows 3.1--or even DOS. Moreover, the content of the newsletter is generally hollow; it usually consists of the HOA complaining about how it's short of money again, and then is followed by pages of useless advertisements. How this piece of recycling bin fodder costs $8500.00, I don't know. Here's a quick suggestion to the HOA: post the newsletter on the HOA website. It will costs much less money to produce, and homeowners can access it at their leisure. Also, consider adding a "letters to the editor" section. Afterall, it would be nice to allow homeowners to voice responses to the HOA's budget complaints.
Second, and more alarmingly, I learned that the HOA is considering cutting the security force and instead creating neighborhood watches. I learned this news shortly before a neighbor reported that some of his friends in the neighborhood have reported that thieves and thugs have attempted to break into their cars and homes recently. Of all of the things to cut from the budget, how on earth does it make sense to cut security? This is simply unacceptable.
Collectively, we as homeowners need to stand up. Our neighborhood is decaying into a wasteland, and our already declinig home values will simply sink into nothing. Personally, I've had enough.
More to come.
#2 Jan 18, 2010
How much are your annual dues?
And if your security is like other HOAS, they are just there to man the gate, patrol occasionally and if they see anything- call 911! Sounds like even with your gate, a lot of the crimes are coming from within!
#3 Jan 25, 2010
Have you gone to any of the board meetings to log your complaints? In many instances Board meetings and Committee meetings remain unattended or underattended. You can complain all day in this forum but if you dont show up to the meetings your voice is useless.
#4 Mar 6, 2010
I have attended several board meetings at L.O.A. and I have to agree w/ Poor Richard, the board meetings are a JOKE. The attendance is also a joke. Most meetings have 5-15 attendees and others, (ones that effect money or water) have standing room only and are frankly embarrassing to be included in. The standing room only meetings are not far from being called a riot. Community members yell at the board giving them no respect at all. The speakers try to give instruction and etiquette on the meeting in advance over the microphone and they cant be heard over the yelling and screaming at the board or whoever is the focus of attention. A few years ago a board member stood up and quit on the spot in the middle of a meeting over the culvert pipe replacement because the president's son-in-law owned the company that's bid was accepted. He, the president, had a chance to pocket several thousand dollars for getting his son-in-law the contract and adding $400 per household to the community dues to pay for it. This didn't sit well so he quit. It's not like he did us any favors though but he did prove a point. If you show up at a low attendance meeting you can be heard and if you have a valid complaint it can be addresses civilly. If you attend the popular water meetings and have a complaint good luck getting your comment out and having it addressed. It will be drowned out by the chaos.
#5 Mar 8, 2010
I've been a property owner in LL for well over 30 years. My family were charter members when the community first began to accept members when it was just a resorting place and no one lived there full time. Back then for very meger dues there were outstanding ammenities. The pools, the lakes all in nice shape and well stocked and cared for, a nice skeet range, horses to ride, boats and canoes on the lakes to use and every one was very friendly, though back then they didn't allow motorcycles past the gate. Even the maintanence department woudl lend you a hand taking down a tree or cutting back thick foliage and removing bee's nests.
Quite a bit different then what you see there today. Over the years I've attended many meetings and in my experience in the last 15 years or so they've been a complete joke and waste of time. I remember some old hag wining for hours about not wanting guard rails put in for the school buses as required by the county I think it was, and her argument was that there shouldn't be be families and kids living in her retirememnt community.
I haven't lived at the lake for several years now though I still own property there in part because of the things you mentioned as well as some other issues I had with the way the community was evolving. Best advice I can give you is move out if it really erks you that bad because the board and office managers have their own agenda and it minimally involes whats best for the community.
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