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I called them the next day, and essentially the officer in charge said that there were no cameras and that it was his officers’ word against the boys’! It’s scary that these people are given so much authority and control — absolutely scary!

  • Stephanie Butticci
  • via email

They Must Be Obeyed

I’m very upset about what you wrote about homeowners’ associations (“Home Owner Association Horror Stories,” Cover Story, February 18). I’d say 80 percent of what was written was false. The CC&Rs have to be followed, and the board of directors cannot do anything without a vote. Whoever wrote this article did not know the CC&Rs. It’s a very bad article.

  • Dolores Prestikowski
  • via voice mail

Get Me Out Of Here

I’m calling concerning your February 18 cover story “Home Owner Association Horror Stories.” I was wondering if you’re going to do a follow-up. If you’re stuck in one of these horror stories, what can you do? What are the legal steps? And then if you do take those steps and they try to retaliate, then what can you do? I think that would be a real good follow-up. I read your Reader weekly, and I greatly enjoy it.

  • Tom Abbott
  • Mission Valley

Just One Side Of The Condo

Two issues:

(1) Just wondering who decides which restaurants to include in your list of restaurants by area. Only two are listed in Imperial Beach, despite the fact that we also have a tremendous sushi restaurant, a couple of great Mexican seafood restaurants, a great old steak and pizza restaurant, and others (although not enough!). How do we get some more of the restaurants listed?

(2) The cover article “Home Owner Association Horror Stories” (February 18) is extremely one-sided and obviously written by someone who doesn’t know how they are set up to operate. The homeowners don’t bother to learn about how a condominium association works before they buy and don’t bother to read any of the governing documents or rules after they buy, and they only come to board meetings to whine and complain but have no interest in taking the time to learn how the association and the board must operate, because the board must abide by the governing documents.

Boardmembers are volunteers who do a great deal of work for the association without receiving anything in return except complaints and blame by people who don’t realize that in order to run a business, costs increase, and therefore, the HOA dues must increase!

Also, I don’t know where the author gets his idea that an HOA is represented as a democracy. The board is elected to run the association, with input by the homeowners, and they have the responsibility to make the decisions. It is completely impossible to please everyone all the time, so they obtain whatever expert opinions are needed, listen to homeowner input, and then make the best decisions they can make. If a boardmember attempts to promote a special interest, he or she will typically not be reelected and may even be ousted, and typically the other boardmembers will not allow this to happen.

The article complains that many associations have inadequate reserves, yet the homeowners scream if their dues are increased, which is the only way to fund reserves and still pay the day-to-day expenses! There is no way to fund reserves, repair the roofs and streets, maintain the landscaping, and provide the long list of services required within an association without adequate homeowner dues, so if the reserves are inadequately funded or maintenance problems exist within the association, the homeowners only have themselves to blame for resisting paying what is necessary to improve the project. People don’t think they should have to pay expenses as they would if they owned a single-family home; because they live within an association, they think that somehow things should magically get done without any contribution by them.

I’ve been taking minutes at board meetings for over 25 years and have worked for two law firms who handled HOA law, so believe me, I know what I’m talking about. I took minutes one year at an annual meeting where the board thought it would be nice to provide a few inexpensive snacks for the homeowners at the meeting, which cost each homeowner something like 30 or 40 cents total out of the association budget, and one man actually went off the deep end yelling about how the board wasted the homeowners’ money and spent it on something the homeowners hadn’t authorized! You cannot even imagine the ignorance and craziness that goes on within these communities. And the only reason boardmembers remain boardmembers year after year is because the rest of the homeowners are so apathetic that they don’t want to bother to attend meetings to find out what’s really going on or how an association actually must operate according to its governing documents, and they don’t want to be on the board or even on a committee!

So, again, the article was extremely one-sided, and I could write an article with completely the opposite perspective, and every word of it would be true.

  • Donna MacKersie
  • via email

Writers decide which restaurants to review. Readers can submit suggestions to writers on the Reader website. The 1400 restaurant listings, which include 6 in Imperial Beach, rotate in the paper each week. — Editor

No Downsizing, Please

I really like your comics, especially Red Meat, The Dinette Set, and Overheard in San Diego. I know times are tough, but I hope you can keep them. They are a major reason I pick up the Reader.

  • Rob Stegman
  • Carlsbad

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More from SDReader


PistolPete March 3, 2010 @ 2:01 p.m.

Eileen Feely-I too am surprised I missed that. I usually read the cover stories by myself early in the morning in the print version. Every once in awhile I might have an extra 20 minutes or so to kill online so I'll read the websites cover story. My roommate was talking to me last week while I was at the computer so that could be why I didn't notice Mr. Gropen's faux pas. Being born and raised in Chicago and a lover of LSD, I'll have to go back and read his story. In the meantime... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGQO7A...


Ponzi March 6, 2010 @ 8:26 a.m.

@ Stephanie Butticci

Teach your kids to not have an attitude. It works wonders on keeping their faces free of bruises.


ilovexs March 8, 2010 @ 6:07 p.m.

....in response to Ponzie

Normally I wouldn't even response to such a stupid statement, however, I speak for the kids that were with him too. They are great kids, hard working, and no matter how much attitude was given...it did NOT warrant that! It was a control issue and that is EXACTLY why they need more training - period. Stephanie


marydakin April 3, 2010 @ 8:25 a.m.

Stop making excuses for your ill-mannered child. He needs you for guidance because he doesn't yet know what he doesn't know. It's life and the school of hard knocks. With any luck, he'll survive it and with any brains, will learn from it.


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