Homeowners’ Brawl Meeting

Just returned from one of the most uncomfortable (non-work related) meetings I’ve ever attended. It was the annual membership meeting for our neighborhood and I’d been asked to help out with collecting dues and giving a 1 minute speech about the email list and web site. Other wise I might have not gone.

I’m glad I didn’t miss it. Things went pretty smoothly until just before the vote, then a woman stood up and wondered if the election was unfair because she’d previously been told that there was not a formal nominating committee, yet the nominating committee spoke at the meeting. In addition, the list of names that were in the newsletter was different from those mentioned by the allegedly non-existent nominating committee. And the newsletter said that the bylaws called for a nominating committee. This caused other people to speak up and for the original protester to become even more shrill than she usually is. One normally professional board member said catty sounding things and the nominee who was named in the newsletter, but left out of the nominations at the meeting shouted that she didn’t want to be on the board anyway, so take her name off. (um, they already had hon).

I gotta say, I agree with the woman who protested. The nominations should have stayed the same as in the newsletter, unless someone died or something. They could have made a case for the other person they ended up choosing over the one in the newsletter, but allow four people to run. This particular board seems to think it is our elders and does things in our best interest. Normally I don’t mind. They do all the work to save us from the big bad hospital and I don’t have to do a thing to help with that. But sometimes I get tired of them telling me what I should think and how I should vote.

I actually dislike one of the people on the committee. He is a smooth talker — almost in the revival sense. It makes me want to do everything the opposite of what he says.

After we finally got a chance to vote (I say we, but I was too disgusted to vote — as if my vote against any of those running would have done anything) the protester from earlier protested again, and this time suggested we re-write the bylaws. Again I agreed with her. I know those bylaws intimately. I typed them for the web site before the board got paranoid that someone we were fighting got their hands on them. She gave two examples of how she would change the bylaws:

  1. Make it less ambiguous regarding elections.
  2. Restrict our meetings, membership and voting to homeowners who had not signed agreements with the hospital.

At that point I shook my head, glad that this woman had re-confirmed my years-old opinion of her. She’s always reminded me of one of those little tiny dogs, that yap yap yap yap and nip at your ankles. Even though I agreed with what she said twice tonight, that last point shocked even me.

When I told Dean about her suggestion and wondered, aloud, how we’d even know who was a renter or who had signed an agreement with the hospital, he replied, sardonically, maybe the association would make those who rented from the hospital or had signed agreements to not oppose the hospital (for $25,000) sew S’s on their clothes so we could tell them apart from the rest of us.

That’d do it.

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