Friday, July 02, 2010

The $1,000 HOA Fence for a $1.00 Horse

Posted by CotoBlogzz 07-02-2010

We like to use the $1,000 fence for a $1.00 horse analogy to illustrate how a good number of executives fail to focus on the real issue and instead prefer to go into a rat’s nest of minutia, particularly when it comes to privacy and security.

Now consider the following scenario with this question in mind:  Is this story real or is it a figment of a disgruntled homeowner’s imagination:

The Morrison Homeowners Association (MHA) Scenario
A MHA homeowner had requested a copy of an invoice of an expense she had noticed in the accounting records of the HOA supplied by the Board of Directors. The request was made directly to CPM, the property management company that is in charge of keeping the accounting records for  Morrison Ranch Estates.
The reply she received from Sandi Hechler at Community Property Management was as follows:
“We have located the Digital Cafe invoice you requested and will mail you a copy, provided that we receive a payment in advance of $0.67 for the copy, envelope and postage. Should you prefer to pick it up at our office, the cost is $0.13″
The Homeowner Replied:

“Please bill me the $ .13 as per Civil Code §1365.2, (c) (4) and either email or fax the invoice to me.” (Civil Code §1365.2, (c) (4) states:“the association may bill the requesting

 member for the direct and actual cost of copying and mailing requested documents. The association shall inform the member of the amount of the copying and mailing costs, and the member shall agree to pay those costs, before copying and sending the requested documents.”)

Ms. Hechler replied:
The Board adopted a policy in January 2010 which applies to all MREHA Homeowners, that documents must be paid for in advance of mailing or at the time of pick up. The cost for mailing is $0.67 (1 copy, envelope, postage) or $0.13 if you would like to pick up the copy at our office. There is no charge if you would like to view the document at our office.
“Thank you for quoting Civil Code §1365.2, (c) (4), it does correctly state that “the association may bill the requesting


Two things should be clear by now:  1)  You cannot make this up – this is a real life example.    2)  Perfect illustration of the $1,000 fence for the $1.00 horse.  Instead of focusing on accumulating social capital by constructively engaging residents, albeit  a critic,   the  Morrison Ranch Estates association, for some unknown reason, continues to accumulate debits - paying a property manager at tens of Dollars/hour,  when it could have easily settled the matter expeditiously at a fraction of the cost.

We have contacted the Morrison Ranch Estates board  to comment on the facts as presented herein, as well as its rationale for basically dissing a resident, instead of being a good CID citizen - we shall update this story when and if we hear from the association.

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