Board Elections

Well, the home owners’ association board elections were tonight, and yet again, I did not win.

This really means nothing.

I was on last year’s ballot, and did not win, but ended up on the Board when one of the five elected members chose to resign. As I was the one with the next most votes, I was asked would I join. I said yes.

So guess who came in with the sixth most votes this year again? Me.

It is so fun watching the voting tally take place. All sorts of thoughts run through your head. It is nothing more than a popularity contest of sorts. I’m still not well known in the building, so plenty of people don’t know who I am. I’m fine with that. I chose not to vote for someone in this election for that exact same reason.

We were given five votes to do with as we wished. We could vote all five for one person, or one for each of the five board seats. When I heard that someone voted five times for me alone, it certainly made me wonder in whose estimation I was held so high. Not even I gave myself more than a single vote.

There was an attempted coup taking place, so the ones elected on the floor today were getting five votes at a time. Of those three new candidates, two were the most elected. Then two new candidates who had been asked to fill the missing two seats from our old board, the one I sat on, as one member now works in Europe and the other lives in Riverside, and both were finding it difficult in their schedules to be in LA on any certain night for board meetings. So two new candidates from the “opposition” and two new members of the “ruling party” and one from the old guard remains on the new board. So really, the coup wasn’t very successful, as three of the positions are now held by the reasonable members, and only two by the opposition. Since majority always wins on board votes, although the opposition was congratulating itself vigorously for its win, what have they won besides two seats on the board? They will be the vocal, agitating minority.

One of the things the opposition has been arguing for is the illegality of our recent voting into condominium status. This has been a long, hard slog, and has taken nearly a decade, and been put up for numerous votes. What the opposition fails to understand is that it has gone through. A super majority of the home owners (not necessarily the ones in attendance at meetings, but of all the 94 unit owners) has voted not once, but three times to make the building a condominium. The city has separated all the units’ tax bills, that is no longer the building association’s responsibility, etc.

Somehow, the opposition believes that our management company is running the show, the one that helps us handle collecting all the association dues, paying for repairs, paying our one employee, making sure the building has its fire, elevator and earthquake inspections, is up to code, etc., etc., all the things that managers handle so the residents can go about their business and not have to worry about these things, the opposition believes these people who do all these things required by law, are bad and bilking the building of its money. The fact that our building is woefully behind in its plumbing and electrical repairs, as it is still all original, and everyone knows it needs to be replaced to ensure the building’s continued long life…. if the management suggests we make plans to do these upgrades and repairs, at the Board’s request, this is evidence of the management firm wanting to cheat us of our money.

Most of the opposition are retired people on fixed incomes. Being on a fixed income myself, I certainly understand wanting to make sure every penny spent is necessary, but unfortunately, many of these people have no idea what things cost these days (indeed, perhaps they never did) and protest over expenses that seem quite reasonable.

It costs money to maintain a building. It costs more money to maintain an older building. And it costs even more if you ignore it all and decide it is always too expensive to bother with.

That is the situation our building is in.

It will be interesting to see if the new board reverses anything that has already happened. The one I fear the most is the possible firing of our management company. With a new board with only one member from a previous board, the thought of throwing a new management firm in the mix in addition is a frightening thought of potential mis-management.

In the meantime, the former president (having been on the board since 2002, continuously) and I are looking forward to being able to travel and watch our television programs without pesky board management issues having to be dealt with.

Until I suspect I get called in to replace whomever will next come off the board.

Until that time….

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