I’ve made no secret of the how much I despise homeowners associations. Those little dictatorships that run condos, housing developments, and in some cases, marinas. They are stocked with little pissant whiners and complainers who delight in making life miserable for the rest of the residents by enacting useless little laws and rules that any real government would not even dare to attempt. In my travels I have tried to avoid places where HOA’s exist but given the type of living that I live, it’s not always possible. And so, at the moment I live in a marina which is also a dockominium, which is like a condominium but wetter, and has owners and a HOA. And on Monday, Dec. 3rd, they are all getting together for their annual meeting.
If you have never been to one of these meetings, imagine a bunch of bratty kindergarten kids in dire need of a nap, all together at once, and finding out that Xmas has been cancelled. There will be crying, whining, sniveling, stomping of feet, finger pointing, veiled threats, and in the end, nobody will be happy.
There will be regular business taken care of first. Reading of the budget, updates and notices of any special projects that are being done or planned. There will be a few petitions by some owners to do something out of the realm of the rules, maybe things like a dockbox with a sign on it, or a variance to park a vehicle. Minor petty things of that nature that will be voted on or considered. Stuff that the association was formed to take care of originally. See that the property is maintained properly and holds or gains in value for all the owners. And make sure everyone gets along.
But, inevitably, the owners forum will start. That is when all the owners will get a chance to step forward before the board and all others and express opinions, complaints, suggestions, and other helpful information that they believe should be addressed. What it winds up being, is a long drawn out bitch session where people with nothing better to do in their miserable little lives will bitch, moan, whine, and snivel over the most trivial of matters. A barking dog, a dirty boat, the grass around the bathhouse is too long, somebody doesn’t properly tie up their loose dock lines. You name it, somebody will bitch about it. It’s nothing but a bunch of finger pointing anal retentive children who delight in making others unhappy by using the power of the association to inflict their opinions on others.
In the end, those who don’t own but rent the slips, people who otherwise live a nice quiet existence in the marina and bother no one, suddenly find themselves in the middle of a kerfluffle. A neighbor didn’t like something about them and complained. Next thing you know, they are being warned, fined, or evicted. Rather than confront somebody directly over the perceived violation, most of the complainers are too cowardly for that, they will go crying to the association to get something done. Then giggle to themselves when the alleged violator is punished. I’ve seen it many a time in the past.
As far as I know however, I am in the clear. I don’t expect any of this shitstorm to head my way but I have been wrong before. I keep my slip clear of everything except my bicycle. The boat is clean, at least on the outside, and the cats never go outside. I don’t make noise, something my neighbors do, and most importantly, I pay my rent and utilities on time. But, as is my way, I am paranoid about such things and wouldn’t be surprised if somebody complained simply because I exist in their little world. I am not concerned about being evicted so much as some new marina wide rule being enacted that will cost me unnecessary money. I’m not going to fret about anything, and it appears unlikely anything will happen. But you never know. Rarely does anything good come out of these sorts of meetings.
i won’t be attending the meeting and seeing as how I am not an owner I doubt I would even be allowed to attend. Besides, I could be doing better things than attending a homeowners meeting, like stabbing a hot needle into my eyes.
The sad part of all this is that this marina is one of the nicest private marinas in Key West and possibly the entire Keys. It’s clean, well maintained, and located right next to that big ocean thingy that everyone who owns a boat likes to go out and float on every once in while. The docks are well built, all the amenities are there, it’s safe and secure, and if someone is an owner of a slip, wet or dry, they are probably seeing a nice gain in their investment over the long term. But, there is always something that somebody will want to complain about. And on Monday, they will get their chance.
As long as they leave me alone, it will all be fine.