My wife and I built a house a couple of years back in a new development. This year there were enough houses to warrant putting together the homeowners association board and I was dumb enough to attend up for election. I got voted in. Really all I wanted was to make sure people had a modicum of respect for each other and the neighborhood. We don’t as a board patrol around and measure grass or anything, but when you do things consistently that are against the rules we all signed up for there is a polite letter sent. When you keep doing it we have to fine you, that is the by-laws… And frankly most of the violations are actually violations of township laws also.
So far the board has been called racist (which is funny since we are the embodiment of Jesse’s Rainbow Coalition), Nazis, and colluding with INS to send violation letters to the government and get people deported (holy hell, I now I don’t have that power). I’ve had one irate couple stalk me at my daughter’s bus stop to voice their concerns and tape manifestos to my door.
The sad part is in doing this to make the neighborhood nicer and these few wing nuts are only coming after us to try and wear is down. Some of my colleagues on the board are scared of what these people will do, but I’m just more depressed that this is where some people choose to spend their lives and energy.