Why transparency is important
· 40 % of Arizonans live in HOA’s, originally created by legislators looking to defray costs down to the ultimate local level.
· A subsidiary form of devolved government
· Association members are shareholders in a supposedly limited liability non-profit corporation
· Most don’t even read the CC&R’s, let alone know they signed a binding contract at closing
· This has never been tested in Federal Bankruptcy Court but I believe “consolidation in bankruptcy” means that in practical worst case terms – members are actually partners in a partnership with theoretical unlimited personal liability. This is because of assessments which can be levied.
· Neighborhood issues are complex enough without members feeling like they’re being treated like mushrooms
· If issues occur, over the color of a garbage can say, they are compounded exponentially by perceived or real fears of closed door meetings. Shootings have occurred!
· Transparency issues over books and records and closed meetings are at the heart of many of the disputes involving HOA’s
· Arizona legislators have done an awful job with a patchwork of legislation for HOA’s
· BUT one thing they have universally supported, thanks to Senator Biggs, and others, in the notion of complete transparency with extremely limited exceptions
· Unfortunately transparency is the exception rather than rule