What You Should Know About Your New POA Special Assessment

Next month (April 2012) the POA will vote to formally approve the front gate project and assess each unit owner to pay for it. The front gate project, we have been told, is intended to create a new and supposedly impressive entrance archway, rebuild/rehabilitate the existing front gatehouse, add 700 sq. feet for the human resources department to interview prospective employees so they will not have to come onto Williams Island property, install a sidewalk across the front of the entrance, and (now) add a guardhouse on the EXIT side of the island (to be staffed 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year) to “watch” who comes and goes.  [If you want to know what it looks like, ask your POA: they at at our February 15th building meeting and said they would provide use with the renderings in PDF format in a few days. Do YOU have them?]

Here’s my issue: I not really concerned about whether you think it is a good or bad idea (although I think this is a bad one), but what do you think about the process?

How it works: The POA spends years thinking about these things, lets us hear about it a little at a time in piecemeal fashion at the POA board meetings, and when they are ready to go they send a  14 day notice that says: We are going to vote on the Front Gate Project, and then vote to approve what they have already decided to do.

Isn’t there something wrong with that process? Wouldn’t you think that even MINIMAL transparency would suggest that once the POA has all of the information in one place, knows what it wants to do,  and how much it will cost, at that point the POA would send every unit owner a summary of the project and an opportunity to comment for say, 30 days, BEFORE it votes? (By the way, they already have the building permit and they don’t even know how much it’s going to cost or have someone to build it.)

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