November 8, 2016 is a day that will live in infamy forever — day of the presidential election. Just after seven p.m. in a small church meeting room, a small crowd has gathered. The mood is solemn, quiet. I sit in stillness. Waiting. The result is read aloud. No one reacts.
I have become president of the homeowners association.
With no platform or promises, I am elected through a consensus vote. In that moment it became my duty, nay, my mission to make our neighborhood great again!
The year started off slow. I signed some paperwork making my presidency official with the state. I collected signatures for an update to the HOA agreement. That was about it for a few months.
I kicked back. Lounged in the glory of title. I’d drive into the neighborhood and exclaim to my wife that we were entering my domain. The sun rises and sets upon my kingdom!
It is good to be in charge.
My first real test came in early summer. Crisis at the pool! Dated equipment caused a deteriorating pipe to leak. Proper chemical balances could not be maintained. Time to roll up the sleeves and get to work!
I contemplated arranging a podium with a giant flag in the background, but opted to draft a letter to the community instead. “We will not go quietly into summer without a place to swim! We will not allow the EPA to tell us our pool is unsafe! We will get through this, together!”
“It will just take a little thing called membership dues…”
A president might have the title and the name recognition and the glory, but a president has no power. It’s the guy behind the scenes that actually gets things done.
I have an association manager who keeps me up to date. He’s the real power broker. He’s the one talking with the pool company and dealing with the EPA. He collects dues and makes sure trees are trimmed. He sends collection letters and it was he who sent my letter. Unsigned. The manager is the one truly making our neighborhood great again. I’m just the puppet that signs his forms to make everything legal.
The annual meeting is scheduled for November 2. Without a challenger, I will be reelected and begin another term as president.
I don’t know what challenges will await me this year. Be it hurricanes or neighbor disagreements or the EPA, I will pass all the hard stuff to our association manager while I bask in the glory of a title.
It’s good to be the president.