Call Me “Mr. President!”
A few years ago, I thought seriously about running for a seat on the Las Vegas City Council. I wasn’t sure I’d like all the work and responsibilities (let alone be able to control my emotions). So instead, I first decided to run for an open seat on the H.O.A. board in The Lakes. This H.O.A. has 2,205 homes, so it’s basically a small city. I surmised this would be a good “test run.” I also hoped to learn lots of things. Well, I certainly have learned a lot of things.
Lesson #1: I’m really not very good at this sort of thing.
Despite this, I’m now into my third year as a board member, one of five in the association. I can’t talk about details of the board because we have strict rules in place. However, I would like to convey a funny story that happened at last night’s meeting.
In the last two years, I’ve learned more about property management, irrigation systems, landscaping, water conservation, code violations, sanitation, contractors, park management (remember, we have a lake and two parks), checking MLB day game scores in meetings, and other details of civic responsibility that I’d ever known before. We are also one of the *greenest* areas of Las Vegas (built in the late 1980s) which means our conversion from grass and plants to “desert landscaping” is a massive renovation project. The photo shows landscaping blueprints and future planning on conversion to get Las Vegas Water Authority rebates. Exciting stuff! But, it’s also very important.
[Note: We are way ahead of the curve-many other associations are way behind and are going to get whacked on fines for their mismanagement]
Much of the success of association maintaining the beauty of The Lakes is due to Level Community Management (thanks Joan), Valley (the landscaping company), and other board members. Unfortunately, two of our five board members had to resign their positions last night because they have sold their properties and are moving (owning property is a requirement for voting). Losing longtime President Larry Robbins was a major blow to us. You just can’t replace 20 years of knowledge and contacts. It doesn’t work that way.
I had no idea all this was coming down when I arrived at the meeting. In fact, heading into my final year I’d decided NOT to seek reelection at a board member. I came to realize I’m not good at managing details and really do not have the time necessary to devote to such a big responsibility. I was going to keep this news to myself until a future date, but then I found out we lost Larry as our President, plus another board member.
That’s when the shocker of all shockers came my way.
“Nolan, can you serve as board President?”
Huh??? Hey, wait a minute. I was preparing the end of this, and now I’m asked to increase my role? I told them I’d end up in divorce court if I take on another “job.”
Well, duty calls. A volunteer job. No pay. Half the association mad as hell because the grass is being torn out. HOA dues increased because of inflation and higher labor costs. A dozen homeowners showing up at monthly meetings pointing fingers. And, I get to sign hundreds of thousands of dollars in checks. Why did I run for this position in the first place?
I’m reminded of the 1972 movie The Candidate where longshot Senate candidate Robert Redford wins a race he wasn’t even interested in seeking, and in the final scene of the film asks his campaign manager, “Now what do we do?”
Cue up, “Hail to the Chief!”
Oh, and where’s my limo?