Sunday, March 12, 2006

My nomination for the "Moron of the Week Award"

My nomination goes to the Westchase Community Association in Tampa Bay, FL. When Stacey Kelley, the wife of an Army Private, put up a "Support Our Troops" sign in her yard, the Homeowner's Association told her that she couldn't have the sign in her yard and that she would be fined $100/day if she didn't remove it. Apparently, the covenances state that only "For Sale" and "For Lease" signs are permitted, and nothing else.

The association's president, Daryl Manning, an Army reservist and Iraq War veteran, said he hoped that some compromise could be worked out... $1-per-day penalty for as long as the sign stays up. ARE YOU PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MINDS?

I agree with the fact that the sign is not permitted under the convenances, but where is their common sense? SCOTUS ruled that covenances are constitutional because HOA's are private associations and can impose rules for the good of the community under freedom of association. But freedom of speech should not be trumped by freedom of association.

One solution mentioned was that everyone in the community put up said signs, thus reestablishing a uniform community monotony. I lived in Florida a few years ago, and I think I have a good old-fashioned Florida-style solution: Flamingos.

What are Flamingos you ask? Simply put, a group such as a church group or PTA wants to raise money for a good cause, such as raising money to help to pay medical bills for a sick child in the congregation or school. People donate $X to put a "flock" of plastic flamingo lawn ornaments in someone's yard. In return, the person who has been "flocked" is asked to make a donation to have them removed. The flocked party is not required to make a donation, but it is generally understood that by not doing so, that person is "cheap." The flock is generally left there until the flocked party makes a donation.

I propose a Flamingo drive for a service or veteran's charity, such as the USO or the Disabled American Veterans. Every member of the homeowner's association board should have every square inch of their yards filled with flamingos. Flamingos should also be put in every community common area, such as in front of the HOA office, at the front gates to each of the several communities, the swimming pool... If the HOA wants peace and uniformity, then they should have to pay for it. Besides, I think pink is not an approved color...


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