Public Comments Regarding a Letter from Mr. Tim Hughes – President of the Ashburn Farm HOA
The letter below was received today (04 OCT 2013) from the president of the Ashburn Farm HOA and is a perfect illustration of the sad state of HOA leadership. It shows an unwillingness to acknowledge or correct unconstitutional actions by the HOA, and sadly was the expected response of out-of-control authority.
On Tuesday, October 1st, a reminder was provided during the PUBLIC FORUM section of the Board of Trustees Meeting requesting them to support the public notification of and discussions concerning restraining authority exercised by the HOA. This is the response received. Mr. Tim Hughes apparently took it upon himself to decide that supporting the Constitutional right of citizens to petition and address residents is not the best use of property provided through taxes and governed by the HOA. Interesting, isn’t it?
In this response Mr. Hughes did not address a single concern regarding the HOA’s activities nor has he shown any interest in understanding more or in correcting problems common to homeowners’ associations; therefore, he is not fit to remain as its president. He has refused to hold open discussions about this matter or even with the other board members. This fact has been confirmed through other sources. So, apparently, Mr. Hughes runs the HOA without distracting himself with opinions of even the other board members. Sound more and more like a dictatorship, doesn’t it? It sure acts like one!
I’m writing this in response to your request to have Ashburn Farm HOA publish some information and sponsor a vote asking our residents to, as you put it, ‘re-charter’ the HOA.
We’ve taken some time to review your website and the materials you presented to the Board of Trustees at our monthly meeting held on Sept 3rd. While I think I understand to some degree your intent, the material illustrates some drastic misunderstandings of law and fact as they relate to homeowner’s associations. Generally speaking, the Board of Trustees is pledged to advance the interests of the Association, and we do not feel that this pursuit is in the best interests of the Association. Because of that, and because we have a fiduciary responsibility to our membership to use our resources wisely, I want to be clear about it and state plainly that we will not devote space for information about it on the website or in the newsletter, nor will we sponsor a vote on the subject.
Our governing documents are the declarations, bylaws, and articles of incorporation which make up the Covenants of the Association; so there is no charter to ‘re-charter’. Your materials assume that the primary obligation of the Association is to defend residents and their sovereign rights, but that is actually not the purpose of the Association. The legal purpose of the Association is to maintain the common areas and enforce the Covenants. That’s what we do. There are hundreds of thousands of HOA’s all across the country charged with the exact same responsibility, no different from ours.
If you choose to continue your efforts I would recommend you consult an attorney in order to better understand the Virginia state statutes already in place that all home owners associations must operate within. An attorney with knowledge of those statutes would no doubt advise you that there are enormous legal obstacles which would make the changes to our Covenants that you advocate essentially impossible whether the Board of Trustees was to assist or not.
It’s a free country, so you’re invited to pursue or not pursue this as you see fit. However, as the Board of Trustees is charged with acting in the best interests of the Association, we cannot take action to support your efforts.
Ashburn Farm Board of Trustees
Ignoring the verbal abuses which appear to be bullying by a bureaucrat, a disturbing statement was made that all Ashburn Farm residents should care about. It is that “…the Board of Trustees is pledged to advance the interests of the Association…” This is in direct contradiction with the purpose defined in the opening DECLARATION COVENANT of the HOMEOWNER’S AGREEMENT which clearly states that the purpose for which the Association was founded is “…to provide for the preservation and enhancement of the property values, amenities, and opportunities in the community which will contribute to the personal and general health, safety, and welfare of residents and for the maintenance of the land and improvements thereon.” It says nothing about “[advancing] the interests of the Association” nor of its authority above that of the U.S. Constitution which guarantees our freedoms. In short, the Association is a NON-PROFIT corporation and thus is not allowed to “advance” its interests even if it has them. It’s officers are to serve the community and nothing more. It is, therefore, Mr. Tim Hughes who shows that he knows nothing about the covenants, by laws and articles he claims to uphold.
“Your materials assume that the primary obligation of the Association is to defend residents and their sovereign rights, but that is actually not the purpose of the Association.”
This comment suggests that Mr. Tim Hughes has not read and does not understand that the U.S. Constitution was designed for the very specific purpose of LIMITING THE AUTHORITY OF GOVERNMENT; of establishing military, judicial and legislative powers not for the purpose of controlling the people but to protect them while leaving all authority with the people. If such a simple concept is foreign to Mr. Hughes then why is he the “president” of the Ashburn Farm HOA; a low-level government entity whose fundamental purpose is to uphold the Constitution and the principles for which it stands? A reminder for Mr. Hughes: The basic premise of our U.S. Constitution is to uphold and defend principles found within the Holy Bible – which further emphasizes that our overwhelming duty, beyond our duty to God, is to love and serve one another; again, this is the basic purpose of every article defined within the Constitution.
“…there is no charter to ‘re-charter’”
Since a ‘charter’ according to Encarta is “a formal document incorporating an organization, company, or educational institution” it would appear to me that I am right on target with the term. The Declaration of Covenants and Conditions and associated
bylaws is a document “incorporating the organization” that is the HOA. It is an argument over semantics. Welcome to ENGLISH 101.
“we have a fiduciary responsibility to our membership to use our resources wisely”
It is interesting that money spent to speak with owners and residents about restoring Constitutional protections is unwisely spent but spending money on “Easter Bunny Brunches,” “Ice Cream Socials,” “Beer and Wine Socials,” and “Summer Kick-Offs” is an appropriate use of funds. This keeps getting better and better! His arguments really hold up to scrutiny, don’t they?
While I could comment further I have better things to do with my time. May God bless Mr. Hughes and help him grow in wisdom and love for those he serves!