Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 28, 2021

Stupid blog

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Even though this blog is called Blogging Bayport Alameda I veered away from specifically blogging about Bayport Alameda because, well, it just sort of happened. But given the HOA meeting I just attended days ago I feel like I need to share what I observed because it was…amazing.

I haven’t attended a lot of HOA Board meetings since I left the Board years ago because, frankly, they’re tedious and time consuming and it’s the same reason why you don’t see a lot of former City Council members attending City Council meetings after they’ve left: they’re done. I tried one early on in the pandemic but it fell on the same day as some other meeting so I logged off and opted to go to the other meeting.

The meeting started off auspiciously with one of the management company folks quizzing me as to my address. I guess you can only attend the meeting if you live here. I heard an unmuted “oh god” from one of the HOA Board members which I assumed was in response to me showing up there. As you can imagine, we’re off to a fine start.

The management company folks opened up public comment and went one by one. The first speaker talked about parking and how he (as a former Board Member) and a current Board Member did a great job on the new parking rules and then he starts ragging on a former Board Member about how his parking proposal was not as good and didn’t get public buy in. It’s at that point I realize I’m missing a lot of drama and context.

Later in the public comment that former Board Member who was “slandered” (his words not mine) starts attempting to defend himself and not one, but two current Board Members start shouting over him and the management company reps have to mute everyone like it’s Kindergarten Zoom.

It’s at this point I realize this board is not following any sort of rules of order and this is going to devolve into the biggest shit show ever.

Imagine a NextDoor neighborhood forum becoming sentient, this is what this HOA Board Meeting was like.

Then we have another community member, possibly the only person on the call from Bayport who was not either a current or former Board Member who asks if there could be less yelling at this meeting. Here’s what happened after that.

“Oh God” Board Member (OGBM): [Management Company lady (MCL)] I hear your voice but I don’t see your lips moving.

MCL: Oh, that [Community Member 1 (CM1)], not me.

OGBM: Oh CM1? She’s just another hater.

Yes, a Board Member called a resident a “hater” because she asked for less yelling. This is when I realized I should have made popcorn, but didn’t.

The next items have some light yelling but, like, no one is reprimanding the OGBM who is getting agitated over items like investment strategy and meeting minutes. Oh, quick aside about that, apparently there was some drama about the last set of meeting minutes and something being improperly captured in the meeting minutes. The problem was that the issue was confidential in nature so they couldn’t just announce what the correct action was to cure the mistake so there was this roundabout explanation that left us with one tidbit of info: someone was censured in executive session.

Here’s where the wheels completely fall off this meeting. The Board, which has a majority swing that does not include OGBM, has been trying to implement some guardrails against what has been happening as everyone has been largely ignoring the HOA. So they had a plan to put in a governance committee (a great idea which should start with adopting some form of a rules of order) and also starting to abide by the by laws which says that there should be at least two Board Members on every committee. Right now there are five committees and the Board wants to hold the number of committees at five so there was a suggestion to roll two of the other committees into one that have similar missions.

This did not go over well. After a lot of yelling and personal attacks and the realization she’s on the losing end of a 4 – 1 vote, OGBM announces she is resigning from the Board, effective at the end of the meeting.

Then, literally out of no where she says something along the lines of “now you can write this on the stupid blog you write” and I burst out laughing (I was muted). And since I’m always a fan of giving people what they ask for, I have now written this on my stupid blog.

But seriously though this is what happens on these Boards, the majority of the community is uninterested or simply do not have the time to get involved in the shenanigans of these organizations. There’s a lot more insider baseball stuff I left out involving parking and measures for success of these parking programs but the bottom line is that sometimes these Board are simply vehicles for individuals to get their own personal issues pushed through and it’s easy because we’re all just not paying attention. Other than getting rid of the whole HOA model, I bet there are thousands of HOAs across the country with similar issues and problems. While this whole thing was largely amusing what it also was was embarrassing. It’s embarrassing that we let people derail the normal course business because they’re not getting their way and it’s embarrassing to see a grown adult person who was duly elected to represent her entire community snark at neighbors like she’s some sort of insult comic rather than a Board Member.

8 Comments »

  1. We need to a bill either turn large HOAs into chartered public bodies or to dissolve them.

    Comment by Make it stop — May 28, 2021 @ 8:34 am

  2. They need to be gone. Sure, 40 years ago it might have been easy for localities to say, “Okay, you can build there, but we’re not going to take care of the sidewalks, etc.” and seemed like a cheap way (from the town’s perspective) to get more housing with less burden. But they end up becoming the little fiefdom of whoever is running the board (even those board members with good intentions get bullied by “that board member”). Neighbors resenting neighbors. Money wasted. All so we can have a ton of ticky-tack sameness? That might look cute in year one of new housing, but by year 10, 20, 30, it renders a neighborhood soulless.

    Comment by Sleepy Moe — May 28, 2021 @ 10:01 am

  3. OMG! I know who OGBM is 🙂

    Comment by bayporter — May 28, 2021 @ 10:44 am

  4. I went to the HOA meetings when we first moved to Bayport 16 years ago this week, but it was always about parking. I have gone to a few over the years, it is still about parking and a few other things. I mostly don’t attend because they always have them on Wednesday night which has been the one night of the week that I have other commitments. I have seen us go through several management companies and landscaping companies. Everyone hated Veria Moore at the time but in hindsight they actually superior to the others. They actually walked through the development and enforce the rules. I am neutral about the landscaping company, I would rate them 3.5 out of 10. I feel they do the minimum.

    But back to the meetings, I usually forget about them. Maybe they could start putting the signboards up again at the entrances and exits a few days before to remind people about them, I always forget and my Wednesday Zoom meeting doesn’t start until 7 so I could at least attend for the first hour.

    Comment by Joe — May 31, 2021 @ 1:12 pm

  5. I am SHOCKED to hear about this HOA behavior in a neighborhood where every McMansion looks exactly the same, on the same 4,000 sqft lot, subject to the exact same strict bylaws on parking and lawn manicuring.

    Comment by Oversize Johnson — June 1, 2021 @ 7:43 am

    • You’ve never been to Bayport, have you? No two adjacent homes look alike, neither is every home on a 4000 sq ft lot. But don’t let these minor details stop you.

      Comment by bayporter — June 1, 2021 @ 8:41 am

      • I’ve spent plenty of time in Bayport and I can confirm that it is monotonous. There are different “plans” and “facades” but they all blend together.

        Comment by Josh — June 1, 2021 @ 6:08 pm

        • Ok! Boomer

          Comment by bayporter — June 2, 2021 @ 9:33 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Say what you want

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.