I have been a member of the Lake Parsippany Property Owners Association (LPPOA) for 45 years. Both my husband and I served on the lake board of directors for many years. He served as president and also vice president. I always enjoyed living here until now. In past years, it was neighbor helping neighbor; be it member or nonmember of the association. I lived through the lake’s good times and bad times, through water quality problems and financial difficulties. All through those years, the lake and association survived. In all those years as a member the association never demanded a financial obligation from any of its 2,204 property owner residents.
Now in the name of possible financial need, promoting a more friendly community, and wanting more people to join the association. The association wants to put a mandatory assessment fee on all 2,204 owners living within the boundaries of the lake. The association based this on a premise that in order for the property to reap all these benefits the property owners need to help with the burden. A theory called Fair Share. Fair Share by whose standards?
A lawyer gave the LPPOA two opinions for this Fair Share Assessment fee.
The first one in my opinion was the more equitable one. It stated. “The LPPOA could encourage property owners to voluntarily elect to subject themselves and their respective properties to restrictive covenants. A Declaration of Restrictive Covenants would bind the individual property to membership in the LPPOA. This option would result in membership for all who agreed to sigh and record the document and their successors in title.”
The second one took the route of intimation and fear. No choice! ” A property owner who refuses to pay the mandatory fee will be charge a late payment fee, an attorney’s fee, cost of collection fee and a lien would be placed on their house.”
If the intent of the LPPOA was to unite this community by enforcing the second option they are sadly mistaken. Forcing people to do something against their will is not fair and does not promote unity. It only promotes animosity and hostility. Presenting a choice is more acceptable and better received by the majority. I would encourage all the membership to seriously think this through and vote no on this issue.
Opinion number one would save hundreds of thousands of dollars which the LPPOA has budgeted to pay Attorneys, Database Administration fees, Billing Cost, Collection Fees and Mailing costs. These are the administration costs listed in the 2017 LPPOA Easement Administration Budget totaling $117,413.00.
This proposal will only be voted on by 265 residents but it will affect 2,204 residents. Where is the fairness?