Re: Movinmg forward with the best info you havein decisionmaking.
From: normangauss (normangausscharter.net)
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2005 12:17:06 -0800 (PST)
Raines:

The trouble with what is occurring here is that individuals are announcing
proposed changes and not following through with a review of their proposal.
They first send out a brief verbal description of what they want to do, post
an announcement on the common house bulletin board and wait for comments.
If nobody devotes any attention to thinking about what they want to do, and
no halt is issued to their plans, they assume that they are being given the
go-ahead.  There is not even a requirement that they convene a public
discussion of their proposal.

So far, we have no formal review process established.  So, what happens is
that people have an opportunity to say yes or no without knowing all the
facts nor impact on the budget nor infrastructure nor any constraints on
such activity specified in the CC&R's.  Emotional support is gathered before
any group meets to consider the pros and cons.  In our recent project, the
most cogent argument would have been an increase in HOA dues.  But since no
financial analysis had been done, there was no way to make this argument
stick.

Recently, the first group meeting on the proposal was not held until the
proposal had been posted on the bulletin board for weeks.  By the time we
had our first meeting, people were so tired of seeing emails on the subject,
both pro and con, that their patience had been exhausted.  All they wanted
to do was terminate this endless debate and move forward.  As a result, they
did not want to hear any more arguments against the proposal.  They wanted
to move forward, and voices to the contrary were considered the enemy.
Emotional arguments outweighed practical or financial ones because there is
a preponderance of impatient and non-analytical people in our community.

Unless an argument can be presented that demonstrates a strong impact on the
infrastructure or its finances, people are not willing to be dissuaded from
their pre-conceived opinions.  That is what happened here.

Not enough time had been devoted to this project by our operations team to
be able to offer any cogent arguments to demonstrate its long-term
consequences. As it turns out, the implications of this project have
far-reaching consequences, but not enough time had been spent evaluating
them.

In retrospect, we should not allow announced projects to fester on the back
burner week after week without acting on them.  That was the mistake we made
here.

Norm Gauss


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