By The Rev. Tony Marciano
Don’t ask me why, but two years ago at the annual meeting of our homeowner’s association, I approached the incoming board president and offered to help him write the community newsletter. It didn’t sound that difficult. In addition to the newsletter, I found myself helping him and the other board members deal with some challenging issues. I became a non-voting, non-member of the board.
As he came to the end of his presidency, he sold his home and moved out of the community. The vice president was putting his property on the market. Neither one could serve as president. Having previously served as our HOA president, they asked me to serve. Originally, I said no, but after considering it, I said yes.
At the annual meeting, we informed the community the need to raise dues significantly. As you can imagine, it did not go over well and did not get the votes required. The next day, I was HOA president.
We began working on a strategy to secure the necessary votes. The next seven months were spent communicating with neighbors, emailing them, mailing them and knocking on doors. By the time December came along, we secured the needed votes, raising the dues 25 percent (yes, you read that correct).
At the same time, the pool needed major repairs. Actually, we needed to rebuild it. There were conversations with various contractors and negotiating payments to preserve cash flow.
During the year, there were the normal board issues including architectural review requests for building things on a homeowner’s property, trees in common areas that needed to be removed, changing management companies and getting the pool ready for the season.
The day came for this year’s annual meeting, a day I dreaded. It would be my last day as president. I was deeply concerned that people who were vocal about my leadership would disrupt the meeting.
I took the day off and found myself going through Scripture, a lot of Scripture. I needed a promise from God that He would be with me that night. Let me tell you the backdrop for this scripture:
Moses is 120 years old. He tells the people that God does not allow him to go into the Promised Land. They will go on ahead without him. He assures them that the Lord will deliver their enemies to them. He then says these words, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
In the next verse, he looks at Joshua and reminds him to be strong and courageous.
What grabbed my attention were the words, “because of them.” I knew who “they” were. I knew them by name. All of my Dale Carnegie efforts to win friends and influence people didn’t change how they felt about me. “They” showed up. “They” smiled at me when they arrived. I started the meeting. I had forgotten my concerns and wanted to lead the HOA to its own Promised Land so that it would not operate as it did in the past.
I wrapped it up by asking homeowners to meet their neighbors and plan a block party. The meeting was over. Everyone was pleased with what occurred.
I realized that God was faithful to his word. He had told me, “Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” He was faithful to His Word.
I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.
The Rev. Tony Marciano is the president/CEO of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. He is available to speak to your group. Go to www.charlotterescuemission.org and go to contact us. Just ask for Pam.