Sometimes even I’m surprised by what can occur in a resident-owned community.

I recently received an email from one of the followers of my blog.  I’ve copied and pasted most of it below for your review and comment:

  • A resident-owned community quietly begins installing surveillance cameras in buildings and on common grounds. Some of the more "private" rooms also had cameras installed… the quiet little library and the small exercise room. No official notice was given to the residents that the cameras have been installed, or worse yet, that the cameras are now functioning. No signs have been installed stating that surveillance is happening.
  • At the last board meeting, residents learned that a computer monitor in the association office is taping all of the camera locations into a two year (?) memory system. At the same meeting, the residents were aghast to hear from the association president that he has been watching the residents, from all eight camera locations, on his own computer in ______________(note that I’ve intentionally deleted the President’s home location here to protect the "innocent").  No one in the park had been officially notified that the cameras had been installed or were functioning before this time.

I’d love to hear what you think about this invasion of privacy and in particular your thoughts on exactly what laws (if any) have been broken.  In addition, do any of you believe that the members of the board as well as the association’s President should have to answer to the membership?  It does not appear that the installation of these surveillance cameras was approved by the board at a properly noticed meeting open to all association members.  I’ll look forward to the comments from my readers on this distressing situation.

Speaking of distressing situations, a recent column  by Eric Ernst in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune describes the plight of mobile home owners in an investor-owned community in Venice.   While the value of their homes may be decreasing, the value of the community in which these residents live (as mobile home owners on rented lots) appears to be increasing, at least in the eyes of the county’s Property Appraiser.   Needless to say, many home owners in that community are not exactly thrilled with the Property Appraiser’s evaluation.

I’ll be posting news about another educational event for ROC board members in the next week or so as well as times, dates, and locations for our first set of the upcoming season’s resident owned community seminars.   In the meantime, enjoy these first few weeks of college football!