Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 | 2:03 a.m.
You’re accustomed to seeing letters to the editor. Well, this is a letter from an editor. I’m Matt Hufman, and I handle the opinion pages of the Sun. I and other journalists at the Sun are going to start writing to you regularly. We hope to start a conversation about topics that matter to us in Southern Nevada. We’ll also share your comments and observations and point you to some interesting opinions, thoughts and stories along the way.
We’re starting with a subject near and dear to the hearts of Southern Nevadans: homeowners associations. On Wednesday, columnist J. Patrick Coolican will write about HOAs, and we’d love to have some of your opinions before then.
This is passionate subject for many homeowners, but love them or hate them, HOAs are a part of the fabric of society here in Southern Nevada. There’s no doubt they play a major role in life, taking over what might normally be government functions. (Is it odd that in a place that has such a libertarian spirit, HOAs proliferate? Or is that natural, given they are a form of self-governance?)
When my wife and I bought a home, we found ourselves paying heed and dues (though mostly dues) to two HOAs.
You haven’t lived until you have two HOAs and their agents patrolling your neighborhood. These are not the types of patrols that might, say, catch the people who have broken into our cars. But they can sure spot those weeds alongside the house. Or a car parked on the street after 10 p.m. But the gate at the entrance of the neighborhood can hang broken for days.
But enough of my kvetching. To be fair, there are benefits of living in an HOA. My neighborhood is relatively quiet, weed-free and pretty tidy (with all the houses painted in those delightful shades of HOA-approved beige). And I haven’t seen any of my neighbors disassemble a car engine on their front lawns, as I have elsewhere. There’s nothing quite like the smell of carburetor in the morning, is there?
Anyway, that’s a bit of my story. What’s yours? Do you live in an HOA? Do you like it, hate it, tolerate it? Do you participate in board meetings? Does your HOA help you? Or do you care?
Would you send me your thoughts? You can send it in the form of a letter to the editor (firstname.lastname@example.org), a comment on the website or just a note to Letters to the Editor c/o Las Vegas Sun, 2360 Corporate Circle, Third Floor, Henderson, NV 89074. Or fax: 383-7264. If you’re sending emails, be sure to put “HOA story” in the subject line.
The Sun will print a sampling of the comments that come in, and hopefully, we can have a discussion about HOAs.
I look forward to your thoughts and comments.
Matt Hufman is the assistant managing editor of opinion.