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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:16 PM
Original message
Community Bans Woman's 'Support Our Troops' Sign
Community Bans Woman's 'Support Our Troops' Sign

POSTED: 12:52 pm EST March 10, 2006
UPDATED: 1:10 pm EST March 10, 2006

A community association board in Tampa, Fla., voted Thursday night to ban a 'Support Our Troops' sign posted by a solider's wife, according to a report.

Stacy Kelly, whose husband David is in Iraq with the U.S. Army, recently posted a sign in her yard to support him.


"I feel that your home is where your heart is and right now my husband is in Iraq and that's where my heart is, so I want to show everyone that I support what he is doing," Kelley said.

The Westchase Homeowner's Association asked Kelley to remove the sign because it violated association policy. Association President Daryl Manning said the rules about signs are in place to keep the community clean and keep the peace.

"The concern that we have is what if the neighbor across the street does not support the troops or is against the administration and starts putting up those types of signs," Manning said. "So, here we have a war of the signs and we definitely do not want to get into that."

http://www.local6.com/news/7881545/detail.html
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. She signed the covenant mandating such matters....
whether or not I agree with her is irrelevant.
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I also agree
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400Years Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. never ever ever be a part of a homeowners association

caveat emptor
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #10
26. Bingo
Besides, she should put her money where her mouth is.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #10
35. Me neither. And I never would.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. all for one and one for all. seems fair.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. Oh, bullshit...
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 12:20 PM by Mythsaje
Just another excuse to kick free expression in the teeth. "First Amendment? Not on OUR block."

on edit: When will people get a clue that enforced conformity is fucking unAmerican?
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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. You have a perverted understanding of the First Amendment
It says: CONGRESS shall make no law.... and that was later extended to all other "government" entities.

So that means it's okay for Skinner to make a law about what personal expression is okay or not here, or for you to make a law covering your own home or business, or anyone else who has ownership or authority over what is essentially private property (including all businesses and homes and such).

I don't personally like restrctive covenants and rules like this, BUT it's nowhere near a First Amendment issue.

When will people get a clue that enforced conformity is fucking unAmerican?

I shudder to think of what sort of anarchy you're basically calling for. A certain amount of enforced conformity is absolutely essential for there even to BE an America, let alone a remotely civil society.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I understand that...
But who's property IS it, really? The homeowner's, or the homeowner's association?

And putting a sign up in your yard is hardly the same as shooting your neighbor because his dog shit in your yard.

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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #9
18. You own your home but..
Not the land on which is sits. That belongs to the association body. If you had a sign on your lawn an someone fell because of it the association can be sued. Grassy areas are "common areas" for all to use.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Own the home but not the land?
Whose dumbass idea was THAT?

That's like owning the steering wheel but not the car.
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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. Kind of like a business.
You can own the building but lease the land. It is very common for condos and has been around for years. When I sell my condo, I sell the building. The land is owned by the current association made up of current owners. I don't have equity on the land. If I am a current owner and the state/local government buys some walkway then things could be different on that particular piece of property to current owners. This is why condo home insurance is much cheaper than home owners insurance. We only insure the inside of the building. If my roofs leaks the association fixes it not me.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Make sense in that respect, I suppose...
Though I'd rather buy a home and land in a "bad" section of town than own part of something rather than the whole thing.

Of course, that's exactly what I've done... :)
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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. Point taken
I see you are young. As you get older you may want to scrap the whole yardwork/shoveling snow thing all together. I sure did. It's a give-and-take situation but for me it works. I like having my snow removed, salt spread, trees pruned, landscaping perfect, etc. Just last fall they came around and put up a new front door for me and painted the trim on my home. I like it but I'll agree it is not for everyone. You do have to check out any potential condo very carefully before buying.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. When I get older
I'm moving to the desert. Landscape with rocks and shrubs...no lawn. :D No snow either.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. The question is though - how much enforced conformity?
You said 'a certain amount' - well yeah, but that does not mean this particular instance does not go over the line people draw. How much can such associations do legally - ie, can they only allow people of one race to live there? Can they force you not to smoke in your front yard and only the back, if allow you to at all?

And what about the confotmity to our laws, is the HOA breaking those? That is the question.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. How much enforced conformity did she agree to when joining
the association?

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. Not sure, but the question is - how much CAN they enforce?
Obviously they can some, but when and where does it cross a line - that is the question being asked. Obviously they cannot supercede the law in general (ie restrict on race, religion, et al) no matter how many contracts they write.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Clearly, they can only enforce to the extent law allows.
They are not currently superceding any law, to my knowledge.

If you agree to not post signs as a condition of buying into the association, it's a far cry from excluding an applicant because of race.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. She chose to live in a community that can set these standards.
I wouldn't do it myself.
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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. You usually can't have a sign in your yard but one on or in
your house (such as in your picture window) is fine.
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LisaM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. LOL! It sounds as if their true intent is to prevent anti-Bush signs
that might pop up if they allow this. Because I can't imagine anyone objecting to someone whose husband is in Iraq putting up a Support Our Troops sign!

Isn't there a type of service flag? Can she put that up?
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
6. Whoops sorry
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. That's the problem with titles :)
Hard to search on em!
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meganmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
13. I have gone through something similar as I currently live in (hell)
a neighborhood with association covenents.

So here's the rundown.

She most likely signed the papers saying she would follow the rules and one of the rules in 'no signs other than for sale signs'. Technically she has to follow those rules and they can fine her if they don't and technically they can put a lien on her house if she doesn't pay the fine.

If it gets that far, she can take it to court. In several cases across the country, the homeowner has won the suit. The courts are recognizing that people have less options of living in a community without these kinds of rules, so if you don't really have a choice but to live in one of these neighborhoods, than the neighborhood rules can't override the constitution, and free speech wins. The problem is taking it that far and getting to the courts, because very few neighborhood associations actually put the lien on the property.

In my case, we were told to remove our Kerry sign in mid-October. We left our sign up until November 2nd, and then we received a letter thanking us for removing it :eyes:

Less than a week later we replaced it with a For Sale sign }(
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Maybe you could combine the 2 signs :)
FOR SALE by Homeowner that Supports Kerry and bush sucks.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. HA! You beat me to it!
:D

"FOR SALE - moving to a community that doesn't spy on its own residents."



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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. That is your choice
I like condo living. I could give a rat's ass about lawn care and therefor have no problem with keeping the lawns sign free. My choice. I placed by Kerry/Edwards sign in my front window like everyone else in the complex.
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meganmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #19
28. But in some areas, it _isn't_ really a choice
Like where I live right now, it is an 'exurb' (eg just like a suburb but not near a city). The only new construction is these neighborhoods where you own your land, you own your house, you are responsible for your own lawn care, and there are these requirements for landscaping and rules rules rules rules. They even call it a 'condominium association' even though it is really not condos at all, just so there is more control.

And if you live (or want to live) anywhere in that town, your only option right now is to live in one of these neighborhoods.

That's why the judges are ruling in favor of the homeowners when these cases do make it to court.

And for the record, a year and a half later I think someone is finally buying our house so we can get the hell out of there. *fingerscrossed*
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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. I see your point
I have never seen a situation like that and wouldn't care for it. If noone bought a house there that lack of demand might change things. You also have the option of running the association. Get your like-minded neighbors and get on the board. Take it over and make your changes. I would not recommend buying into an association where the homeowners do not run the association. At this condo the management company thought they ruled the complex until everyone on our block got on the board and fired the company and got a new one. Yes - it was fantastic to see their faces.
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meganmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. Done, done, and done LOL!
Of the 50ish homes in our neighborhood, 10 or 12 are up for sale right now, and almost none of them are selling.

I only moved out there because of mistermonkey (my long-term bf) and he specifically built the house to sell it, having done most of the work on his own. But as these things tend to go, it took longer to finish than he planned, and by the time it was ready the market tanked, blah, blah, blah...but *fingerscrossed* we are almost out of there.

We had a unarmed coup of the 'board' last fall, oh it was a fricking riot. The board is made up of homeowners, and only about 5 other people showed up at the meeting to vote, but this guy John (a good guy) had homemade proxy forms that almost the whole neighborhood had signed to vote new folks in (John wasn't one of them, I guess he was their 'campaign manager'). So technically the old board was out, but they sent letters out a week later on association letterhead, with association funds for postage discussing 'election irregularities' (I swear to god it was the funniest thing I had ever seen). They tried to call a special meeting but no one showed up. So the new folks were freaked out and unsure of the next step, so I called my Dad (a retired attorney in Fla) who explained to them that they were right and if needed he would write a letter on his old letterhead to look official. Just the threat of that scared teh old board enough that they slinked away into the night. It was hilarious.

If I wanted to live there, I would get more personally involved, but it's a temporary thing. I think things will be getting better there soon with the new board, but hopefully I won't be there to see it anyway :)
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
15. if the neighbor across the street does not support the troops
they can't even SAY it. Does not support the war. Putting up "those" types of signs.

Well at least they're enforcing the policy, even if it is merely out of fear of people who want this war to be over.
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
24. HA control everything from the signs to the color of paint you use
Don't like it (even though we live in a place that has an HA). City ordinances are getting out of control as well (or getting INTO control might be a more correct statement). We made Olbermann's worst person in the world the other night...the city fines people $50 for leaving up their Christmas lights.

What initially seems like a good idea eventually gets out of control with board members who crave authority. They forget how it was the association came to be and the reason for it, then go waaaaayyyy overboard with enforcement on minutae.
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jumpoffdaplanet Donating Member (676 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
29. I like sign wars, as long as everyone stay calm.
They can be funny. Everyone takes pictures and now you can post them on the internet.
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NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
33. What a bunch of tight asses!
"The concern that we have is what if the neighbor across the street does not support the troops or is against the administration and starts putting up those types of signs."

So in order to forestall the possibility of expression of dissent, even expressions of conformity must be banned! Stepford Hell!
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