Under the Cloak of Uncertainty

Bob Bulakowski, United SaddleBrooke

Over the years, SaddleBrooke has become a tale of two communities bound by the Reciprocal Use Agreement (RUA) and the common interests of our residents. These twin pillars have overridden the divergent management, policies, and rules of the two HOAs. Should the RUA ever fail to be renewed, or should the two HOAs continue to drift apart, our successful partnership could be rent asunder.

Without cooperation between the two HOAs, the residents will always be destined to suffer a continued sense of community disconnect. Harmony and cooperation, not split personalities, are the expectations when people make SaddleBrooke their home. Striving for that vision is the goal of the United SaddleBrooke organization. The two boards of directors (BODs) must justify their joint statement of April 29, 2022, to the entire SaddleBrooke community in which they profess cooperation, now and in the future.

Concerning interdependence, the joint statement signed by Presidents James Daily and Terese Butler states:

“It is the vision of both Boards to continue to build a Framework that future boards will expand over time that will strengthen the bonds and interdependence between both Homeowners Associations. That is our commitment to you, our residents.”

What does this mean? Without publicly defining interdependent cooperation, it is essentially an empty vision. The beneficiaries of cooperation are the residents of SaddleBrooke who must be guaranteed interdependent cooperation that extends in perpetuity. Sadly, to date, we have seen little evidence that the boards are moving in this direction, despite their pledge to do so.

Is it possible to achieve the mutual willingness necessary for cooperation? Can the two BODs engage in extended efforts at cooperation without fear of losing their independence, i.e., their power? I believe they can. The Long Range Planning Committees (LRPC) of each HOA are the ideal groups to start an honest conversation among residents and board leadership about the benefits of increased cooperation. Consider a jointly commissioned LRPC being assigned to recommend specific areas of inter-board cooperation. The obvious advantage is the recommendations would be resident-driven, designed from the bottom up, not top-down where prejudice likely gets in the way.

Let’s return SaddleBrooke to the vision of “One Big Happy Family” where the residents can enjoy their lives without the cloak of uncertainty hovering over them.

Visit the United SaddleBrooke website www.unitedsaddlebrooke.org.