Chapter NineIIIChapter Eleven
For those who have never used one before, a petrie dish is a flat, circular container made of clear glass. Certain elements are placed in a petrie dish and, if similar conditions of temperature, humidity and light exist, the original element (lets say a bacteria) will transform into something else like a fungus. Now to confirm the results of one particular experiment, you would have to repeat it in several other petrie dishes. The theory is, if you can recreate the conditions, you should be able to recreate the results.
show me an honest person…anyone?
Throughout the duration of my multi-year ordeal with our board of directors, I always felt certain that if I just wait long enough the situation would change all by its self. The loose cannons on our board would lose interest and move on and a few rational people would come along and all would be well. Of course, that was before I knew anything about entrenched boards.
But even taking into account the entrenched nature of our board, what were the odds that every new board member was going to be just as despicable as the last? I continued to think that eventually this chain would breakdown and an individual of some integrity would get on the board if only by accident. So I waited and waited, but it never happened.
what comes around, goes around, and around, and around…
Not thinking like a scientist, I couldn’t understand how it could be the results never varied. So I did some research. At the time this was taking place, I had two boys in year-round sports programs, which gave me easy access to hundreds of homeowners from all over the city, and in San Antonio, almost everybody lives in a CID.
I conducted countless field interviews, and drove everybody half-crazy, but in the process, a definite recurrent pattern took shape. In almost every case, the outlandish events that occurred in my neighborhood had occurred in every other neighborhood in town. I couldn’t imagine, after examining such a large and varied group of individuals, how the same results could occur with almost no variation; these neighborhoods were behaving as if they were experiments in a petrie dish - and then it struck me. These neighborhoods actually were functioning just like a series of petrie dishes.
life in a petrie dish
Each community was a CID governed by the same CC&Rs. From there, all you have to do is add a municipal government and a court system that has been encouraged to look the other way. Then you add a body of apathetic homeowners with a healthy smattering of reprobates. Then you close the lid and watch the fungus grow.
Before you know it, you will have a board of directors composed of the neighborhood’s leading crackpots, aided and abetted by a larcenous management company and their attendant predatory attorneys. It seems this experiment never fails to produce the same results. Recreate the same conditions, and you recreate the same results.
But if you have any choice in the matter at all - don’t try this one at home!Home
Chapter NineIIIChapter Eleven