Doggone CarlDoggone It!

When I was a boy, one of the few expressions of irritation permitted by adults (at least in their company) was “Doggone it!” I still use the expression, although I do slip occasionally. But in a time when our television and movies celebrate vulgarity to attract viewers (some of those expressions even suggesting anatomical impossibilities), it now seems such a sweet expression. Besides, I like “Doggone it” because it contains the word “dog,” which always has a positive note to me.

I am presently in need of an expression of dismay and irritation because, “Doggone it!,” the transition from our old management company to Associa HRW has been much more troubled and difficult than any of us thought it would be. FHA considered multiple companies, did reference checks, and took considerable care to validate Associa HRW as our management company. But the transition issues still surprised us.

Every single member of the FHA Board puts in a lot of time and effort to preserve things as we all want them to be and to improve many areas. We depend on our management company for many things. They receive residents’ dues; they pay the FHA bills; they help manage vendors and projects; perhaps most importantly, they respond to questions from residents; they help with requests for things like building projects, repairs for some residences, or with covenants issues.

So, we are working diligently with Associa HRW to get things right and identify mutually agreeable solutions for some of the larger issues:

• There were errors in names and ZIP codes on initial packages to residents, which caused issues in trying to pay FHA dues; that was fixed. There is work still to be done to get things set up properly for many residents, but progress is being made. The good news is that once everything is working, residents will not have to repeat the process.

• Just two weeks into her first month, our Assistant Manager quit. A new Assistant Manager, Darla Sandoval, is now in place. Based on results and comments from residents, she has been extremely helpful in solving problems.

• The Associa HRW Manager initially assigned to oversee FHA dues had issues that took him out of action for much of January and some of February—additionally, he may not have been the right person for the job. Associa HRW has now replaced that person with a brand-new Manager, Kathy Wood. It is early yet, but our impression is that she will be particularly good in this role.

• Our former management company had many issues with tracking financial operations and getting bills paid, which is one of the major reasons we chose a new company. Poor information from that prior company, and some delays by Associa HRW, have made getting things right even more difficult and frustrating than we had imagined. Our Treasurer is working diligently with Associa HRW to resolve these problems, and we are starting to see success.

So, “Doggone it,” we are too stubborn to let these kinds of issues stand in the way of getting things right! We hope to look back in a month or so and breathe a deep sigh of relief.

This is not the end, or even the beginning of the end, but it may be the end of the beginning. (Churchill)

—Carl Angel (