Apathy on Borrowed Time -- The Condo Owner’s Soul Search
by Marcia Kimura
Hawaii Condo Law Update: A bill calling for the creation of an Office of the Condominium Ombudsman and seven-member commission is currently being drafted in a Hawaii legislative office. If established as proposed, two condo owners not affiliated with condo management industry associations, would be appointed, as would no more than one industry-associated member.
Those familiar with legislative procedure know that the draft is the easy phase. The real battle begins when it's assigned for reading after being sent to the appropriate committees, and subject to the impressionable sensibilities and influence of some committee members who need to be convinced that justice for condo owners is becoming an increasingly compelling issue which cannot be ignored.
Those, of the more than 1200 readers of "Finally, Real Condo Law Enforcement?," the November 8 Hawai’i Free Press, who responded and are responding in favor of the petition for the condominium ombudsman and seven-member commission establishment are truly to be congratulated for their astute foresight and recognition of the need for true justice in condo law administration. Thank you for your realization that to continue in hopelessness is to foster more of the same.
Establishment of the commission and ombudsman can only protect your home ownership. Thus, with a nod to the old adage, "Questions are the answers," I encourage you to engage in sincere, realistic introspection of your own condo ownership perspectives and destinies.
1. Are there any plausible threats to my assertion of my rights as a condo owner, of justice in resolving my differences with association management? If so, what or who are these threats? By abstaining from upholding my constitutional rights of personal liberties and home ownership, am I just adding fuel to their raging fires of corruption and abuse?
2. Do I blithely dismiss or criticize the sincere attempts of others to establish fair, genuine solutions to owner rights violations, while I avoid research on the merits or feasibility of those solutions? If I have better alternatives, why don't I approach our legislators, or ask others to approach them, with my proposals?
3. Do I sluggishly wait for others to take action on my behalf, when I know that progressive, collective and necessary action can only materialize when I do my part?
4. Can my hesitation to support what needs to be done more accurately be termed "paralysis," rather than "caution?"
5. Do I believe that it is the moral responsibility of others to "carry" me and my needs with their commitment and actions, rather than mine?
6. How does doing nothing about violation of my constitutional rights to home protection prevent the same or worse circumstances that threaten my home and finances?
7. What makes me hope or believe that I'll escape threats to, or loss of, my home ownership, when so many others have unexpectedly lost their properties, because of lack of due process and enforcement in our current justice structure?
If you are honest in answering these questions, and if you truly care about the properties you, and/or your families and friends worked years for you to own, you may find that Russian rouletting your way through the condo ownership experience is a dangerous game, indeed.
Living in "paradise" will not cushion you and your home against predatory management or legal interests and schemes, which are just as operative and devastating to condo owners in Hawaii as they are in other major cities. Only your proaction will.
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Petition In Favor of the Establishment of Hawaii’s Office of the Condominium Ombudsman and Seven-Member Commission
“As a Hawaii condominium owner, I am in favor of the adoption and passage of the bill to establish Hawaii’s Office of the Condominium Ombudsman and seven-member Commission, as presented in the accompanying article, and allowing for additional subprovisions as developed, to enhance these measures. I believe that this would provide effective grievance, resolution and enforcement procedures for my issues.”
Please follow all of these simple, exact directions to support the petition:
1. Respond only if you are in favor of the petition proposal. Please do not send any “against” responses at all.
2. Send your email support to Marcia Kimura at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Use the subject line only and enter:
a. Your first and last name
b. The name of the condominium you are an owner in.
Sample: John (or Mary) Doe, ABC Towers
4. DO NOT type any comments, or attach any files in the message area. The entries will not be opened, and all of them will be viewed and printed from the “ inbox” list view only. Any entry not conforming to the instructions in 3a and b will be deleted.
5. Click “Send.”
Note: The purpose of the petition is mainly to collect diverse, quantitative results. Your entries will be shared confidentially with legislators only.
Thank you for your consideration and support of this petition.
©2016 Marcia Kimura All Rights Reserved Printed With Permission