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Developers Defeat Homeowners

Letter to the Editor, Arizona Republic, June 22, 2019 edition

The recent Foothills Community Association recall vote was a shocking demonstration of the power of commercial developers.

The homeowners voted 5-to-1 for the recall, but a few developers controlling hundreds of votes flipped the outcome and defeated the recall.

Over 500 homeowners signed the recall petition, triggered by several things:

  1. The board’s decision to expand itself and handpick two new members (and the flawed execution of this).

  2. Revelations of judgments by Arizona and Wisconsin against one of the board officers (concealed in reports to the Arizona Corporation Commission).

  3. Questions about the board charging excessive dues (amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars). Many homeowners had no confidence in the board to serve their interests.

Developers saw things differently. They saw the board serving their interests and used their large blocs of votes to maintain this relationship.

I don’t wish to demonize the developers. They acted rationally, and the recall further cemented their influence. There can be no debate that today’s board is beholden to the developers.

Moreover, the developers did not “take” the power they wielded. This was handed to them by thousands of homeowners who did not vote. If just a few hundred more overcome this apathy, homeowners will determine future elections.

David Randolph is a resident of the Foothills Community Association in Ahwatukee.

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