Members of Finley Farms North homeowners association voted Wednesday to oust two board members they claim governed their Gilbert neighborhood unfairly.
“This community has been great, up until the last few years,” said resident Joe Perrone.
Residents of the 373-home neighborhood voted 55 to 47 in favor of recalling HOA board president Mel Stradling and vice president Art Soucek. Recall supporters seemed upset mainly about Stradling and Soucek’s handling of architectural rules on homes in the neighborhood.
“These two board members have been very selective in the rules they apply while ignoring the actual purpose and intent of the (HOA rules),” resident David Keeler told the crowd of about 60 residents who met in a closed-door meeting inside Gilbert’s Boys & Girls Club. The meeting was closed to non-HOA members.
“Things that are done in secret are things not done right,” Keeler said after the meeting.
Stradling and Soucek did not attend the Wednesday meeting and neither returned calls or e-mails asking for comment Thursday.
But in a letter urging residents not to support the recall, both men stated: “We have consistently and fairly applied the rules of the HOA documents to the best of our ability.”
Resident David Cisar, who gathered 109 signatures to force Wednesday’s recall meeting, said the recall effort “in a way, brought us closer together as a community.”
Replacements will be appointed by the two remaining board members to serve out the rest of the term, which ends in December, according to the HOA’s procedures.
Recall efforts like the one in Finley Farms are becoming more common in recent years, said Pat Haruff, president of the Coalition for Homeowners for Rights and Education.
“We’re seeing more and more of it,” she said. “And good for them. That’s the thing to do. Teach these people a lesson. If they’re not going to be accountable to you and responsible for what they do, get rid of them,” she said.