“Fellow Board Members and VOCA Residents,

Dee and I were elected to the VOCA board of directors this past April. We were excited about the potential to bring change and improvement to our HOA. With a stated intention to improve communication, board transparency, and member participation, we were elected out of a large field of candidates.

However, it soon became clear that our objectives would not be easily achieved. We encountered significant resistance to new ideas, and were marginalized and called names by members of the existing board. There were personal attacks by some members, including the previous board president. HOAMCO participated and supported this behavior, withholding information and documents, blocking emails, and enlisting legal efforts to remove us for petty reasons.

While the Board and HOAMCO publicly supported ideas for member forums, membership surveys, and improved transparent communication to members, it has privately done little to change the status quo. Perhaps we were naïve to think that it would be possible to introduce new ideas and engage in civil discourse with fellow board members. We were mostly interrupted, shouted down, or ignored.

Finally, the Board participation has opened us to persistent and hostile attacks from a small but vocal minority of VOCA members who attend meetings. We have come to realize that there is an attitude within the community that does not welcome diversity or change.

Partly due to our experience with the VOCA board, we have listed our house for sale and have moved back to the Northwest. It is our hope that more resilient and resourceful members of the community will run for the board and continue the effort to steer the HOA in a better direction. Effective today, we resign our roles on the board.

Sincerely,

Steve Hertel and Dee Doyle”