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Welcome to On the Commons!

Image On The Commons is a weekly radio show, dedicated to discussing the many issues surrounding homeowner associations (HOAs) and condominiums.  It is broadcast live from WEBR, Fairfax, Virginia and available on this web site.

Join us as we explore the world of homeowner associations and condominiums, which are the fastest growing form of residential development in America today.  This housing concept includes homeowner associations, condominiums, cooperatives, and both attached and detached single-family homes.  Unfortunately this type of housing is not as utopian as its advocates would have us believe.  Living in a homeowner association means giving up a part of the American dream.  It means giving up Constitutional rights and control over one’s most valuable asset - one’s home.

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 "Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property, to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right."  --- Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B Sanders

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Its Here! 

The new On The Commons  podcast site

Seven years of easy to find On the Commons Podcasts 

 

The Curent Show

On the Commons with John Paskert

How do you define "civilization"?  I understand it to describe people who are educated, cultured, have manners and are socially and morally advanced. The dictionary defines it as: “an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached."

Some words that are used to define the opposite of civilization are decline, destruction, ignorance, rudeness, barbarism, primitiveness. ?What do you think best describes life in a residential association?  And how, in a country that presents itself as the most civilized, the richest, the best and the freest can we force people to live in controlled housing developments where, in many cases, those in power are rude, barbaric, abusive, dictatorial and completely wild?  And finally, how do homeowners deal with some of these atrocities?

John Paskert joins us On The Commons. John is a retired military psychological Operations officer.  The tactics he learned while an active duty officer helped him even out the playing field somewhat in his homeowners association. Rather than allowing the ruder and more ignorant denizens in his neighborhood to frustrate and demoralize him, he remained civilized, did his homework, and fought back in very clever and subtle ways.  He shares some of the lessons he learned operating in this new arena and also tells us some of his stories. I think the big lesson here is that there is more than one way to fight back. However, trying to become a truly civilized society, where respect and cooperation are the norm, should be our ultimate goal.     Listen to John Paskert     

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On the Commons with Jerry Berg

Over the years battle weary homeowners across the country have reached out to share their tales of woe as they try to survive in their own homes.  Some of the stories are sad, others make me mad, some are funny, silly, ridiculous, outrageous, abusive, horrible and even deadly but the one thing they all have in common is that they reinforce my belief that this housing concept is structurally flawed and cannot be tweaked and made into something a little more homeowner friendly.  Nothing short of a major overhaul will suffice to drag it out of the dark ages.

Jerry Berg joins us On The Commons.  Jerry lives in a condominium in Kansas and like many other homeowners in America, Jerry wondered, out loud,  what was happening to all the money the association was collecting from the homeowners.  That was 5 years ago.  His curiosity earned him a severe beating with a crow bar, which landed him in the hospital.  He was jailed a couple of times, fined $100 seventy one times.  One of those fines was for walking his dog "too slowly" across their private driveway.  His court case was recently postponed so he continues to live in limbo, just waiting for justice to be served.  Hoping that justice will be served.  In the meantime he has had more surgery and the insanity in his neighborhood continues.     Listen to Jerry Berg    

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