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Latest Review

Re: “Jasmine Thai

Support this restaurant James Islanders! This really is a great place. Quirky? Look past that and try ANYTHING on the menu - you'll be impressed. Better than Basil and it is James Island priced. We have enough bar food and burger joints here - This is GOOD food.

Posted by StevePeck on April 25, 2010 at 6:21 PM

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Recent Comments

Re: “Can your homeowners' association mess with your yard and send you the bill?

There is always going to be an example of an extreme situation where Owners proclaim an elected Board to have "overstepped," or where rules are created or amended by a minority. These are unfortunate and *fortunately*, very rare circumstances... The inflammatory examples across the country are what they are – a half dozen “newsworthy,” colorful examples out of 314,000 otherwise well-managed and well-meaning HOAs in the USA.

Having been involved with Associations for more than 20 years and dealing with hundreds of Board members, certainly I have heard the references to iron fist organizations. To be fair, the reality of Association living in communities where the Governing Documents were created in the last 10 years by and large, is that the rules are something of a tradeoff for rights versus responsibilities.

I have been told by multiple closing attorneys that in South Carolina, every property owner was to have been presented a document by their own closing attorney, which states that they have read and understood and agreed to live with the Covenants and associated rules (paraphrased), and that each deed is then granted subject to membership in their HOA. While it is true that such an important acknowledgement could have gotten missed in the symphony of signatures at the closing table, there should be few surprises to the people that considered or were told that they were buying into an HOA with rules and obligations before they moved in.

Associations exist as non-profit corporations to maintain common areas and to provide for common rules (and yes, enforcement of varying types) and of course they are obliged to operate transparently under state laws. Association developers’ and their attorneys, not the Association management companies, created the initial Documents and rules for street parking, fence painting, lawn parking, trash container storage and myriad other things, all of which standards are considered and occasionally revised to balance livability versus aesthetics.

Here’s the thing – Boards need to be flexible, fair and kind! Sometimes the rules do require interpretation and aren’t black-and-white as everyone may like. Lawn maintenance, storage of “stuff” and many other standards do require some interpretation and *reasonableness*. Association governance is a people business and we’re all in it together. For the 110 Associations in the tri-county area with which I am familiar, every single one of them allows and invites the manager to work with owners and help them through the process of education, and in some cases, correction of what are considered “violations” of the rules. As one example, all of the Associations with which I am familiar apply their fines are only after written warning notices. Each invites the HOA manager to work with owners on and after correction…

Reasonableness is key and fairness is fair. Just as neighbors don’t want to see trash containers, unkempt yards, moldy siding, butt buckets, cars blocking streets and sidewalks…the Griswold’s RV in the yard… it is incumbent on the whole village to keep up with the Joneses so that property values are kept as high as possible – competitive with neighboring communities!

The statistics are right there in the article. 8% are dissatisfied. While this is a statistically slim figure, 8% to me is disappointing and professional managers work every day to enhance communication, practice fairness, encourage education and promote openness… to the fullest extent that the elected Board allows. This is a tough economy and home values are what the HOA Board of Directors is out to protect and promote, at the end of the day.

21 of 40 people like this.
Posted by StevePeck on May 9, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Re: “Zoinks! It's a blackened shrimp mystery!

Gulf shrimp in oil... and a frowny face.

Posted by StevePeck on June 24, 2010 at 8:46 AM

Re: “Generation Vexed

My company receives resumes every week...and a lot of times, that's it - just a resume. If you want an opportunity, include a creative cover letter that says exactly why we should hire you. I give these e-mailed applicants about 12 seconds each to catch my attention. (Before you hate, google the statistics, I'm generous with my seconds). The people who make a half-hearted (Is there an eighth-hearted) effort say to me that this is the way they’ll approach the job – a cut and paste approach and on the job, maybe just enough effort to get by.

Businesses strong enough to be growing and hiring don’t have time or interest to autopsy your resume looking for that kernel of something valuable that says you’ll be a good candidate and they don’t want to hire people who don’t even bother to give the job hunt 100%. Firing off a resume without a well-conceived cover letter is a waste of the recipient's time.

I’ve been surprised by spelling errors and an aura of entitlement – some reminding the employer that this is a two-way interview. True but bad approach. If an employer asks you a question in an e-mail after you respond to a posting, the wrong response to the employer is “we can go over that at the interview.” You’re being screened now, and you’re already being interviewed.

Another tip to the connected generation, (you know who you are) watch what you tweet. Yep, employers look at your “online reputation” as an indication of who you really are – we are all on our best behavior on interview day and business owners and HR managers use the same tools as you to find out who that person is in that suit jacket.

Posted by StevePeck on April 29, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Re: “Do it for Donuts

While it is important to debate the important issues of northern aggression, spelling and culture, let's respect all perspectives with introduction to a balanced point of view on the many virtues of fried cake and running.

Humor - people running from an organic health food store down the greenway to eat donuts in the middle of a 5K? Possible (probable) digestive distress? Well that's just plain funny whether you're pissed off or not; Maybe more so to guys, but I'm a guy.

Krispy Kremes have carbs and your body needs carbs for running – OK, that’s a cliché and prevarication of the sweetest order, but I feel better about eating a basket of chicken wings by “balancing” them with a fistful of celery. We can agree that grapes are a fruit and mama says fruit is good. Grape jelly is made from grapes so a jelly donut is balanced. Any Smucker who says otherwise insulted your mama, and y’all know how southerners get about our mamas.

Cops and donuts are the stuff of legend. Cops run after bad guys and that’s another reason it is safe to run the greenway with a $5 bill in your pocket and an appetite for warm sugary goodness.

The MUSC cafeterias and coffee shops have donuts – this proves without question that they are a tasty part of a healthy diet and endorsed by the state.

Krispy Kreme spells the word doughnuts correctly, thanks no doubt to someone who promoted literacy to its founder in 1937.

So if you go back to Triangle for mimosas, don’t over-indulge. If you’re pulled over on the way home and the police officer asks you, "Have you been drinking? Your eyes are red," don't reply, "Have you been eating donuts? Your eyes are glazed."

Someone please check my grammar.

Posted by StevePeck on April 6, 2010 at 9:45 AM
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