Although the reason is suspect, it’s a good thing the OPA board of directors caved to the pressure of budget meeting attendees by deciding to re-think the $45 assessment increase. However, rather than focus too intently on reducing the operating costs the directors should consider cutting the contribution to reserves.
While the operational increase is something that may or may not be used if deemed necessary by the general manager, the fact that a group of people can so thoroughly unhinge the board as to make them double back on months worth of work is in itself the best argument against building the reserves beyond necessary maintenance items.
The most reliable fact about the OPA board of directors over the years, that doesn’t change with personnel, is that they can be induced into anything with the right amount of pressure from a small group of property owners.
Given the ease with which a vocal minority can historically influence decision making, the board should be excluded from raising excessive reserve amounts for big projects. Should a facility require the kinds of repair that would require a referendum it should include a financing plan wherein the work is paid for over the long term.
This would not only solve the problem of making sure that the expense is distributed fairly but also ensure that needed work is done while big projects are paid for by those who will most benefit from them.