Words Matter.

The HOA at Cattails Townhomes Advises “Not Safe”

The Cattails HOA Board of Directors said in their December 2021 newsletter that “Teenagers conjugating in large groups isn’t safe”. Imagine my surprise to learn that teen sex parties are happening openly in the neighborhood! The HOA newsletter goes on to suggest other places in Houston for the teens to gather.

“I hope they’re using protection!” I responded to Marshall Management Group, Inc., the company that manages the HOA and distributes the newsletter.   As of this publishing, Marshall Management Group, Inc. of Stafford, Texas has not responded.

An Actual Thing or the Wrong Word?

I don’t consider myself a prude, but agree that teen sex parties are probably not so safe. So, if teens are truly “conjugating in large groups” on the property, that should be Item #1 on the next HOA meeting Agenda!

Perhaps, the HOA really meant “congregating”, not “conjugating”.  But these two words have very different meanings. And words matter.

Just to review:

  • CONJUGATE means  “joined together especially in pairs:  COUPLED // a conjugate relationship” according to Merriam Webster. The Urban Dictionary defines the term as “to have sex”. Conjugate can also refer to grammar, as in the tense of a word; although, I wouldn’t consider that an unsafe activity.
  • CONGREGATE is defined as “to come together into a group, crowd or assembly”.

Can We Trust the Words from Our Elected HOA?

When we receive a newsletter from an elected governing body, we trust the information is truthful, thoughtful, and purposeful. And perhaps, dare I say, professional.

Confusing the word “conjugating” with “congregating” is certainly not the worst error in the newsletter.  For example, an ad for the video game “Hitman 2” is placed with information on “Gun Shots” in the neighborhood. Probably a bad graphics choice. “No gun shooting for fun” they remind us as they hawk glorified violence.

Even if we look past the poor word choices, lack of editing and bad layout, much of the Cattails December 2021 HOA newsletter information is confusing or misleading. Sprinkled throughout are “rules” that aren’t clear, posted or made available. Neither do they appear in the “CC&Rs”, or “Restrictive Covenants” that guide the HOA and community.

HOA Newsletters: Our Leaders’ Words Matter

My larger point is this:

WORDS MATTER. Especially, when they come from a BODY OF POWER. 

And make no mistake, Homeowners Associations have a lot of power. HOAs have the power to define your living environment. HOAs have the power to seize your real property. And they enjoy this power with little to no accountability. 

The Texas Property Code offers laws to guide Property or Homeowners Associations and protect homeowner members. The Texas Open Meeting Act considers HOAs in large metros the same as a government body regarding transparency. Yet, in Texas, there are no government oversight agencies. In fact, an aggrieved member of an HOA has little recourse other than to hire an attorney and sue.

Demanding Accountability from an HOA

The first step to holding an HOA accountable is to learn about them. Attend meetings. Read the Bylaws and the Restrictive Covenants. Ask questions about where your hard earned fees are being spent. And when their words confuse teens assembling in the streets with teens having group sex, post about it in a blog!

Cattails HOA Newsletter December 2021

About Cattails Homeowners Association