Tempers rise over thermometer

Article Courtesy Summit Daily News


August 1, 2006

SUMMIT COUNTY - A sheriff's deputy was called to a Keystone neighborhood for a dispute. The man who called police told the deputy that he was in his backyard filling his bird feeder when a stranger approached him and introduced himself as the HOA vice-president.

The VP told the man he needed to remove the temperature gauge affixed to his tree because it was a common property tree. The man explained that he'd placed the gauge there more than a year ago, and would like to see a complaint in writing if he was violating an HOA bylaw. The VP then said he had the authority to do whatever he wanted and removed the man's temperature gauge from the tree himself.

When the deputy tracked down the VP to ask him about the squabble, he explained that he'd taken the gauge home because it was broken and he intended to replace it. He told the deputy he had the power to remove whatever did not meet the rules from homeowners' properties, and that the police could not "unsurp" his authority at the HOA vice president.

The deputy gave him a ticket for theft.

The VP asked the deputy if he would be at his court date, and the deputy said he would. The VP said, "You had better be, if you're not, I will come after you." Legally, of course, he said when the deputy asked if he was threatening him.