Kakistocracy - Where the Worst Rise to the Top
Kakistocracy (kak·i·sto·cra·cy /kakəˈstäkrəsē/)
a government, organization or group run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens.
The word is derived from two Greek words, kakistos (κάκιστος; worst) and kratos (κράτος; rule), with a literal meaning of government by the worst people.
The El Mirador Homeowners Association is the embodiment of a kakistocracy; a poorly managed organization, led by a group of dishonest and corrupt individuals. The same people have been in power for decades, and they have manipulated the election process to ensure that they remain in control. As a result, the streets are in disrepair, the common areas are neglected, and the Board of Directors has been unresponsive to the concerns of Association members. DANA Properties is an incompetent, malevolent force masquerading as an association management company.
Kakistocracies can arise in a number of ways. One common way is through corruption. When an HOA board is corrupt, power becomes concentrated in the hands of a small group of people who are more interested in enriching themselves than in serving the community interest. This can lead to a situation where the worst people are in power, not because they are the most qualified or the most honest, but because they are the most corrupt.
Homeowner association kakistocracies maintain power through apathy. Members become apathetic about the Association, and are less likely to vote or participate in the electoral process. This gives the worst people an opportunity to seize power and hold onto it without fear of being challenged. Kakistocracies can have a number of negative consequences for any association. They can lead to a decline in the quality of life for members through financial mismanagement, poor maintenance, lack of transparency and accountability and by increasing legal liability through discrimination and harassment. Additionally, kakistocracies make it more difficult for people to hold their board and committees accountable.