Signs of the times

If at first you don’t succeed, sue somebody.

Tom Lowrey, president of the Grand View Homeowners Association, seems to have learned that lesson well.

You may have seen Lowrey’s name in this newspaper in the weeks leading up to last month’s election. He personally removed political signs from lawns in the Grand View subdivision because, he said, they violated provisions of the Homeowners Association covenants.

A number of residents of the subdivision replaced the lawn signs almost immediately after they were removed. Now Lowrey is suing six of those homeowners, demanding $15 a day in fines for each day they had signs in their yards.

Good grief. Doesn’t Lowrey have anything better to do with his time and the association’s money?

Politicians such as Josh Penry are entering the fray, vowing to pass legislation to ensure homeowners’ First Amendment rights to free speech can’t be violated by HOA covenants.

There already is state legislation to that effect, but Lowrey maintains it doesn’t apply to the Grand View HOA because its dues are less than $300 a year.

We understand that homeowners’ covenants are private contracts that the residents accept when they purchase their homes. But it’s pretty clear that the Legislature wants to make sure all homeowners have the right to prominently display their political preferences during an election.

Here’s an idea: Instead of proceeding with this needless lawsuit, Lowrey and all the homeowners in Grand View should sit down and discuss how they can amend their covenants to meet the requirements established by the Legislature.


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