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May 8, 2018

"We have been forced to hunker down in war zone trenches, turning to each other for moral support when our elected officials and judiciary have emasculated our effort to save our neighborhood from a violent financial rape...Some will say I am insensitive to use such an analogy, but like that barbaric crime, once a woman has had her virtue compromised, as unfair as it is, there is no way to restore it."

Reputations are under assault and the verbal abuse continues. According to one recent PR report, a few ECCHO members have "taken over ECCHO" in a hostile attempt to hold the neighborhood hostage for personal revenge on the property owner. According to news stories, the new board members are "rich" and "selfish" obstructionists. But the truth is quite the opposite. The change in ECCHO leadership was dictated by legal and financial exposure. The personal risks outgrew the ability of same neighbors to continue the fight. Legal bullying is a strategy to wear down the resistance and is a tool the owner is quick to employ. The property owner has filed dozens of lawsuits, but when a neighbor fights back, he is accused of abusing the legal system!

"In our honorable battle, we have taken major casualties. Many of our brothers-in-war have been wounded by lawsuits, most of which were designed to intimidate, but have had much wider real-world impacts on their lives, both emotionally and financially...Some have decided to relocate, usually at a substantial financial loss due to the depressed value of their golf community homes that are now viewed as 'distressed' properties."

This is a war. One side is fighting a moral battle, an unselfish attempt to preserve a community identity. The other is in it for a boatload of money, plain and simple. It doesn't take courage to use financial weapons to overrun a distressed community. It takes courage to stand up to overwhelming odds and stare down a bully.

Rick Elkin is a local author and blogger. He has written an e-book about our battle, called The Neighbor Hood Hijacker: The Heroic Effort to Stop the Plundering of Our Community. It is available on Amazon for $5.99. You can follow him at or visit his blog




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