The Beaver Ridge Board

They put something out that said the other [board] members
have “independent minds.”  I've never heard of an HOA doing that.

Normally, an association board serves as a hedge against control or abuse by one party.  The Beaver Ridge president gets around this by hand-picking members who are safe votes for his agenda.  Some aren't even owners, but friends of his.

His wife has no official role, but her involvement is described as "highly conspicuous."  Critics say that she acts as a sixth member who 'guides' the others into providing cover for controversial activities that might otherwise be recognized as counter-productive, wasteful, vindictive, and childish.

A contributor recounted his experience when trying to resolve a problem via a conference call:

“I was told that I could talk to members of the Beaver Ridge board, but I knew something was off when they wouldn't give me their names.  The woman running the call kept cutting me off and responding on behalf of the others […]  I knew there was only one woman on the board but about midway in I hear a second woman’s voice.  I realized that the 'Queen Bee' wasn’t on the board!  It was [his] wife.  The whole thing was a big joke to them, like a high school prank.”

A long-standing member said in an e-mail that the president is a remarkably charming manipulator who uses deceit to control people and resources.  To this end, he flatters board members:  "The irony is that the more important he makes the 'volunteers' feel, the less important they actually become" (meaning the less likely they are to challenge him).

To be clear, no one is contending that these are bad people.  However, they are not "independent" in the sense that it is usually understood.  The long-time president has never been denied anything that he has truly wanted and probably never will, regardless of effect on reputation and value.