That's why homeowners elect HOA Board members, to whom they delegate the authority to make these decisions on behalf of the collective.
Again, if you feel so strongly that this is wrong, throw the rascals out. Elect a slate of Board Members who are more attuned to your thinking. Recently our community center needed rebuilding after 50 years and our Board wanted to assess each homeowner $22,000 for the cost of building their Taj Mahal design. We (the homeowners) voted them out and put in our own board that came up with a more reasonable and less costly design and assessment.
But if you are just a voice of one, you will only be shouting into the wind.
I served on our Board 25 years ago and couldn't wait to get off. I was constantly fielding phone calls from 82 households, all insisting I vote to do things their way and telling me I was a bad person if I didn't do what they wanted. None of them ever stopped to consider that the things each of them wanted were often in conflict with what what others wanted, and no matter what I did or how I voted, it was going to piss off half the community who wanted something else. Our current Board President has been feeling the heat and has repeatedly stated at Board meetings that if anyone wants his job as President he will gladly step down. So far, there have been no takers.
The pool closes at 10:00PM. That is simple enough. Get out of the pool by 10:00PM. If you are a few minutes late, nobody cares. But if you abuse the leniency and think you can swim until you are ready to leave after 10:00 or up to 11:00, you should be assessed a fine. You know what the rule is and you do know how to tell time right?
That is a red herring at its finest. This isn't about whether or not I like the 10:00 PM closure time of the swimming pool (at least in the example provided). It is about board members being informed what the rules REALLY are, while the body of homeowners isn't. IMO, that is not fair.But it seems to me that you don't like rules unless they are your rules.
And if I am a board member, I secretly know anyone can use it up until 11:00 without repercussions.The pool closes at 10:00PM. That is simple enough. Get out of the pool by 10:00PM. If you are a few minutes late, nobody cares.
In the original example, I only know what the posted rule is. I don't know the real rule.But if you abuse the leniency and think you can swim until you are ready to leave after 10:00 or up to 11:00, you should be assessed a fine. You know what the rule is and you do know how to tell time right?
In pretty much every HOA the way you get on the board is by winning an election for a board seat when elections are held for that. So yes, you don't typically get on the board by simply saying to someone "I want on the board". Simply volunteering isn't enough. You need to convince other HOA members to vote for you to get the largely thankless job of being on the board.
While I understand your position, what the board is doing is not unusual or even necessarily unfair. Pretty much every organization that has some kind of enforcement power makes decisions about how strictly to enforce the rules. We see that all the time. A police department may have a position that speeding tickets will only be given out if the driver is exceeding the speed limit by at least 5 mph. Of course the police do not tell the public what the exact enforcement rule is for the reason that if they'll simply encourage everyone to start going 5 mph faster because drivers will then know they'll never get ticketed for that bit of speeding. That defeats the purpose of the policy.
In any event, since you don't like the policy the HOA is using, your recourse is to convince a majority of the board to change how the board conducts business. Getting yourself and others who feel the same way elected is one way to do that. Another is simply lobbying the current board members to change how they do business.