HOA tries to oust board

The high price of a neighborhood gate has cost an East Atlanta community it's peace.

"I am kind of a take charge kind of person. I like to get things done," said Brighton Village board president Michael PIllow.

It's the kind of personality you need to make a leader. But Mr. Pillow instead just faced his angry neighbors who held a vote to oust him from his volunteer post.

"This is just not the type of neighborhood we're used to having," board member Brianna Gage told the FOX 5 I-Team.

Brian Thompson, a neighbor chimed in, "There just hasn't been a lot of transparency."

And that complaint of a lack of transparency became an issue when this East Atlanta neighborhood's gate project became a reality. But what really fueled the anger in this neighborhood is the increased price tag for it that many neighbors now say they would not have approved if they'd had a voice.

"I feel like I've done a lot for the community. I feel like a lot of the improvements we have seen of recently have been because of me," Michael Pillow said.

Like getting the gate project moving along. Homeowners on all sides agree attempts to install a gate at the property's two entrances have been talked about for close to 10 years.  Finally, in the Fall, after Michael Pillow got involved, construction started. 

But, and here's the big problem for many, the cost jumped up to $135,000. That's a 50 percent increase over the original budget. The Brighton board treasurer said he spoke up.

"I questioned how we are going to pay for this," said Derick Montgomery.

The treasurer was unhappy when the president dipped into the neighborhood reserve account to pay for it.

Mr. Pillow pushed back.

"My understanding then and now is that we were going to pay with it from our reserve account and pay back into it with the special assessment."

Pillow blames the rising price of the gate on paving and landscaping costs that were not included in the earlier, much lower, estimate. He says neighborhood newsletters were clear about the price going up.

The vote to remove Mr. Pillow and others from the board came up short, but re-election is looming and the board president says he may just take his 'take charge' style and walk away. 

"They think that we've mismanaged funds. They think some shady dealings have been going on. None of that has happened. Everything that we have done is above board," he said.