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Subject: terms for Board members?
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Author Messages
AndreaW
(North Carolina)

Posts:57


06/20/2007 7:21 AM  
Our bylaws state that a candidate can run for as many consecutive terms as they choose. This seems strange to me, since even the President of the US terms out at some point. What do other HOA's have in their bylaws? when I questioned one of the existing board memebrs I was told that he never heard of term limits on HOA's or any other assoc for that matter. I rebutted that with my years as a PTA mom there were always term limits for the executive board. The conversation was then dropped, however I think it would be in the community's best interest to have term limits. What do other HOA's do?
MikeS1


Posts:0


06/20/2007 7:24 AM  
I've never heard of term limits for Board Members. In our community, we can't keep board members, so we've had 6 Presidents and 4 other directors resign and/or move in the last 3 years. If you can get someone to volunteer for this thankless job for more than one term, then let's call them a saint/
Jadedone4
(Virginia)

Posts:495


06/20/2007 7:27 AM  
Andrea, I suspect that "community apathy" as the disease that plagues even the most active HOA, is the reason why there are (usually) only term limits on Officer positions on the board, and then staggered terms for directors. (i.e. President, VP, Treasurer, Secretary, etc all *usually* serve for one year terms - then directors are elected for *again usually* three, two, and one year terms).

Often finding quality "bodies" to seat an HOA/board is a challenge. What you will find often (good and bad) is that there are often directors who have served in multiple capacities with an HOA/board, over the years. Until there are new members who are willing to assume the baton to work on the HOA/board - you sometimes have to take what you can get.

RobertG
(Arizona)

Posts:505


06/20/2007 7:28 AM  
We don't have any term limits yet, but we need them. My idea is to have a two year consecutive limit, then at least one year out. Then if they want to run again, that would be fine. I realize many HOAs can't get people to volunteer. However, on the flip side, if you get someone in who you really don't want and no one else runs, then you can never get them out.
DwightT
(Idaho)

Posts:664


06/20/2007 7:39 AM  
On a flip side to Robert's flip side, if you have somebody who is good at it, forcing them to take some time off occasionally may keep them from getting burned out. You may get a year or two of so-so Board members, but long term the HOA may be better off.
AndreaW
(North Carolina)

Posts:57


06/20/2007 8:57 AM  
While I agree it may be difficult to find volunteers, I see no problem with setting term limits and specifying that the party can run for additional terms if unopposed. But if there are others who wish to run I also feel it can be intimidating if they are up against someone who has served already for 2 or more terms. Many take the road of apathy because they do not want to go up against those that think they own the community. which in our case we have a member who is treacherous but has already served for more than 4 years and is up for re-election next year. He was placed on the board by the developer who up till this year was still in control.
PaulM
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:1347


06/20/2007 9:48 AM  
Andrea: To have the bylaws state that a 'candidate can run' for as many consecutive terms as they choose is somewhat questionable to me. I have trouble with the '...as THEY choose' part, since it is not up to a Board member to decide to continue on for as long as they choose. It is the community residents who elect the Board member/s and your bylaws should speak to this in more detail.

Now if a Board member's term is up, and he wishes to be considered as a candidate on the new ballot put before the community for election to a new term, that is a different situation.

AndreaW
(North Carolina)

Posts:57


06/20/2007 3:06 PM  
yes Paul, I am sorry I did not quote the bylaws verbatim. It reads "Directors may be elected to serve any number of consecutive terms." So yes it is up for a vote, but as i stated earlier, people here have become more apathetic because they feel they could noy possibly win against this individual. We are a new community so not everyone knows everyone yet. This individual has made his presence known by being the only person to control clubhouse bookings as well as distributing key fobs for the pool to new owners. Hence everyone has had to meet him. He drives the neighborhood like he's the mayor.
PaulM
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:1347


06/20/2007 3:32 PM  
AndreaW: The fact that that some residents believe they couldn't win against the present Board member is really not enough reason for those who wish to run to not run. A resident who 'throws his hat in the ring...' by running for an office will alert all that he is interested in the community, and is willing to serve. To remain quiet, and let all go on as is, is not going to help one anyone.

Further, it is up to the Board members (those elected to the Board) to agree as a group to actually appoint the roles/officer positions.
It is not up to one present Board member President to dictate who is assigned what office. The community elects members to the Exec. Board as a unit, the Board members decide collectively who will assume what role. Refer to your bylaws, they will give you direction and a clearer picture.


MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:4843


06/20/2007 3:33 PM  
I will tell you from my own experience. Term limits aren't that good to have. I was Vice-President my first year and President for the next two. My year as Vice-President it was a learning experience. It took a good year just to get things re-organized from the previous members as President. The second term I was able to finally make some improvements. The third year, I was burned out, quit, and became a board member to help in the transition. I could have gone on as President, but I had secretly achieved my goal. My goal was to get OTHERS interested in participating and taking over.

The "new board" did not obey the rules and changed their terms in office. They made sure their terms lasted 2 years instead of the yearly re-elections required. Unfornately, this caused their bad management style endear for several years without repreave. They made it nearly impossible to vote them out. The HOA became "The board" and the rest of the members paying for the boards personal projects with HOA money.

I was re-elected each year giving the option to the owner's to decide how they liked the job and direction the HOA was going. Limiting or extending terms could allow a good president/board to be removed while they are achieving goals. Extending terms could force the HOA to continue to deal with a bad group. I say allow the continous terms. If you don't like the way things are going, you can always vote them out.

Former HOA President
MikeS1


Posts:0


06/20/2007 3:44 PM  
Melissa - I agree wholeheartedly with you on this one. I've been on 3 different committes for 3.5 years and have no desire to be on the Board, but I've often said to them that there should be a required course in our State that they must take in order to be a director. There is just so much to learn and with all the green Boards out there, it's no wonder that there is so much bad press on HOA's. I can bet you that 1/2 our directors have never even read our Docs. Usually, with staggered terms, there isn't too much of a problem I would think.
RobertG
(Arizona)

Posts:505


06/20/2007 5:04 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 06/20/2007 3:33 PM
I will tell you from my own experience. Term limits aren't that good to have. I was Vice-President my first year and President for the next two. My year as Vice-President it was a learning experience. It took a good year just to get things re-organized from the previous members as President. The second term I was able to finally make some improvements. The third year, I was burned out, quit, and became a board member to help in the transition. I could have gone on as President, but I had secretly achieved my goal. My goal was to get OTHERS interested in participating and taking over.

div>



Melissa, you seem to contradict yourself in the first paragraph. You state that you aren't in favor of term limits and then you say on the third year you were burnt out and quit. A two year term limit would have not allowed you to start the third year and not let someone else have the chance to try with the vigor that you had lost (probably justified).
RobertG
(Arizona)

Posts:505


06/20/2007 5:09 PM  
Posted By RobertG on 06/20/2007 5:04 PM
Posted By MelissaP1 on 06/20/2007 3:33 PM
I will tell you from my own experience. Term limits aren't that good to have. I was Vice-President my first year and President for the next two. My year as Vice-President it was a learning experience. It took a good year just to get things re-organized from the previous members as President. The second term I was able to finally make some improvements. The third year, I was burned out, quit, and became a board member to help in the transition. I could have gone on as President, but I had secretly achieved my goal. My goal was to get OTHERS interested in participating and taking over.



Opps-

Melissa, you seem to contradict yourself in the first paragraph. You state that you aren't in favor of term limits and then you say on the third year you were burnt out and quit. A two year term limit would have not allowed you to start the third year and not let someone else have the chance to try with the vigor that you had lost (probably justified).
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:4843


06/21/2007 5:32 PM  
I agree I contradicted myself. Saw it right after I posted! However, I would have ran for a third term if need be. Matter of fact, I wanted to dissolve the HOA and become a management company to run the place. In our documents, if we dissolve we have to be turned over to a Management Company. If I had scrupolously gotten my way, I could have been paid to run the place instead of volunteering. As a management company, I could set the dues rates without majority vote or consent of the owners. The owner's would no longer have stock in the HOA if they had dissolved it. However, I am NOT that kind of person who would do something that "questionable". The funny part though, is that I did have several members approach me with the idea! Go figure! I didn't even mention it as an option.

In my heart of hearts, I wish I hadn't quit and ran for President again. At the time, there were circumstances and powers beyond my control and behind my back that prevented me from doing so. I think the majority of members would have voted me back in. We had presidents that lasted several years before resigning or getting voted out of office. I think it's good for a HOA to have a good leader and not limit them out of office. It takes entirely too long to train or adapt to the new role of board member and officer. There's way too much just memorizing the rules alone nevermind handling everything else that goes with the job.

The last year I was in office, we had 7 board members and officers. By the time my year ended, 5 board members had moved out, 1 was on a heart transplant list (behind in dues as well), 1 was stationed in Iraq, and even I had moved out! It was one of my reasons for quiting at the end of my term. Many had started viewing me as a "Dictator" or a "micro-manager". Believe me, it was NOT because I wanted to be. I had NO choice! We couldn't hold new elections until the end of the year. So I was stuck running the HOA by myself for the most part. What if my term was for 2 years instead of one? Our HOA wouldn't have been able to get new board members for another year!

Term limits can be a double edged sword. A year doesn't give enough time for a board and officers to really develop. Multiple years, allows for bad management to stay bad management without reprieve. If anything, make sure new members can be elected throughout the year if need be. This allows the members to atleast replace members as they move or resign before their term is up. It also allows someone to replace a member the members may have removed.

Former HOA President
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


06/21/2007 5:39 PM  
In our By-laws, the board members do not have any term limits, however, OFFICERS can only hold that officer position for 3 consecutive terms. However, we sort of play musical chairs with our officer positions. Each of us has had at least 1 three-year term in each office, and we're getting ready for our second round starting all over again.

We just never have more than a handful stepping up to the board of directors plate. Our By-laws allow for 9, in our BEST year we had 7. In most years 5 which soon drops to 4 as one invariably just stops attending meetings.

RobertG
(Arizona)

Posts:505


06/22/2007 6:01 AM  
to Michele and Melisa -

I am surprised that neither of you have provisions for appointing a new board member when one leaves before an election. Our rules even go as far as to define what happens if the entire board resigns. There is still someone/someway to get people appointed to fill out the terms.

Melisa - even if one of the board members doesn't participate, you still have 5 board members. We had one that actually came to every board meeting, but never participated. That is even worse as we could not replace him.

Michele - As you pointed out, term limits can cover several years (that is what I favor). However, don't compare HOA term limits with what we see in Government. Theoretically, the government officials actually have taken the time to become more educated on how to be part of government. IMHO - Board members tend to not be educated on the internal workings and thus can be slow to learn or refuse to learn. I would rather see a good leader forced out for a time than have no way to get a bad board member out. Recall petitions are difficult, even with state laws that might help.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:4843


06/22/2007 3:22 PM  
I didn't have 5 other board members. They ALL moved out! Over a year's time they went separate ways for separate reasons. Lost my secretary a few months in. Lost the person who filed our taxes toward the end of the year to a nursing home facility. The rest usually NEVER showed up. The one board member mentioned that was in Iraq, ONLY attended the Election meeting. Never showed up again.

My ONLY board member to stick it out with me was the Vice-President. He was behind in his dues, on a heart transplant list, and walked his BIG dog without a leash around the neighborhood. I had more complaints about him and calling for his resignation! I was lucky to even get anyone to attend a meeting outside board members. Several times I actually held meetings in my bathing suit! The meeting was in the clubhouse next to the pool. Got more done socializing than actual meetings anyways.

My opinion is that IF you get someone interested in volunteering to be a board member or officer, wrestle them down to the ground and don't let them up for air!!!

Former HOA President
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


06/22/2007 6:13 PM  
RobertG, with all due respect I'm at a loss to your reply directed to me. I re-read my post to see where I might have given the impression that we don't have the option to appoint in order to fill vacant positions. Our By-laws and CC&Rs allow for that, however, in order to appoint someone to fill the vacant board position, that person has to be willing to do so. We never seem to get anyone willing to donate their time to participate on the board. But then, that's not unusual in HOAs.

On the one hand that sort of tells me that people are satisfied with the status quo and the level of enforcement and direction of the community. If someone were really unhappy, we'd probably have quite a few chomping at the bit to get on.

On the other hand, that makes for incredible burn out, and those of us who have burnt out are too worried about the apathy of leadership to step down.

To clarify my earlier post, our board members can remain board members for the duration of their natural days, if they so desire and are voted in each year. DIRECTORS have no term limits.

It's the OFFICER positions of the board that have term limits. We can only serve in the SAME OFFICER position for 3 consecutive years. I was secretary for 3, vice president for 3, president for 3 and am now in the middle of my second term as treasurer. When my 3 year term is up as treasurer, I will probably start over and go through them again, IF I live in this location that long.


Jadedone4
(Virginia)

Posts:495


06/22/2007 7:02 PM  
Michele your community needs to thank you for your years of service...

... wonder if she ever goes into a board meeting, thinking that this is the movie "Groundhog Day" (deja vu).. smile
SandyC
(West Virginia)

Posts:18


07/25/2007 12:53 PM  
I live in WV and our HOA is only 1 year old with 12 houses. The builder started the HOA then turned it over to residents.
The By-laws indicate the Board of Directors will consist of 3 persons and terms of at least one-third of the Directors shall expire annually as established in a resolution of the Lot Owners setting terms.

What does that mean? If no terms were set by Lot Owners then what?

Please help!
DaneC
(California)

Posts:210


07/25/2007 1:06 PM  
See also a thread called ...... "consecutive board terms."
GloriaM
(North Carolina)

Posts:829


07/25/2007 2:14 PM  
Posted By SandyC on 07/25/2007 12:53 PM
I live in WV and our HOA is only 1 year old with 12 houses. The builder started the HOA then turned it over to residents.
The By-laws indicate the Board of Directors will consist of 3 persons and terms of at least one-third of the Directors shall expire annually as established in a resolution of the Lot Owners setting terms.

What does that mean? If no terms were set by Lot Owners then what?

Please help!




Sandy:

3 Board Members are elected each year, unless by Resolution the Lot Owners change the terms.
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