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Subject: successful methods meeting quorum & board membership
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Author Messages
JayF1
(Washington)

Posts:52


02/10/2018 3:31 PM  
hi everyone,

I reaching out to those who turn the tide as we may say. We have been having very low membership participation and want to know what successful methods work in getting membership participation up and ultimately meeting our quorum. We have 40 homeowners and I just relieved 2 board members who served 8 years & wanted a break. We are down to 2 board members. Any great advice will surely be appreciated. Thanks!
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1175


02/10/2018 7:36 PM  
Proxies left at each door along with several rounds of email, followed up by knocking on doors of people who don't respond. Occasionally reminding owners of the possible outcome of lack of participation (receivership) doesn't hurt.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2291


02/10/2018 9:32 PM  
Serve refreshments.

Solicit proxies and hold a cash drawing for everyone who submits one. That could be risky and maybe you're not quite that desperate, but one HOA in Florida did just that some years back and it worked. When the proxies were challenged they were deemed valid since it's not the state arbitrator's job to pass judgment on what is and isn't an "illegal lottery". I don't know it there were any further consequences.

Your mileage may vary and I wouldn't actually recommend that scheme to anyone, but it does illustrate the power of out-of-the-box thinking.

Hmmm... isn't wacky weed legal in Washington state now?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7635


02/11/2018 6:30 AM  
Put in the Agenda that a dues increase will be discussed. It will get them there. Also the Chair can say the Agenda Item was removed but they will be there.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/11/2018 8:53 AM  
I can't remember if you've told us, Jay. Can Owners vote by mail in WA state? Or must they physically attend in person or by proxy?
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2231


02/11/2018 12:24 PM  
We also did a drawing for people who SHOWED UP at the meeting - I believe we tried it for two or three years. The first year saw a wee bump, things were the same the second year and then we wound up with fewer people for the third year. Of course, to be fair that was also the year we had record breaking cold weather (our annual meeting is in February) and looking back, we probably should have cancelled it and rescheduled, but oh, well.

Douglas does have a good idea with warning people about receivership - one year we did that (I wrote a strongly worded article for our newsletter). It did help for a time, as we finally got a full board, but right now, we're in the same situation Jay's in. We do have a working board, but I'm sure they're getting tired now, but no one's stepped up to replace them. I was on the board 10 years and I told myself I would have to stay off for at least 5 years before even thinking about trying again. I'm currently in year 4 and at this time, I don't see myself returning unless we do get on the verge or receivership...
JayF1
(Washington)

Posts:52


02/12/2018 8:43 AM  
Thanks everyone for your great & helpful advice.

Geno-that would explain the low participation. hehe.

Kerry-I doesn't know but needs to be confirmed. But that is another important topic on my list.
JayF1
(Washington)

Posts:52


02/12/2018 8:57 AM  
John- We are so tempted to do that but probably get a major backlash. It sure makes me wonder if others have done this though.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7635


02/12/2018 11:26 AM  
Posted By JayF1 on 02/12/2018 8:57 AM
John- We are so tempted to do that but probably get a major backlash. It sure makes me wonder if others have done this though.



Jay

They count toward Quorum even if they leave.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2291


02/12/2018 2:38 PM  
A couple of years ago the president plastered the community with flyers that said, "Please attend this important meeting!" in large bold type. After the meeting more than a few homeowners were heard muttering, "What was so important about it?"

They had a point. It's hard to drum up interest when there's nothing interesting going on.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/12/2018 3:15 PM  
Because CA allows mail-in ballots, we never have trouble meeting quorum (25% of 200+) , but attendance is fairly small. Maybe 25 Owners and that's only if there's a competitive race for board seats.

We offer appetizers & wine too. There's some socializing during the time the ballots are opened and tabulated by our inspectors of election. And our HOA attorney attends as part of his retainer & answers any questions Owners might have.

I think that IF we had to make quorum in person or by proxy, we'd probably offer some drawings & prizes.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7535


02/12/2018 3:43 PM  
Make sure the meeting date/time is well known and consistent. Plus make sure it is a good time to meet. Ours was the 2nd Thursday of every month at 6 pm. Which was a good time for most members. However, that may not be a good time for your HOA. Find out what may work best for yours.

There's nothing like announcing a change that brings people to a meeting. If you want attendance, then put up agenda items. Those interested in those topics will make sure to make it.

Apathy will always be a problem in a HOA. If you can find a way to make it go away, then share it with the rest of us...

Former HOA President
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/12/2018 4:59 PM  
I'm pretty sure Jay is talking about Meetings of the Members, e.g., the Annual Meeting and Election. Not Board meetings.
JayF1
(Washington)

Posts:52


02/12/2018 11:25 PM  
actually, I was talking about regular board meetings and getting more board members and/or homeowner attendance.

CjC
(Maryland)

Posts:126


02/13/2018 5:47 AM  
We do proxies as well and go door to door to get signatures. We also serve food and beer and wine and have made quarom a few times recently. Some people will balk at spending our $ this way, but it gets it done!
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/13/2018 8:59 AM  
Part of your OP, Jay, is: I, "...want to know what successful methods work in getting membership participation up and ultimately meeting our quorum."

Your request was confusing, Jay as the only required quorum at a board meeting of any kind--regular, special or emergency is for board members. And that is in your Bylaws.

It might have been courteous for you to have let posters know waaaaaay above that you're only talking about board meetings.

There is no quorum requirement for board members at members meetings.
JayF1
(Washington)

Posts:52


02/13/2018 9:49 AM  
sorry for the confusion, kerry. I am just trying to wrap my head around this quorum requirement.

Our bylaws: To constitute a quorum at any meeting of the members, there only needs to be 3 lot owners present which shall constitute a quorum for any action. If, however, such quorum shall not be present or represented at any meeting, the Members entitled to vote thereat shall have the power to adjourn the meeting from time to time, without notice other than announcement at the meeting, until a quorum as aforesaid shall be present or be represented.

I am not worried about annual membership meetings & the number of members attending the regular meeting (like literally over the quorum). I am just worried about meeting the quorum to have an official meeting and get some HOA business done. That said, they go in hand on member participation/attendance. Therefore, that is why post the topic as is. We are really struggling with participation and board members.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/13/2018 10:55 AM  
Jay, your bylaws say: "To constitute a quorum at any MEETING OF THE MEMBERS, there only needs to be 3 lot owners present which shall constitute a quorum for any action. (my emph.)"

That refers only to meetings of the member (owners), not to board meetings and the number for quorum of Board members, i.e, directors.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2902


02/13/2018 12:53 PM  
Posted By JayF1 on 02/12/2018 11:25 PM
actually, I was talking about regular board meetings and getting more board members and/or homeowner attendance.




Want to get more homeowners to your board meetings? Screw things up, screw up their billings, don't post their payments. Don't clean the pool, forget to pay utility bills. Guarantee that will do the trick.

Seriously, board meetings are business meetings of the board, not a social hour. Have a Open Forum for homeowners at the BEGINNING of the meeting to let owners address the board and/management, then take a ten minute break to let those that want to leave, leave. Have a well-thought out agenda and stick to it.

Do some research of other HOA's in Washington and look and read their agendas and minutes to see how they operate. Learn from others.
JayF1
(Washington)

Posts:52


02/13/2018 1:13 PM  
wow kerry, this is really amazing point and understand where you are coming from. Honestly, that is want I want to hear. but the formalities is it comes down to. So I decided to create a new forum strictly for this. I really appreciate your input, it is always great to have someone point out things like this.

Thank you Richard. I am sure tempted but don't need the stress and liability. That is true, if we are doing our jobs correctly, there is no complaints or motivation to get involved. Notes taken, great advice for open forums. greatly appreciate it!!!
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