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Subject: HOA Board member of a condo
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Author Messages
TaraE
(New York)

Posts:7


07/11/2018 4:33 AM  
My Board for many years has been seemingly doing shady work. Our reserves were depleted etc. One Board member got sick and left- so some how the two dirty members were able to get a third dirty member.
Then I ran for the Board as they pushed me to my limit.

Now, it is three against (good Board members) two in voting. My first meeting is coming up and I was refused by the property manager to get copies of the contracts of the community. I am secretary and should have them. The two Board members that are dirty along with the property management already started bullying me over the cost of this. Because the Property manager said that she would charge the community to give these to me. It is on our agenda for me to get these documents (without cost) and the two that will be voting with me- gave me some of the contracts electronically. What I need to know is that can two Board members do some loophole to overturn what three of us vote in or out? We follow Robert's rules.

I am trying to be prepared for everything, but one of the members on my side- is scared that they will be up to something that we will be hit with and have no control. I am not easily bullied and I am a driving force at this point because the other members have been bullied for so long.

My meeting is coming up soon, please let me know your thoughts and experience.

Cheers
AugustinD


Posts:1045


07/11/2018 5:47 AM  
Probably the biggest complaint about boards is that they do not provide records they legally are obliged to provide. Check your HOA's governing documents (Bylaws, CC&Rs, et cetera) for what they say about providing records to members and directors. Also, New York's non-profit corporation statutes and HOA/Condo statutes likely have a provision for viewing records as well. Quote your governing documents and your state's statutes on this subject. Get these into the Minutes. If the board still refuses, send them a letter of demand, first by yourself, and then via hiring an attorney.
TaraE
(New York)

Posts:7


07/11/2018 5:53 AM  
Thank you Augustin, that is what I thought, but these two are tricky and I am just trying to get prepared for whatever can hit us.

Thanks
T
AugustinD


Posts:1045


07/11/2018 6:04 AM  
Tara, I think the second biggest complaint about HOA/condo boards is a majority ganging up on a minority to harass him/her, violating the governing documents but rationalizing Donald Trump style when they do so. Worse, these types often enlist the HOA attorney, on the members' dollar, to tyrannize the minority board members. The law-breaking bullies like compelling the board member to hire his or her own attorney, since the expense will often be a burden. Document everything. Be ready to wait out this board and see if you can get a like-minded majority elected at the next election.
TaraE
(New York)

Posts:7


07/11/2018 6:09 AM  
I guess I should clarify. I am now on the Board- I am the third one of the majority now. So we are the "good ones" just trying to do right by the community. The Two minorities now, I am trying to see if there are any loopholes that they can get over on us?


I have been reading up on the Roberts Rules which is what we follow along with the By-laws and prospectus. I also did speak with my lawyer and he said that if we stick together and stand strong we will succeed.


Anything else I should do to protect our voting in these meetings? They are real big Bullies. I am strong, but not sure about one of my other Board members that is on my side.
Thanks
Tara
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5389


07/11/2018 9:16 AM  
The place where it's written that directors in my HOA can inspect all records and have access to all areas of our (high rise) HOA is the bylaws.

Who is the prez, good or bad? If bad, now that your three are in the majority, place on the agenda the topic: "Review of officers and their roles." Using this, I think you can Vote the prez out of office and a good guy in. Ditto, the treasurer if he's dirty. Note that most likely you cannot vote them off the board.

Who prepares the agenda??

It is hard to know what tricks are up their sleeves. To protect you three good guys, make sure everything you vote on is on the agenda. If not required by NY, you three can make an administrative rule that all items for a discussion and or vote must be on the agenda xx days ahead of the board meetings. This way, the two cannot blindside you.

Robert's Rules insist that assemblies (e.g.,boards) follow the "orders of the day." To me, that means the agenda. Make sure the board sticks to the agenda and votes on each item. Do vote if you want to postpone an item. As sec'y and because you don't trust the PM, who I assume writes the meeting minutes, try to write down the gist of each approved motion so that the minutes are accurate.

Learn your own governing documents backwards and forwards. Since you are in the majority, you three can vote to have the HOA attorney explain & interpret unclear materials for you if your'er willing to pay him. You three can vote to interview new possible HOA attorneys if you wish. You three can place interviewing other property management companies on an executive session meeting agenda too.

I believe that NY is a closed meeting state--the board does not have to hold meetings that Members (Owners) may attend. but you three can vote to make these meetings open. Having owners in attendance might improved these two directors' conduct.
TaraE
(New York)

Posts:7


07/11/2018 9:39 AM  
Kerry,

Thank you so much for this- actually the Pres is on the good side. In the past, the pres- asked the VP to do the agenda, but the other two would go directly to the property mgmt(PM) to put it on the agenda. The pres just sent out an email that all agenda items should go to me (secretary) and I will submit to PM. if it is not on the agenda than it will not be discussed. There was a huge fight over email- as the bad members said that you cannot change procedures without a vote. Pres stated that it isn't a procedure change it was and is always the rules- he was just merely stating that it moved from the VP to the Secretary. They were pissed. Since the PM and these two are working together and I need to send the agend to the PM to print for the meeting- I am putting a watermark on the document and making it a pdf. This way, she cannot alter it. In addition, I am making a hardcopy so if she has the software to edit a pdf I will be able to match it up.

OMG< I am just exhausted telling you the length that we need to go for these people. Ugh. They hate me. I am a rule follower. And they were not expecting me to run for the board. they are pissed cause they know that I won't let stuff go. Example: the old Board member has been in arrears the ENTIRE time. But because they had the votes on their side they charged her the fee but no letters etc went out etc. She should have never been on the Board nor making decisions on implenting fines for the community.

To safe guard the agenda also, I sent out a friendly reminder request on Friday last week saying that July 9th was the last day to submit requests. I send it to the mgmt company tomorrow.

Thank you so much for your input as well.
Ta
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:29


07/11/2018 9:48 AM  
Tara,

This may be a good time to review the contract you have with your MC and consider making that change also.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
TaraE
(New York)

Posts:7


07/11/2018 10:25 AM  
Thank you Pat. You are not wrong on that. I have also personally met with three different PM's and I think we will need to have a special meeting since the PM attends our monthly. I believe the pres is setting that up straight after our monthly meeting
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2228


07/11/2018 11:06 AM  
Tara, if you've been reviewing Robers's Rules you might want to look at the motion "To Fix the Time to which the Assembly shall Adjourn". This can be used to halt the meeting dead in its tracks, if it passes, and specifies the date and time at which the meeting will resume. It is a privileged motion which means you can make it even while another question is pending.

If the majority starts to feel like the minority is trying to hoodwink them or engage in some sort of dirty tricks, this motion will put a stop to the proceedings and let you re-group and catch your breath.

The time to adjourn to must be before the next regularly scheduled meeting, if there is one.
TaraE
(New York)

Posts:7


07/11/2018 11:09 AM  
oooh I like. Thank you. Very useful
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5389


07/11/2018 11:50 AM  
Good one, Geno!
GlenM4
(Tennessee)

Posts:85


07/12/2018 6:18 AM  
Best thing I can suggest (also been in same boat) is document everything make sure the meeting minutes are correct. The Sec (your position i believe?) usually writes the minutes as far as I know. Get with other good members of the community that are like minded like you. And get them to join the board. I personally had to sit threw alot of 4 v 1 votes (if they even decided to vote) I just documented the info and made sure others knew what was going on. The community is your best option till you can get more like minded people to join the board.
TaraE
(New York)

Posts:7


07/12/2018 6:54 AM  
thank you
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:4108


07/12/2018 5:07 PM  
The three of you out number the two; therefore, your votes will carry the majority on issues as long as all of you agree to anything being voted. Also, keep in mind the Management Company works for the BOD and they do not control ... because the buck if anything happens stops at the BOD. If the BOD wants to have their meeting and NOT have the Management Company attend that is their choice. At an upcoming BOD meeting if you want to discuss the Management Company simply tell them they are not invited to that particular BOD meeting ... if they show up then nicely remind them they were not invited and to please leave.
JoyceR2
(Virginia)

Posts:125


07/13/2018 12:39 PM  
Stay the course. Been there done this with 2 individuals that were out of control. Plus they did not do anything to educate board members & basically did everything to discourage anyone from joining the board. They attempted to sabotage meeting for almost a year enlisting (yep friends they took care of). If they are pissed, be glad.


Establish a information request form. If denied they need to provide a reason.


Have the owner of this management company attend a meeting & voice your concerns. You may need a different PM.


Check to see if financial audits have been conducted & consider a forensic audit if need be. Even request to interview the auditors.

Consider a newsletter & fill it with the positive things the board is doing for the community.


Walk & encourage other owners to join the board.


Establish committees & charters.

If they are doing nothing wrong they have no need to fight. If you are following the governing documents they have nothing they can fight. I you are not in favor of any motions, then put the reason in the minutes. Document, document, document.
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