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Subject: Special Event: 50+ Coffee & Pastry Party paid for from HOA assessment $$
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RachaelB
(Florida)

Posts:8


09/22/2018 9:42 PM  
Last year, I served as President of our community HOA Board in FL. We struggled with organizing events for our residents until a Special Events Committee was formed. Due to a lack of communication, the committee discipated. Now, the BOARD Secretary & Treasurer are assuming that special role in addition to their normal Board duties. They've recently decided to publicly announce that the next upcoming event will be a 50+ years Coffee & Pastry Party. Funds to pay for coffee, pastries, incidentals, etc...will be paid for out of a Special Events fund. Here's the issue I have -- I think it's absolutely outrageous to not invite everyone in the community. It's one thing if a resident personally does not care to attend, but it's another thing when only 50+ year olds are invited and everyone else is just excluded!!! The Board feels they should cater to our aging population, even though we are NOT a senior community. So, everyone who likes coffee, Pastry, and meeting new residents are NOT even invited unless you are 50+. Am I missing something here?? Those of us "younger" residents are being discrimated against for our ages.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7671


09/22/2018 10:27 PM  
How old is your HOA? When I first read it, thought it was a 50 year celebration. Didn't catch on it was an age thing. Which still if it was set up to be a 55+ community then it would make sense. However, I do agree that excluding members not 50+ isn't right. They can exclude renters of course. They aren't HOA members.

Simply mention it at the next meeting that not happy with the exclusion. Your all contributing to the fund, so you all should benefit.

Former HOA President
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:48


09/23/2018 5:01 AM  
If this isn't a 55-and-older community, you're asking for a Fair Housing complaint if you use association funds to pay for the party. The Fair Housing laws can be pretty unforgiving and the penalties stiff, even in cases of good faith mistakes. If the board members really want to do this, they should host a private party, pay for it themselves and keep the HOA out of it.
RachaelB
(Florida)

Posts:8


09/23/2018 7:28 AM  
Thank you all for your input. The Developer completed homes between 2005-2006. At no point was this community designated to be a 55+ community. No where listed in our Declarations or CCR's is this community meant for 55+ only. It is a gated executive community, but does not accommodate 55+. I brought it to a Board Meeting where the Treasurer was quick to respond saying "we can't forget about our seniors in the community...". And this particular party is exclusively for 50+, not 55+. I feel like if it were the other way around that a "49 and under party" would be unfair as well, but in this case it would be excluding the seniors, at which point I'd still feel the same way. Open invite to all or no special party for one particular neighborhood demographic. I just want to have my information correct when I bring it up at the next meeting (again).
RoyalpitA
(South Carolina)

Posts:147


09/23/2018 8:24 AM  
..... Open invite to all or no special party for one particular neighborhood demographic. .....


ABSOLUTELY CORRECT
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5767


09/23/2018 8:26 AM  
I agree with you, Rachel. All owners pay dues so all owners (OR their tenants) should be included. There must be no discrimination against anyone based on any social characteristics, e.g., race, sexual orientation, gender, age, etc.

Tenants must be included because in many if not most HOAs, the documents state that Owners lose access to HOA recreational common areas and events since their tenants may use/attend them.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:111


09/23/2018 11:51 AM  
Racheal,
I am going to make some assumptions because of the lack of details in the first post.

Do you have an Easter event for the Kids? 50+ probably not going to attend

Do you have a teen gathering for older kids? 50+ not going to be invited

Do you have any Mom events? Not many 50+ moms


In my last community that I was president of a senior came to us and asked why nothing was designated for them. We decided to give them a $2000.00 annual budget for lunches once a month. It was a smashing success we would get 25 to 30 seniors monthly and I helped cook the food and they loved meeting new friends. Many people over 50 live pretty simple lives and as they age have less chance to me new friends. They all really appreciated getting to know other members of the community. It cost each owner only $4.56 annually to fund this event. We also had a separate Social committee budget of $15000.00 for the rest of the community.


Don't sweat the small stuff and this is definitely that stuff.
RachaelB
(Florida)

Posts:8


09/23/2018 1:03 PM  
I've now been called a "trouble maker", a "pot stirrer", and a "troll" by a fellow neighborhood who feels it is appropriate to attack me and my character on social media. I'm not trying to omit an event, but I want our Board to understand that this is a serious infraction. And if this were to develop into a legal complaint, even more homeowners money paid in will only end up going toward legal representation.
RachaelB
(Florida)

Posts:8


09/23/2018 1:09 PM  
Easter Egg hunt was open invite. We included a beautiful brunch for everyone. Many Seniors attended.
We do not have teen events or kid events or Mom's events. Simply because everyone couldn't be invited to those.
We've hosted Holiday Parties, Easter Egg Hunt, Ice cream social, and a Movie Swim Night. All those are "family events" where and open to all residents.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:111


09/23/2018 1:18 PM  
Racheal,
I know what it feels like to get attacked on Social media. The vocal minority can really (Rent Space in Your Head).

Take a moment an estimate the cost of this event. Then divide it by the number of homes and then divide it again by 12 months and I think you will laugh at the pennies you guys are fighting about.

I hope it all blows over.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:669


09/23/2018 2:25 PM  
“Social Media” is a dangerous place ....

If your neighbor slandered you and you can prove it was them, take them down in court.
RoyalpitA
(South Carolina)

Posts:147


09/23/2018 3:12 PM  
..... but, there must be actual 'damages'

hurt feelings do NOT count


slander

n. oral defamation, in which someone tells one or more persons an untruth about another which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed. Slander is a civil wrong (tort) and can be the basis for a lawsuit. Damages (payoff for worth) for slander may be limited to actual (special) damages unless there is malicious intent, since such damages are usually difficult to specify and harder to prove. Some statements such as an untrue accusation of having committed a crime, having a loathsome disease, or being unable to perform one's occupation are treated as slander per se since the harm and malice are obvious, and therefore usually result in general and even punitive damage recovery by the person harmed. Words spoken over the air on television or radio are treated as libel (written defamation) and not slander on the theory that broadcasting reaches a large audience as much if not more than printed publications.


HOWEVER, I believe you actually mean "libel"

libel

1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Libel is the written or broadcast form of defamation, distinguished from slander which is oral defamation. It is a tort (civil wrong) making the person or entity (like a newspaper, magazine or political organization) open to a lawsuit for damages by the person who can prove the statement about him/her was a lie. Publication need only be to one person, but it must be a statement which claims to be fact, and is not clearly identified as an opinion. While it is sometimes said that the person making the libelous statement must have been intentional and malicious, actually it need only be obvious that the statement would do harm and is untrue. Proof of malice, however, does allow a party defamed to sue for "general damages" for damage to reputation, while an inadvertent libel limits the damages to actual harm (such as loss of business) called "special damages." "Libel per se" involves statements so vicious that malice is assumed and does not require a proof of intent to get an award of general damages. Libel against the reputation of a person who has died will allow surviving members of the family to bring an action for damages. Most states provide for a party defamed by a periodical to demand a published retraction. If the correction is made, then there is no right to file a lawsuit. Governmental bodies are supposedly immune for actions for libel on the basis that there could be no intent by a non-personal entity, and further, public records are exempt from claims of libel. However, there is at least one known case in which there was a financial settlement as well as a published correction when a state government newsletter incorrectly stated that a dentist had been disciplined for illegal conduct. The rules covering libel against a "public figure" (particularly a political or governmental person) are special, based on U. S. Supreme Court decisions. The key is that to uphold the right to express opinions or fair comment on public figures, the libel must be malicious to constitute grounds for a lawsuit for damages. Minor errors in reporting are not libel, such as saying Mrs. Jones was 55 when she was only 48, or getting an address or title incorrect. 2) v. to broadcast or publish a written defamatory statement.


BEST OF LUCK

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5767


09/23/2018 4:06 PM  
I'm glad you're back, RoyalPita, but this is not the topic, keeping some residents out of an HOA-funded social event is.

While I'm not nearly as outraged as Rachael, I don't who gave the Sec. & Treas. the authority to spend these funds in a discriminatory way.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:111


09/23/2018 4:14 PM  
Kerry,
We still do not know what the cost of the event actually was here. You can buy a lot of Coffee and Pastries for $50.00 or $60.00 dollars.

I would assume again because of the few details that the President could have also agreed It was just the other two that suggested the event. The PM also has a spending limit that would have been way higher than this expense.
RoyalpitA
(South Carolina)

Posts:147


09/23/2018 4:55 PM  
Kerry, I was replying to:

Posted By GeorgeS21 on 09/23/2018 2:25 PM
“Social Media” is a dangerous place ....

If your neighbor slandered you and you can prove it was them, take them down in court.





I did not opine one little teeny weeny bit
RoyalpitA
(South Carolina)

Posts:147


09/23/2018 4:56 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 09/23/2018 4:06 PM
I'm glad you're back, RoyalPita, but this is not the topic, keeping some residents out of an HOA-funded social event is.

While I'm not nearly as outraged as Rachael, I don't who gave the Sec. & Treas. the authority to spend these funds in a discriminatory way.





agree
RachaelB
(Florida)

Posts:8


09/23/2018 7:32 PM  
Hi Everyone, I thank you all for your input. A few notes:. The party hasn't occurred yet, an E-vite was sent to everyone on the email distribution list. The E-vite sent to all of the community stated it was for residents who are 50+ years old. This E-vite was sent out from the Secretary and was posted to our community web page, and three different social media sites. The social media forum is where the trash talking towards me originated by one particular neighbor. So because this party is upcoming, I don't know the actual budget allowance for this party, nor do I know a total price for for the event. Really, it's not so much the cost of it as I'm sure coffee, pastries, and essentials can be relatively inexpensive. My issue with this is that they are only catering to the Senior demographic and openly excluding everyone else. Because it isn't an open invite, that's where my mind says then ALL resident's assessment fees shouldn't pay for a party that promotes separatism and discriminates against the majority of the community. So, let's say this party happens, what's next?? A singles party for people seeking to mingle with other singles -- excluding all married couples?? My emphasis is NOT about the $$$, it's about the principle.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5767


09/23/2018 7:38 PM  
I agree, Rachel. It just seems to me you're making to much of it Are you still on the board? Even if not, can't you persuade a majority on the Board to vote that all events using social funds be open to the entire community?
RachaelB
(Florida)

Posts:8


09/23/2018 7:53 PM  
I served for three years as the President. I decided my tenure would end at the end of 2017. Then I was asked by the new President and the rest of the Board (who all stayed in their positions from last year) to head up the Social Events Committee, but no other residents offered to volunteer, so the "committee" dissolved. I think that's why events are important to me. During 2018, our community has ONLY had ONE event: Easter Egg Hunt along with catered brunch. It was open to all residents, and Seniors did participate. And it seems now that the next event for 2018 is the Seniors gathering.
I will certainly inquire with the Board to see if they will disclose, ahead of an event, what the estimated cost will be and from the budget, how will the funds be used towards the upcoming party(ies).
BancsS
(Iowa)

Posts:54


09/24/2018 8:44 AM  
Hi Rachel,

I haven't posted to this forum in a very long time and I do not serve on an HOA board and have never served on an HOA board. I am sharing an opinion as a member of a common interest community. I am not using the term HOA because my membership is not what is typical of what many think of an HOA.

I suggest not mixing social events as part of HOA business. Let the HOA do it's business as an entity that provides for the management of the financial affairs of the HOA and adherence to the governing documents. It's been my experience that mixing the two may have benefits as in creating more cohesion and harmony in the community but someone will usually complain about the cost, the invitees, the venue, the purpose, and so on. I am not saying you are complaining as you have a completely valid point that is why I say do not mix the social with the business. Less headaches for the board members.

Perhaps if social events are important to your community you could suggest a voluntary social fund for the community members to contribute to and community volunteers to host social events and a volunteer to keep track of the funds. The HOA involvement should be minimal perhaps just announcing the events in their newsletter or on an HOA bulletin board. If no volunteers step up so be it.
BancsS
(Iowa)

Posts:54


09/24/2018 8:59 AM  
Posted By BancsS on 09/24/2018 8:44 AM
Hi Rachel,

I haven't posted to this forum in a very long time and I do not serve on an HOA board and have never served on an HOA board. I am sharing an opinion as a member of a common interest community. I am not using the term HOA because my membership is not what is typical of what many think of an HOA.

I suggest not mixing social events as part of HOA business. Let the HOA do it's business as an entity that provides for the management of the financial affairs of the HOA and adherence to the governing documents. It's been my experience that mixing the two may have benefits as in creating more cohesion and harmony in the community but someone will usually complain about the cost, the invitees, the venue, the purpose, and so on. I am not saying you are complaining as you have a completely valid point that is why I say do not mix the social with the business. Less headaches for the board members.

Perhaps if social events are important to your community you could suggest a voluntary social fund for the community members to contribute to and community volunteers to host social events and a volunteer to keep track of the funds. The HOA involvement should be minimal perhaps just announcing the events in their newsletter or on an HOA bulletin board. If no volunteers step up so be it.



I should have said my opinion is based not on my membership in a common interest community but as having 20 plus years experience in my workplaces as being responsible for organizing social events for the employees. Some people just don't want money spent on social events whether it be their own or the business they work for.
JenniferG12
(Texas)

Posts:103


09/25/2018 10:56 AM  
I think it's weird even for the 50+ people. What about their friends IN the community that are under 50? What if their spouse is under 50? Some people here over 50, their son/daughter/niece also bought a place in here. Parts of families go but not the rest? Strange. And, PS, I don't know anyone who thinks of themselves as a 'senior' at FIFTY.
RachaelB
(Florida)

Posts:8


10/01/2018 10:39 AM  
Update: the E-vite was sent out a few weeks ago. The Board just Noticed the "Party" this morning. Still only for 50+ and the "business topics" are security and safety within the community". So, in a nutshell, the Board is hosting an HOA Special Event for 50year old residents AND will be discussing two neighborhood issues that affect the whole community, including those of us who are under 50, yet not allowed to participate. Note, this event is not taking the place of our regularly scheduled monthly Board meeting.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:111


10/01/2018 10:49 AM  
Why are you saying the Board is Hosting the party. Because they announced it on Community Social Media does not necessarily mean they are hosting. Are they calling it a Board Meeting? If 3 of the board are at the same meeting they can not discuss board business without is being noticed to all and everyone would need to have it opened to them. If it is just a party more than 3 board members can attend but can not do board business at the event.
RachaelB
(Florida)

Posts:8


10/01/2018 10:58 AM  
The money for the event is being paid for by the Board through our community assessments. It was pretty much an update to my original post.
TimM11


Posts:204


10/01/2018 12:17 PM  
Yeah, that's even more wrong if they will be discussing Association business (even if not making any actual decisions). Social events funded with Association money should be open to all residents.

Besides, it's not like Florida lacks in age-restricted communities, if that's where they want to live.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5767


10/01/2018 1:55 PM  
I agree it's worse because of the HOA biz being discussed without someone taking minutes, proper votes, etc.
JenniferG12
(Texas)

Posts:103


10/01/2018 10:36 PM  
Are they going to card people? What if a 49 year old shows up? Or 48, so on and so forth. Call the feds, lol. It's discrimination! Seriously, make a complaint with HUD.
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