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Subject: Weird Situation
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AngelaW10


Posts:0


01/21/2019 1:45 PM  
Hello, I was just elected to my HOA board in December. One of the reasons I joined was because of the president. Over the past few years, we would talk on the phone and she would bitch to me about things that were going on in the community. We attended meetings right from the get go and I always tried to let her know about any issues that I witnessed. One of the things she would call me complaining about was security. On many instances they were late or no show. On many more occasions I would call or text her because they were asleep in the shed or playing on their phones. etc. Now that I'm on the board, the issue of getting a new security company was on the agenda at our first meeting this month. The president and other senior board member are adamant about giving security another chance. This company has worked in the community for 5 years now. It is constantly the subject of complaints for residents. The president asked how we can help security improve and I suggested they keep the door open to the shed they use while on shift. She actually used the word inhumane and said she did not agree. I'm just wondering what's going on. I figure I'll have to keep documenting instances of this company not doing what their paid to do but I'd like some other suggestions if possible.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2465


01/21/2019 2:32 PM  
It doesn't sound like your president or anyone else has kept track of this and when it comes to the care and feeding of contractors, it's important to stay on top of their performance in case you have to give them the heave-ho. So let's start with some data -how long have people complained about the security company and what were they complaining about? Some things are more important than others, so look for patterns, such as people constantly find the guards asleep on the job.

If these problems have been a recent development (within the last 6 months to a year), it may be a matter of asking the security company to replace those people. This would also be a good time to sit down with those managers and review what the guards are supposed to do and how complaints are to be addressed. For ongoing problems, come up with an improvement plan and put it in writing, keeping a copy for the board and property manager (if you have one) and another to the manager of the security company. Set a deadline - if these issues haven't been addressed by then, you'll need to check the contract to see what it says about terminating it and then do it.

If things get to that point, be sure you review the contract with your attorney in case you need his/her help in getting out of it. If it's a contract where you automatically renew and it's nearly time for that, advise the company (in writing) that you won't be doing this anymore - you might stay with the company, but stick to a one year contract, so it'll be easier to get rid of them if you're not satisfied. This approach should work for all of the association's vendors/service providers - good luck!

PS: while this is going on, start familiarizing yourself with all the contractors to see who does what. Get a copy of those contracts and read them for yourself, as well as review the procedures for requesting bids/proposals and checking them for complaint history, current license/certifications, etc. If it's been a while since anyone has looked at their performance, that could be a nice project for you and other new members of the board. Consider a homeowners survey to see what they think and don't be surprised if a little re-education on what the contractor is supposed to do is necessary. Sometimes people will complain that something isn't being done when in fact, the contractor is doing exactly what he/she/they were contracted to do. If someone's miffed for one reason or another, he/she they should be contacting the board.
AngelaW10


Posts:0


01/21/2019 2:55 PM  
Thank you so much Sheila! This has actually been going on for almost 3 years now, that's how long I've lived in the community. Another former board member told me they have had issues for longer then that. I believe the president was just bitching about the company but not actually documenting any issues that we were having. Which is very, very frustrating. She also did not back me up during the meeting on a lot of the things she was a witness to. I really appreciate your input. I think I've pissed off a few people on the board by asking so many questions but hopefully I can stay the course.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6350


01/21/2019 4:32 PM  
Were these complaints about security as stated by board members done in an open meeting? Our board deals with such topics in executive session as they're basically personnel issues. For the president to have complained to you about these staffers before you were on the board was a bad idea as, again, these matters are usually for executive session.

Btw, what is this "shed" and why is keeping the door open good or bad? I assume, Angela, you've read the contract between your HOA and security company??

We too have problems keeping good security officers and we've changed companies 3 times in the past 6 years. It's especially hard to find good officers during times of low unemployment. Our vendor we've had for a year seems a little better and emphasizes hiring veterans. Still, the pay is low, the work boring, and chances for upward mobility are limited so those in the jobs seem always on the lookout for something better.
AngelaW10


Posts:0


01/21/2019 5:16 PM  
Kerry,
Usually the complaints were coming from residents who might be attending the meeting or on nextdoor. I did not have access to executive sessions. Now that I think of it, I don't ever recall the president complaining about the company at any open forum meetings. I understand that the president complaining to me about staff was probably inappropriate now, maybe that's why she's so hesitant to speak out against them in front of other people...??? She would literally bad mouth everyone from the security to the property manager. But now that I'm emailing the board about issues with security, she is defending them. Just so strange.

The shed is exactly that. A tuff shed they put an air conditioning unit it. We don't have a clubhouse, so the association bought this for security. It has double doors. I believe they should keep one door open while on shift because then they are visible to residents AND they can actually see what's going on. Last week, I had a run in with a transient who apparently had been camping out in the bushes behind the shed. He had a bike, two large suitcases, a large bag and a bunch of tools. Also, I've caught them sleeping in the shed before, or playing on their phone or just sitting around.

I don't think they're going to actually change the company we use anytime soon. I just want the company to at least be more accountable and consistent .
AngelaW10


Posts:0


01/21/2019 5:22 PM  
And yes, I have read the contract and the manager just sent their 'job description' today. According to the contract, it can be cancelled with a 30 notice to the company. Less if it's an emergency.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:678


01/21/2019 5:37 PM  
Posted By AngelaW10 on 01/21/2019 1:45 PM
Hello, I was just elected to my HOA board in December. One of the reasons I joined was because of the president. Over the past few years, we would talk on the phone and she would bitch to me about things that were going on in the community. We attended meetings right from the get go and I always tried to let her know about any issues that I witnessed. One of the things she would call me complaining about was security. On many instances they were late or no show. On many more occasions I would call or text her because they were asleep in the shed or playing on their phones. etc. Now that I'm on the board, the issue of getting a new security company was on the agenda at our first meeting this month. The president and other senior board member are adamant about giving security another chance. This company has worked in the community for 5 years now. It is constantly the subject of complaints for residents. The president asked how we can help security improve and I suggested they keep the door open to the shed they use while on shift. She actually used the word inhumane and said she did not agree. I'm just wondering what's going on. I figure I'll have to keep documenting instances of this company not doing what their paid to do but I'd like some other suggestions if possible.






You and the Board need to draft some post orders for the guards to follow. I have two questions here, How many guards are on duty on a single shift? How many gates or entrances does your HOA have?

if your guards are not already performing DETEX rounds, I would buy the equipment and have them start doing DETEX rounds Detex rounds are using a wand and scanning ID chips that are placed in common areas around the pottery and point of interest that have high concentration of attention. Keep your guards busy during their shifts. Guard companies are now using tablets for guards to complete DAR's Daily Activity Reports and incident reports so don't be too alarmed if you see guards on their phones; there might be a reasonable explanation for it. And I agree, because I work for a security company. Most of the guards that are hired are bottom feeders. I make a decent wage because I am in the armed division. HOA Talk rules prohibit me from naming some good quality companies, but get estimates from better companies, perhaps ask for guards that are POST certified. Your ballpark for a great company with quality guards, look to spend $25.00 per hour. I'm guessing you are paying at or about $14 per hour now for guard service.

I feel your pain, the HOA behind ours had an incident where one of the guards on duty stole a residents dog that got loose and abandoned it miles away from the community, when confronted about the dog he lied.

My community is in need of a shake up too, I am on the ballot and the election is in 14 days, and things I'm my HOA need to drastically change.
AngelaW10


Posts:0


01/21/2019 5:57 PM  
LetA,

We must have the same company...lol...Last year a security guard stoled a dog from a resident. Had him on video at the clubhouse walking around with the dog. Not sure how the owner ended up getting it back.

They do have some systems where they are supposed to be scanning certain points, but not sure that is happening either. The reports they provide online don't seem to include that. Like I said, I have a feeling that they aren't going to want to change security no matter what is brought to their attention.

Thank you!
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:707


01/22/2019 6:10 AM  
... let me venture a guess ...


55+ community

cheapest security co. around



AngelaW10


Posts:0


01/22/2019 12:48 PM  
RoyalP,

I wish! lol Older people seem to take better care of their property. It's just a regular working class community.

Now that I've had a chance to read the contract and SOP's for security company and I'm asking questions via email, there is nothing but praise for this company. Literally, one of the guards came in to replace the the paper security scans and she claimed he did this on his day off and used the words 'above and beyond.'
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8268


01/22/2019 12:54 PM  
Angela

You have to read the contract and see what duties (patrols, gate monitoring, etc.) they are supposed to be doing then monitor if they are performing their duties.

If you see they are not performing their duties, then document such and present it to the BOD. Hopefully this will get the BOD to take some action.
AngelaW10


Posts:0


01/22/2019 1:06 PM  
JohnC,

I understand. Again, I just find it so strange the president would call me several times a week, sometimes several times a day for almost 3 years complaining about security. Now it's a complete turn around. I don't really think me monitoring is going to change anything. I will still do it, but I have a feeling something else is going.
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:491


01/22/2019 1:18 PM  
Since you are a newbie on the board, you can only relate what you know as an eye witness. Forget the stories from someone else’s perspective.

If the board did not document these company defects in the past, then they don’t exist.
AngelaW10


Posts:0


01/22/2019 1:36 PM  
Thank you SueW. I appreciate all the help. Are emails to the board and just keeping a written account (with pics/video) the best way to document everything?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6350


01/22/2019 2:33 PM  
You should only take your typed notes with dates, pics, etc. as a package to present to the board at a meeting. Your should not be emailing all directors (in NV, I believe) Each director will have a copy of what you've compiled. You get directors packets or baron books, of directors reports before board meetings, right? This way, your issues will be on the record in the form of board meeting minutes.

I think you have your answer to the "weirdness," Angela: "I understand that the president complaining to me about staff was probably inappropriate now, maybe that's why she's so hesitant to speak out against them in front of other people...??? She would literally bad mouth everyone from the security to the property manager. But now that I'm emailing the board about issues with security, she is defending them. Just so strange."

Again, stop with the emailing--you won't get any support that way.
AngelaW10


Posts:0


01/22/2019 3:02 PM  
Thank you KerryL. I appreciate all the help and information.
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