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Subject: Do you ever just want to give up and resign?
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ChrisP5
(Missouri)

Posts:145


09/10/2019 7:58 PM  
I'm mostly just super frustrated with a situation with my board at the moment but do you ever run into situations where you just want to throw in the towel and walk away from your board? What keeps you on the board and keeps you going in these situations?

I was originally not going to run for a second term at the end of three years - here I am nine years later... I'm kind of thinking I just need a break.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:448


09/10/2019 8:33 PM  
Chris,
The life of any board member especially board members that really care about the job they are elected to do. It is a wild Roller Coaster with plenty of highs and probably more lows. The highs are when you come together and make good choices for your community. The lows are when people with little actual knowledge about what goes into each decision judge you. Miss information runs rampant in HOAs. Usually the nastier a person is the Louder they are. My HOA had severe money management issues and I was able to totally turn things around with the help of my boards over 8 years. When I decided to retire and move away from Ca. I promised myself that I would never do it again.

Well 2 years later in Texas I get the itch again. The board seemed to be doing a good job as a newly Homeowner board. I just thought that they were allowing the PMC to control the board a little more than what is healthy. I started talking to the president and he suggested I run for the next election. Next thing I know he says he is moving and thinks I should be the next president. Right back in the fire but as most A type personalities I always want to drive the Bus. I also have feelings like you do as to why am I spending so much energy into something that everyone gets to enjoy more than we do.

I would leave you with this thought. If not you then Who? If you have capable people willing to fill your shoes then let them. If that is not certain and you continue to live in the community it will drive you crazy being on the outside.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8710


09/10/2019 11:06 PM  
My theory is that there is ALWAYS a "bigger fish". Meaning you want to make bigger fish to take over. Your job is to do the job but also inspire others to step up as well. For me, no one was really wanting to be on the board. The President was con-man scumbag. No one showed up to meetings. When was "done" being President there was nearly 30 people at the election meeting and nearly not enough board positions available.

Change your approach now that you want your "break". Find someone to encourage and take under your wing. It's time to pass on your knowledge and experience. Rest your head in someone else's hands you think will carry things upward.

Former HOA President
PestY


Posts:0


09/11/2019 5:00 AM  
the word 'platitude' comes to mind
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:818


09/11/2019 5:20 AM  
Resigning lets THEM win.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:508


09/11/2019 5:28 AM  
Oh, yeah, and I did exactly that in April. Had served 14 years at one community and 5 years in my current one. Found myself the lone voice of reason on a board that believes we have a Magic Money Printing Machine somewhere, and I was a bit burned out anyway.

I'm a big believer in the educational value of painful experiences. The community elected the spendthrifts, so they need a lesson. The current board members also need lessons in the realities of living within their means. Stopping folks from getting these lessons is actually counterproductive in the long run, so for now I'm letting them have at it.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1372


09/11/2019 10:18 AM  
Like a business, part of the job of management is to search for and train new folks to fill the jobs ... this is often overlooked on Boards.

I'm currently Director/Secretary on a Board for a 189 single family self-managed association that is a bit age demographically challenged - I don't live in this neighborhood. -have rentals there. They desperately needed help. This is the voluntary HOA community I have posted about previously. I like helping them - they seem to appreciate it.

I'm also currently Director/President on a Board for 314 single family professionally-managed association that is, generally speaking, more apathetic than the self-managed smaller community. I live in this community. The most exasperating thing is the professional manager - not his staff (they are pretty darn good), but the professional manager himself. He has been aggressively working to increase his business base, but is ignoring his current business. And, he is the best in our area. I've been so exasperated with him I have even tried go interest a rental management company in the area to expand their business into HOA management - with my investment. No interest, yet. Generally, I get little support from the other board members - no pushback - just little support. Been trying to set up standing committees (fines, welcome, etc), and other processes - hard work!
TimM11


Posts:314


09/11/2019 11:19 AM  
I served two nonconsecutive terms on my board. After the first, I didn't run again because I was about to go back to school and knew I wouldn't have the time. At the end of the second (about a decade later), it was because I no longer saw any value to my being on the board, as I kept getting outvoted and the MC wasn't really helping matters either. I later moved away, so it's all behind me now.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8827


09/11/2019 12:07 PM  
I stay on the BOD to hopefully protect us from Aholes getting on the BOD.
FayeE
(New York)

Posts:11


09/11/2019 9:08 PM  
I have only been on the Board for a year and I wanted to quit. If it was possible to leave the Board short of a quorum I would have done that tonight. I am on the Board that would spend money on making sure things look pretty than fixing our structures, which are falling apart and need painting. Why does it take forever for our management company to get anything done.
It was our annual meeting and all I wanted to was to scream how bad the Board is and the management company.
I am a double major Management and Marketing. Plus I have run my own businesses and was President of our local Landlords association. When I mention to these people how to run things better and start thinking long term on projects that need to be done I get NO. They say things like I will not be here then so what do I came if a building needs a roof in 10 yrs. It is not my problem.
They have no concerns of their property values going down.

Sorry I went off there. I take it all to heart and want to make things better but I guess that HOA Boards are out for themselves and making sure they get their places fixed and looking great.

So tell me how do you stop crying after every meeting, be so full of ravage and keep picking yourself up to do it yet again.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2749


09/12/2019 6:08 AM  
Been there, done that, bought the movie soundtrack AND the t-shirt!

Chris, I was on my board for 10 years before I stepped down 5 years ago, and the reason I stayed is probably the same as yours – you see what needs to be done and if you aren’t there, it may not happen. At least the subject can stay active as long as you’re there to bring it up. On the other hand, I was doing a lot (newsletter editor, represented the community at local CAI events, treasurer), and I realized it wasn’t fun anymore and more of a job that I didn’t like at all. I also came to realize that one reason no one did anything is that they figured I’d jump in and do it – and they were right. That wasn’t their fault – I should have been more willing to step aside and let people find their own way. If it didn’t get done, it didn’t get done, and they would have to see and feel the consequences before they could change.

Faye also hit on a good point - too many board members don’t think long term because they figure by the time the caca hits the fan they’ll be long gone, forgetting the future has a tendency to arrive a lot sooner than one realizes. Part of the reason board members should do what’s necessary is because most homeowners DON’T think beyond their own unit or home, and since there are common areas to care for, someone has to. It’s similar to many other things in life.

That’s why Mark and Melissa have it right – one day, your time will end for whatever reason, so it’s important to teach people how things work and set a good example, so don't be afraid to step down if you really feel you need a break. A lot of board members go rouge because they think no one can do it better and freak when someone comes forward with a novel approach. However, if you don’t get out of the way and give them a chance to learn, what will happen when you’re gone and no one knows how to do anything?

In the meantime, try not to take things too personal (something else I had to learn through hard experience). Years ago I read a book on negotiation and the best thing I got out of it was the mantra to “concentrate on the problem, not the people”. Learn to say no and set priorities – just because people are yelling doesn’t mean you have a crisis – sometimes you just have to wait because the board cannot and shouldn’t make a slapdash decision on serious issues. I used to tell people if you have a better idea and are willing to work to put it in action, come forth and good luck! Finally, listen to your psyche – if this really is getting too much, there’s nothing wrong with skipping a meeting. Sometimes you need a mental and emotional break.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3865


09/12/2019 7:41 AM  
Posted By SheliaH on 09/12/2019 6:08 AM
I also came to realize that one reason no one did anything is that they figured I’d jump in and do it – and they were right. That wasn’t their fault – I should have been more willing to step aside and let people find their own way. If it didn’t get done, it didn’t get done, and they would have to see and feel the consequences before they could change.


Great question Chris, and a lot of wonderful responses. Thanks everyone.

I chose to respond to Sheila's post because that issue was a turning point for me.

I was burnt out. Then just as I was preparing to step down, one of the good BOD members quit. Damn, I couldn't abandon the ship after that. So I hung in there. And I was miserable. My attitude had gone south. Everyone on my BOD was there by default. Any one of them would have stepped down if there were any replacements.

I didn't run for the next election (2 years ago). Sad to say that we dropped from 5 to 3 BOD members because no one was willing to step up.

And that's when something great happened. I agreed to stay on as an Officer but not as a BOD member.

Freedom. I bring ideas to the BOD. If they like those ideas, I work them. I don't deal with any of the short term stuff. I only look 3 to 5 years down the road. I'm having fun. I also get a chance to work with the new folks on how to deal with issues that come up. But the decisions are not mine. And if they don't like the policies I propose, I'm fine with that too.

It keeps me in the loop. I don't worry about every little thing.

This would never have happened if I had stayed on the BOD. Like Sheila said, they needed to see and feel the consequences before they could change. And they did.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:508


09/12/2019 8:13 AM  
Posted By FayeE on 09/11/2019 9:08 PM
I have only been on the Board for a year and I wanted to quit. If it was possible to leave the Board short of a quorum I would have done that tonight. I am on the Board that would spend money on making sure things look pretty than fixing our structures, which are falling apart and need painting. Why does it take forever for our management company to get anything done.
It was our annual meeting and all I wanted to was to scream how bad the Board is and the management company.
I am a double major Management and Marketing. Plus I have run my own businesses and was President of our local Landlords association. When I mention to these people how to run things better and start thinking long term on projects that need to be done I get NO. They say things like I will not be here then so what do I came if a building needs a roof in 10 yrs. It is not my problem.
They have no concerns of their property values going down.

Sorry I went off there. I take it all to heart and want to make things better but I guess that HOA Boards are out for themselves and making sure they get their places fixed and looking great.

So tell me how do you stop crying after every meeting, be so full of ravage and keep picking yourself up to do it yet again.




The first year serving on an HOA board is the worst. You find out how little you know (running your own business is a whole different thing from running an HOA). You find out how little your fellow board members know (or sometimes want to know). You find out how apathetic most homeowners are. You come across the few homeowners - and every community has them - who actively try to belittle and undermine everything the board does. If you're not on the verge of quitting during that first year, I'd say that you're not paying attention.

But it does get better after that. You'll learn the ropes. You'll develop techniques to deal with the chronic complainers and other roadblocks. You'll learn not to take everything personally.

What helped me:

* I realized that I was not put on the planet to protect others from their own mistakes. I can only do what I can do.

* I developed a thick skin. I don't allow unpleasant people to live rent-free inside my head.

* I understood that HOAs are usually underfunded, and that tends to result in short-term decision making (like people who live from paycheck to paycheck).

* I accepted the fact that nothing happens as quickly as I'd like, and this is due largely to the way HOAs have to be run. Even the best and most responsive boards and community managers have to go through competitive bidding and voting at board meetings. This takes time.

* I learned our CC&Rs and bylaws backwards, forwards and inside out. If a board member didn't want to do something, I could quote chapter and verse on why it needed to happen.

* I was always willing to walk away from a problem that I couldn't solve.

Serving on the board isn't for everyone, and nobody should feel bad if they need to step back from it. You can only do what you can do.

ChrisP5
(Missouri)

Posts:145


09/12/2019 7:34 PM  
Wow thank you for the great responses everyone! I wrote this post when I was pretty tired and feeling pretty fed up with some board stuff. I drafted my resignation but came here instead. I slept on my decision and ultimately made the decision the next morning to go ahead and step aside albeit with a nicer resignation note.. It still feels weird but I’m at peace with the decision.

I never intended to serve more than one term and here I am nine years later - seven of those as president.

Thank you all for your responses. I could have responded to almost any post here because I was feeling all of these things and experiencing almost all of those things. I really thought I was the only one crazy enough to try to recruit s whole new management company to come to town but I see even others have been there as well! Ultimately it wasn’t fun anymore and I came to realize that it was pretty much my show that other people just rubber stamped, no one was bringing new ideas to board meetings, discussing issues etc unless I threw them on the agenda.

It’s going to be weird given that I have been on the board 90% of the time I have lived in this community. I am going to do my absolute best to not be that past board member that so many people here deal with who can’t quite get over the fact they aren’t on the board any longer and try’s to stay involved.

I may not be the most active poster here but I appreciate all of the posters here, especially those of you who have stuck around for thousands of posts and offered so much advice to me and the many other posters here.
PestY


Posts:0


09/16/2019 12:14 PM  
one solution for the 'fed up' (if one is old):

pull out any and all equity using a 'high appraisal' lender and a 'reverse mortgage'

live your life

laugh

be happy

walk away whenever you want


flock 'em all, all but six, after they bury you, flock them too


DianaH9
(California)

Posts:4


09/16/2019 1:26 PM  
I call myself a Retired Board Pres because when I sold my last condo I pledged to never join an HOA board again. But I just recently moved and just bought a new property and really want to protect my property value, so I am contemplating joining or at list contributing to a committee.

You need to do what is best for you. Take a break if you need to. Take a year off. Join a committee. Wait until the board changes. Eventually everyone moves so the board will eventually change.
PestY


Posts:0


09/16/2019 3:33 PM  
Posted By DianaH9 on 09/16/2019 1:26 PM
I call myself a Retired Board Pres because when I sold my last condo I pledged to never join an HOA board again. But I just recently moved and just bought a new property and really want to protect my property value, so I am contemplating joining or at list contributing to a committee.

You need to do what is best for you. Take a break if you need to. Take a year off. Join a committee. Wait until the board changes. Eventually everyone moves so the board will eventually change.





Apropos a 55+'senior community' :


Eventually everyone dies so the board will eventually change to ANOTHER senile incompetent demented retiree.
PestY


Posts:0


09/16/2019 3:34 PM  
such as myself
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:101


10/04/2019 11:00 PM  
I feel like resigning right now.

I am a type A for sure. And I do have a direct way of saying things..(in texas they call it rude) lol.. just kidding.

I am between a rock and hard place..

we have a 9 member board. only 2 board members actually are resident owners..

the other resident owner doesn't seem to really be involved.

It's a constant struggle for me to try and convince the board that the common areas need to abide by our documents. The president of the board has spent a lot of time on things, but he doesn't live here..

It's a constant struggle between myself and the incompetent property manager. The president convinced the rest of the board that only he should give directions to the manager. but he has twisted that to mean only he can talk to the property manager.

I'm just sick of it. I just want paid employees to be accountable.. If they say that something is being done.. and weeks go by and it's not done.. . I end up losing it. because i've been lied to for 4 weeks.!
forget it,i'm rambling.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3327


10/05/2019 2:46 PM  
Posted By LaskaS on 10/04/2019 11:00 PM
I just want paid employees to be accountable.

I sympathize with that. I also want unpaid volunteers, i.e. committee members, to be accountable as well. My board in our self-managed HOA gives our committees broad discretion to approve or disapprove just about everything with only minimal oversight. We have a small mail house where everyone's mailboxes are located. Last December someone broke the tiles on the ledge of one of the bay window seats. Multiple people have been working on getting the tiles replaced/repaired for almost 10 months now. It's not a big job. One board member found someone who said they'd fix it. "No job too small!" That was months ago and it's still not fixed. A small thing but the lack of accountability is astonishing.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2749


10/05/2019 3:01 PM  
Sometimes you do need to vent and let it all out, so if that's what you need to do on this board, do the damned thing! Beats keeping over from your blood pressure going to infinity and beyond or doing yourself into a stupor.

If this president wants to be the primary contact between the board and property manager, you need to hold HIM accountable remind him constantly that HE's the one who's behaving as if he's the end all and be all. If you want to act like that, you also take all the blame when things go sour.

As for you, keep asking your question s whenever you want - your president is only one board member and has only one vote, just as you do. On the other hand, you said you're a type A person and sometimes those folks have A hard time because they behave as if only they know how to get things done and end up alienating everyone else. Maybe you're getting upset over things that really as important as you think they should be.

So, check your own behavior. Perhaps suggest an executive session where everyone has a way as to what each other does really well or not. Shut and listen to what people say. I'm sure everyone there can learn a few things about working together in a group. Better yet, consider having a disinterested third party come in to moderate the discussion and then help everyone come up with something he or she will work on to become a more effective board member.
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