Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Friday, December 06, 2019
Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: "Workshop" or a "meeting" of the board
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
AnthonyS5
(Florida)

Posts:39


11/14/2019 11:29 PM  
Hello Everyone,

I am sure this topic has come up before and believe I already know the answer but want to hear what others have to say. Is a "workshop" a meeting of the board if a quorum of the board is attained? And must the meeting be properly noticed to the membership, with the right to speak? Our POA recently had elections in which three members were duly elected but the two remaining Directors (husband and wife) were appointed just a few weeks prior. (a calculated move by the outgoing President) This new board President has decided to schedule a "workshop" but will not allow any members the right to speak on the matters discussed. This to me is a clear violation of FL 720.303.2 (b) which states in part "Members have the right to attend all meetings of the board. The right to attend such meetings includes the right to speak at such meetings with reference to all designated items." There is at least one new member of the board who agrees with this, and has already had an email "argument" with the board President on this. I know if anyone who wishes to attend and try to speak up, they would be told "No comments aloud" Thanks.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:526


11/15/2019 5:33 AM  
What is the purpose of this "workshop"? If there will be any discussion of HOA business, then it's clearly a meeting. On the other hand, if it's something like a training session where board members are being educated about a particular topic, and there will be no discussion of HOA business, then I wouldn't get too exercised over it.
AnthonyS5
(Florida)

Posts:39


11/15/2019 6:24 AM  
The workshop is for the board to "exchange ideas" on future operations of our association and the "outlook" for the community (whatever this means).This is most definitely nothing to do with any kind of board education courses etc.
AnthonyS5
(Florida)

Posts:39


11/15/2019 6:25 AM  
p.s. This is in fact is board business.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:526


11/15/2019 6:31 AM  
Posted By AnthonyS5 on 11/15/2019 6:25 AM
p.s. This is in fact is board business.




Sounds like it to me, too.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1469


11/15/2019 7:43 AM  
Yep, a quorum of the Board present makes it a board meeting. Less than a quorum is not.

You could break the group in half and meet twice?

BTW, you may want to check your Bylaws and CCRs to see if two members of the same family unit can both be directors based on ownership of one piece of property.
AnthonyS5
(Florida)

Posts:39


11/15/2019 8:08 AM  
Georges21 our bylaws do not have any provision prohibiting this and as you know FL720 has no restriction either. At the very least it should be a conflict of interest. As I stated earlier, this move (appointment) of the outgoing President was a calculated and unilateral move to keep "control"
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2761


11/15/2019 10:06 AM  
I still don't know why you and your neighbors haven't rallied together and gotten rid of these directors - until you recall them, this is what they will do. Why shouldn't they - what do you expect when they haven't faced a group of homeowners who DEMAND they straighten up and fly right? And if your board has other members, where are they - maybe they also need to be sacked because it appears they have no backbone and that's mandatory for board membership, in my opinion.

As for this meeting or workshop, I see nothing wrong with members attending. If all they want to do is discuss the association's future, the other homeowners should be able to chime in. Just call it a town meeting and let everyone have their say, and from there, the board could establish committees (that other homeowners can volunteer for) to explore certain ideas in detail and make recommendations to the board.

In the meantime, unless you're having an executive session to discuss sensitive information (e.g. a delinquent homeowner's account), there's no reason why homeowners shouldn't attend. If you're afraid of a possible free for all, set an agenda and a time limit for each speaker and enforce it. State the rules of engagement at the start - no name-calling, threats, cussing, etc., raise your hand before speaking and after you do, sit down and be quiet so others get their chance.
AnthonyS5
(Florida)

Posts:39


11/15/2019 10:51 AM  
There are in fact neighbors trying to band together and hold them accountable. As for me a past Board President, I have been the lone person speaking up about the boards actions. There is strength in numbers, something there isn't much of right now. I have reached out to one board member(members are told only contact the President) and that board member agrees with the right to speak provision and the workshop actually being a meeting. The biggest hurdle is that there is no enforcable provisions in the statute holding board members or a board as a whole sccountable for violating state law. I have an up hill battle, and there is such minimal engagement with membership, a recall would certainly fail. At least all the comments have pointed to the fact this is a meeting regardless of it being called a workshop, so I thank you all.
EdC5
(Florida)

Posts:114


11/15/2019 11:25 AM  
Since you mention that you're in Florida, it makes this easy. All board AND committee meetings must be duly noticed (minimum 48 hours prior to the meeting). This applies whether there are board members in attendance or not; also, owners are allowed to attend both types of meetings. This is one of the hardest things I have to deal with when managing communities; they are so used to just having ad hoc committee meetings -- no notice, etc. They always tend to get a bit bent out of shape when I make them do things properly -- I always get "but this is how we've always done things".

Edward J Cooke, CMCA, LCAM
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3362


11/16/2019 12:01 AM  
EdC5 had got this. If a quorum of directors meets to discuss association business then it's a Board Meeting that must conform to all the requirements associated with such. It doesn't matter if it's called a "Workshop", a "Forum", or anything else. It is a Meeting of the Board of Directors and it must be noticed at least 48 hours ahead of time, it must be open to the homeowners, and homeowners have a right to speak at it.

Unless it's a meeting with the association attorney to discuss litigation where attorney-client privilege applies or to discuss personnel issues, then it's not relevant what the stated or actual purpose of the meeting is.
AnthonyS5
(Florida)

Posts:39


11/16/2019 2:53 AM  
GenoS, As we know this to be true where is the recourse for me saying "You (board) are violating state law". FL 720 does not provide for board accountability so who compels them to follow the law, no-one. We know it is hard to recall and remove. I will be reaching out to state reps, pushing for new legislation holding violators of our laws (and docs) accountable for their actions. Thanks for the input. EdC5, thank you as well.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3362


11/16/2019 12:42 PM  
AnthonyS5, and there you have the big problem in a nutshell. The statutes are relatively toothless. We had the same thing with an illegal board meeting called by a new president a couple of years ago. The board didn't vote or make any decisions at that meeting, but the president certainly wanted to drive the agenda for her own purposes on a controversial issue and didn't want to hear any pesky homeowners object. A clear violation of both the letter and the spirit of FS 720.

Word leaked out about the meeting, some homeowners were outraged, some didn't care, and the president ultimately was hoisted on her own petard after a few other legally questionable actions. She and her husband sold their home and moved out under cover of darkness less than 6 months later.

The only recourse of the homeowners would have been to sue for an injunction (I'm guessing; I'm not a lawyer) to compel the board to follow Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes. A slap on the wrist, to be sure, but the homeowners suing, had they prevailed, would have gotten the HOA to pay for their legal costs. While normally those expenses (own lawyer's fees + the opposing party's legal fees) would be shared by all of the homeowners in the HOA, Florida exempts the prevailing homeowners from having to pay any share of the HOA's legal fees.

The end result would have been, hopefully, that future boards and board members would be admonished and on notice that if they don't follow the law then there will be consequences. The state statutes should do a LOT more in that regard. Homeowners shouldn't have to pay for expensive attorneys to mount a lawsuit in order to get their board members to fly straight.

There are no state or federal legislators or departments or District Attorneys, or the Attorney General, or personnel at the state Division of Business and Professional Responsibility (DBPR) who will take any action whatsoever against a board or a director, even if they blatantly violate the statutes. You may get a prosecutor to take an interest if there is theft or embezzlement at play, but that's about it.

It's far easier and less expensive to campaign to vote the bums out, or even recall them, than it is to sue. The arrangement that exists today is insufficient to protect homeowners. The framework of laws regarding HOAs and condos in Florida isn't a complete shambles, but in the end it doesn't matter because the laws have no teeth.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8867


11/16/2019 1:49 PM  
I believe in SC there is no restriction about a BOD getting together for "educational/informational" purposes. I do believe no Motions can be made, thus there can be no voting.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6711


11/16/2019 4:39 PM  
I agree with those who say it certainly will be a "meeting of the Board," thus Owners must be permitted to speak as in FL (and CA too). The board here was doing something similar by placing items in executive session that should have been in open meeting for Owners to see and here. A lot of it is about a very expensive project the Board majority wants to do.

It got so bad that I did not seek reelection a year ago after a dozen years of board service. Once off the board, my spouse and I found other Owners who'd were concerned too. We banded together and started sending out emails to all (200+) owners or placed flyers under doors if we didn't have email info, or mailed flyers via USPS for the 25% here who are absentee owners. It was basically an educational campaign. It was a LOT of work.

Our election at the end of Oct. saw the three incumbents who sought reelection (board of 7, one never attends) solidly defeated by two new candidates and me. We'll have our first board meeting on 11/26. Our new President already wrote a President's Message in the Nov. News committing to openess and transparency.

Sounds like your election was recent, Anthony, but you and others can unify now and get started for your next election. Get as any to attend meetings as possible. I agree that a recall campaign sounds like too much detail, etc., to appeal to any owners. How many homes or units are there?

Meantime, before this "workshop," write a letter to the Board signed by as many Owners as possible expressing your disagreement and citing the proper FL code. Politely ask that a time be set aside for Owners to speak. Ask that you request be placed at the beginning of the "workshop's" agenda and that the board vote on it.

Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > "Workshop" or a "meeting" of the board



Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!



News Articles Provided by: Community Associations Network
News, articles and blogs about condos/HOA's

Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
HindmanSanchez Legal Notice:  (For messages posted by HindmanSanchez) This message has been prepared by HindmanSanchez for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Members of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send us confidential information unless you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in our firm. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in the state of Colorado only.

Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement