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Subject: Vacant position on the BOD
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UrellaH
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:15


07/18/2008 7:44 AM  
There's is a vacant position on my HOA BOD. At the open meeting last June my next door neighbor asked about the vanct postion. The BOD said that all that was needed for someone to fill the postion would be an email to the Property Manager. My neighbor did not apply for the position, so I did. At first I was told the current board members would like to have their monthly meeting for August and the I will be in on the next meeting in September. Now I am beeing told that they are not sure they are going to bring on a new board member since elections are in December. I have requested the minutes for all the BOD meetings since January, but was told that the personal info needs to be removed before I can receive them. What kind of personal info would be included in the minutes?
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


07/18/2008 8:12 AM  
There shouldn't be any personal information. They may choose to redact addresses from the minutes.

The redactions should not be hidden at any rate. The best method is to use a black marker on a copy, then make a copy of the redacted minutes.
MaryA1


Posts:0


07/18/2008 4:11 PM  
Urella,

IMO, confidential info would be discussed in a closed (executive) session of the board, unless the member who is being discussed requests the discussion to be in an open meeting. Therefore, there really shouldn't be any "personal" info in the minutes of the meeting. The minutes of an open session of the board should always be available to any members requesting them (which is why confidential info is not discussed).

Regarding the open position, for whatever reason the board apparently has chosen to wait until the next annual meeting in Dec. to fill it. This makes a lot of sense if the next annual meeting isn't too far away. In this case, it's 6 months so you would think they would want to fill the seat. However, if you have a prop. manager doing most of the work, an empty seat on the board may not be such a big deal.

If I were you, I would use this time to do a little campaigning for the seat. Also use the time to bone up on the CCRs and state laws (if any). Let all your friends and neighbors know you are interested in running for the board and let it be known you're very familiar with all the rules and laws, then ask them to tell their friends and neighbors, etc., etc.
UrellaH
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:15


07/18/2008 5:40 PM  
Thank you both.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


07/18/2008 6:34 PM  
Urella,
Can only repeat what has been said. I suspect there is a little something else going on here when they tell you they can't let you read the minutes of the Board Meeting. The minutes of the Board meeting should have been posted to all members ASAP after meeting. Don't you normally get copies of minutes? If you have never seen a copy I know there is something strange. You and your beighbor both showed interest at dufferebt time and neither have seeb a minutes report. That catches my attention.
DeniseA1
(California)

Posts:11


07/18/2008 6:46 PM  
There IS personal information in executive sessions of Board meetings which is not and should never be available to homeowners not on the Board. This information would be of a financial nature (i.e. accounts in arrears, person(s) in financial crises, Intent to Lien recipients, etc.). This is NOT pubic information. There are a couple of homeowners who sit through our Executive sessions; when we speak of delinquent accounts and all other individual matters mentioned above, we only use account numbers. These items should be blacked out before any homeowner views the minutes. Don't always suspect something "fishy" is going on!
UrellaH
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:15


07/18/2008 7:09 PM  
I wanted to sit in on a board meeting to see if this is something I wanted to to do, and also are able to do. I also wanted to see the format of the meeting since, this is not something I am familiar with.
MaryA1


Posts:0


07/18/2008 7:29 PM  
Urella,

Are you saying you are unable to attend a board meeting?

RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


07/18/2008 8:20 PM  
Denise,
I have to humbly disagree here Denise. First there is somethiung going on if a member can not review a Board Neeting minutes. It may not be "fishy" and that was never suggested. As far as Executive sessions and that information, to my knowledge, nothing in executive session is ever made a part of the minutes, in fact, no minutes are taken in executive sessions. Have you ever seen minutes of executive sessions. After an ES is held the Board meeting is usually reconvened and if any action or vote was proposed in ES, it is entered into the board meeting minutes. That is not to say that some records are not kept about ES, it goes without saying that would have to be, but those records are not minutes of the session or minutes of the Board, unless some action is proposed in ES. That vote must be made and recorded by name and made a part of Board minutes. IMHO of the Parilmentary Procedures.
SusanW1
(Michigan)

Posts:5202


07/19/2008 7:21 AM  
Here's that confusing thing again - did they mean personnel or personal information?

There should be no "personal" info in the minutes, anyway.

Sensitive discussions on personnel (staff issues, delinquency, etc) should have been done in Executive Session, with any required action (motions) done in regular session, and recorded in the minutes.

Yes, minutes ARE kept of ES, but they are not filed with the regular minutes of the meeting and are not open for general member review.
MaryA1


Posts:0


07/19/2008 11:44 AM  
Posted By RobertR1 on 07/18/2008 8:20 PM
Denise,
I have to humbly disagree here Denise. First there is somethiung going on if a member can not review a Board Neeting minutes. It may not be "fishy" and that was never suggested. As far as Executive sessions and that information, to my knowledge, nothing in executive session is ever made a part of the minutes, in fact, no minutes are taken in executive sessions. Have you ever seen minutes of executive sessions. After an ES is held the Board meeting is usually reconvened and if any action or vote was proposed in ES, it is entered into the board meeting minutes. That is not to say that some records are not kept about ES, it goes without saying that would have to be, but those records are not minutes of the session or minutes of the Board, unless some action is proposed in ES. That vote must be made and recorded by name and made a part of Board minutes. IMHO of the Parilmentary Procedures.




Robert,

Sorry I must disagree. Minutes should be taken in executive session. These minutes should be made a part of the assn's official records but they are not subject to review by the members of the assn because they contain confidential information. In a perfect world, the board will take no action in an executive session, but instead will do so in the open meeting. However, boards don't always do as they should and our laws are not always explicit enough to require certain things to be done a certain way. The AZ open meeting law only addresses executive sessions by saying: "Any portion of a meeting may be closed only if that closed portion of the meeting is limited to consideration of one or more of the following;" and goes on to outline the 4 reasons to hold a closed meeting. Now, you will note the law does say "consideration"; but I'm sure that's lost on many boards and they do take action in a closed session.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


07/19/2008 12:20 PM  
MaryA,
I have no problem with your position, in fact it may even support what I am saying. Your state law does ot dictate to all states, nor does it define a blanket law, You can call them what you will but, in my mind "Minutes" means an official record of association business that is in the Public purview. Your records, as well as anything else that should be covered by a Executive decision are protected files and not available to the public. But they are Official Property and as such can come under a court order and the judge will decide what is covered by the states rulings. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I read a lot and not long ago I read a court or parlimentory ruling that stated "The should be NO minutes of an executive board ever written. I see nothing wrong about this, you are nor covering up or destroying records and all the information the board used is always there. But as is becoming habit, the boards are hiding behind this executive session to avoid complicated issues. So, when was the last time you had an ES that resulted in a vote at an Board meeting or some action was announced, other than, "they board has decreed that certain umnnamed individuals are arrears for X Dollars. Then if you follow the case you will start to see liens in the Paper of who these individual are and what kind of liens have been filed.
Don't you also think this strange we have worked ourselves into this position.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


07/19/2008 12:24 PM  
Mary,
Another little tidbit. If you take minuetes at a ES and the judge looks at them and decides the board has taken an action or made a decision about this case and not announced it as required in the re-convenued Board meeting.....and voted on it.......you can see the danger here.
MaryA1


Posts:0


07/19/2008 3:03 PM  
Posted By RobertR1 on 07/19/2008 12:24 PM
Mary,
Another little tidbit. If you take minuetes at a ES and the judge looks at them and decides the board has taken an action or made a decision about this case and not announced it as required in the re-convenued Board meeting.....and voted on it.......you can see the danger here.




Robert,

IMO, when a judges rules on a case he takes into consideration what the state laws say and what the gov. docs. say. If both are silent on whether or not decisions can be made in closed session then I guess he would rule however he likes. Just can't second guess how a judge will rule.

But I do believe minutes must be taken at a closed session. Minutes of a closed session meeting are just as important as minutes of an open session meeting. They are both records of meetings of the board, whether action is taken or not. I know the public bodies operate the same way. In fact the public body open meeting law specifically says minutes must be taken and kept confidential except from certain individuals.
SusanW1
(Michigan)

Posts:5202


07/19/2008 3:17 PM  
I agree with Mary.

Motions and resulting votes need to be documented. If an action/directive comes out of an ES, there needs to be back-up record for it.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


07/19/2008 6:04 PM  
Susan,
If decisions or actions comes out of ES it has to be recorded and voted on at the start of the adjuroned meeting. That makes the action in the public domain. But only if the ES results in a vote or an action.
MaryA1


Posts:0


07/20/2008 3:03 PM  
Posted By RobertR1 on 07/19/2008 6:04 PM
Susan,
If decisions or actions comes out of ES it has to be recorded and voted on at the start of the adjuroned meeting. That makes the action in the public domain. But only if the ES results in a vote or an action.




Robert,

I agree, and in the best of worlds that's the way it would be handled. However, in HOA land, things are not always done the way they should be done. I doubt many bylaws or even state laws address how clossed session business is to be conducted. The AZ open meeting law states there are several topics which can be "considered" in a closed meeting. "Considered" means to me no action can be taken but I'm sure that's not how most boards regard it. Unless it's expressly spelled out that no vote can be taken in a closed session the board will continue to have the discussion and take the vote. It's the natural way to conduct business. Now the public body open meeting law is more explicit -- "Any final action on an item discussed in an executive session must be taken during a public meeting." This is a direct quote from a pamplet from the Sec. of State explaining the public body open meeting law.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


07/20/2008 3:15 PM  
Susan,
Thank you for your input. Can't argue with your logic or your power of observation of how things happen. Again we are at the door that will be opened to reveal to us how to correct all this Executive Sessions misuse, and we don't have a key.
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


07/20/2008 4:19 PM  
Urella,

I think I can tell you why your BOD decided to leave the vacant position unfilled. But I doubt that the reason will appear in the minutes anywhere. Certainly not if the BOD has any sense.

The reason for the change is because you were the only volunteer. And in their eyes you are stirring up trouble because of their stance on decks. I am afraid that you will have to wait until the next annual meeting and run for the board. For that matter, you may want to run on a platform of fairness.

Here is the way I see it. A deck does make one unit more valuable then another as long as some have them and others don't. But that only makes some sense. The owners who have added a deck paid to have the deck added. If I upgrade my house, then it is reasonable that my house would then have more value. In fact, there is an entire industry in helping owners figure out what portion of their expenditure can be recouped in added value.

What is fair is to have some standards regarding decks. The size and construction should be designated. You should specify minimum materials. You may also want to make all deck units look either the same or consistent.

If you run opposed and are elected then it is reasonable to believe that this is the thinking of the others in the association. Remember, you don't have to have complete agreement from everyone. You have to have a majority agreement.
SusanW1
(Michigan)

Posts:5202


07/21/2008 5:19 AM  
Just because a person has a "beef" about a particular subject, that does not mean they should run for a Board office.

Board members should bring some kind of "expertise" to the table.
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


07/21/2008 7:05 PM  
Just because a person has a "beef" about a particular subject, that does not mean they should run for a Board office.

Board members should bring some kind of "expertise" to the table.



I respectfully disagree. While a person should bring more then just their single issue beef, they should not avoid office for lack of "expertise."

The job entails a lot, and is not always easy. And you sometimes have to put aside your personal preference for the good of the neighborhood. But if you are willing to keep the neighborhood first, have the time, have the inclination, then perhaps you should run. I suspect that many a BOD member got involved because of a couple "beefs" with the existing BOD.
MaryA1


Posts:0


07/21/2008 7:38 PM  
Posted By SusanW1 on 07/21/2008 5:19 AM
Just because a person has a "beef" about a particular subject, that does not mean they should run for a Board office.

Board members should bring some kind of "expertise" to the table.




In the best of worlds only those highly qualified individuals, with no ulterior motives, would occupy the seats on an HOA board. However, HOA land is definitely not the perfect world. Most HOAs are very lucky if they can get enough candidates to run for the number of positions open, resulting in a "non-election"! Just because you have a "beef" with the present board or just because you may lack the perceived "expertise" required to hold a board position, doesn't mean you won't become a really good board member. There's nothing like "on the job training". If the individual is motivated enough to learn the job they may end up being the most effective member of the board.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


07/21/2008 9:16 PM  
Mary and Kirk,
I have to agree with you all. It also sems clear that up to now our Boards, and the way they are elected, haven't seem to have provided the Magic Elixer.
I find this really fancinating. On a different level I observed this elusive "magic" when stationed aboard ships. What does one person (Captain of the Ship)have that can turn a low morale unhappy ship into just the opposite?

I suspect this HOA business may be more complicated if one looks for the individual components and more chnce is involved because of pre-selection restrictions.

On the other hand, what is your observation and conclusions about how important having a good knowledge of your documents, history, and owner participation contribute to a happy and effecient ship. Like it or not, I have not seen any requirements that qualify you to be a board candidate, except owner, and in my mind that is how it should be.

Also, HOA's are morphing into different animals as we speak, due mostly to sheer numbers of people living in associations, and with State, county and Federal agencies realizing there is a vast power and capability that is hiding behind these associations. SC County is working on a Sustainibility Comprenesive Plan that will reach out and go behind and through some of the Association covenants and allow local government to have much more influence behind those closed gates. Association covenants keep, to some degree, members immune from some local government goals and asperations. Especially in the enviromentl mandates that are being accepted daily. We are all part of the planet and, as an example, if the county decrees all soda bottles must be recycled as directed, the associations will not be able to just ignore the requirements.
UrellaH
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:15


07/22/2008 7:49 AM  
Thank you all for you input. I am not running for the board just because of the issue with the decks. There have been a few things in the past months with us and others in the HOA. The current members of the board have been on the board for over ten years, I do think it is time for some fresh ideas and perspectives. I really don't think my lack of expertise should be against me. Most duties can be done if you have common sense and a sense of fairness to everyone. I am sure most board members start off with out any experience whatsover.
MaryA1


Posts:0


07/22/2008 11:45 AM  
Posted By UrellaH on 07/22/2008 7:49 AM
Thank you all for you input. I am not running for the board just because of the issue with the decks. There have been a few things in the past months with us and others in the HOA. The current members of the board have been on the board for over ten years, I do think it is time for some fresh ideas and perspectives. I really don't think my lack of expertise should be against me. Most duties can be done if you have common sense and a sense of fairness to everyone. I am sure most board members start off with out any experience whatsover.




Urella,

I agree that many ". . .board members start off without any experience whatsoever." The problems arise when those inexperienced board members make no effort to become informed. With the same leadership for the past 10 years, you may be correct in saying it's time for "fresh ideas and perspectives". If you are willing to spend time learning all you can about running an HOA (study your gov. docs, research state law, etc.), that acquired knowledge together with your "fresh ideas and perspectives" might be just what your "stale" HOA board needs.

Good luck to you in your endeavors.
MaryA1


Posts:0


07/22/2008 11:57 AM  
Robert,

IMO, HOAs are a totally different "animal" than most other corps. How many successful corp's (nonprofit or otherwise) are run by volunteers, many with no business acumen whatsoever, and no desire to acquire any? Then add to that the mindset of so many of these board members who hide behind the "we're just volunteers" mantra to justify everything they do that others perceive to be wrong. Couple that with the fact that these "we're just volunteers" board members then hire a mgmt co to actually run the business and use that to justify not having to acquire any knowledge about HOAs. One day we may find that compensation for board members is really the way to go.

Since more and more HOAs are being required by cities/counties all across the country, IMO, it's time the cities/counties step up to the plate and provide some educational resources for HOA board members. Education is key to it all. Every state should have a state dept. responsible for overseeing HOAs. Board members and individual members need to have some place to go for information and dispute resolution.

Just my opinion!
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


07/22/2008 7:27 PM  
Urella,

I encourage you to run for the board. Just be aware that I now believe now more then ever that what I said was how the board views you. And having said that if I were you, I would be all the more likely to run for the board.

I agree that you need not bring any particular experience to bring tot he table. If you did, our HOA would be in serious trouble. In our case, there were 6 candidates for 5 positions. But one person was absent from the meeting. And along obvious lines the 5 present were elected.

Start reading and good luck.
UrellaH
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:15


07/23/2008 3:38 AM  
Thank you MaryA and KirkW. I have started on my reading. I want to be as informed as possible to make sure this is something I am capable of and also comfortable with. And yes, I have started to read up on my state laws and also my HOA's CCRs. I am not running because I want to carry on a vendetta against my HOA. I have seen so many acts of unfairness to some of my neighbors, while others get away with just about anything. IMO a BOD should be fair to all members.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


07/23/2008 4:44 AM  
UrellaH,
I think you have good confidence from Mary and Kirk and they are giving you much to be considered. I will add my two cents and suggest that you spend a little time trying to get your mind around what mandate you want to give yourselve. Certainly the Shining Knight to the rescue comes to mind and he frees all the little people from a life of cruelty and dispair. But consider this; "It's not your money and I am not suggest anything illegal. It's not your money so don't consider how you would use it if it were your money." Don't put the owners first. Your loyalty and soul belongs to the association. No, the association is not the people, it is the property. However small. You were elected to serve the property by the people. You can represent all the property but you can never represent all the people (never, and that should come as no surprize) Be fair, and know your job better than those you have to account to. So each question you have to ponder over, ask your self; what is good for the association/ Now that is a ton of stuff and some may disagree, and that's ok, this is a site of opinions.
Right know, hit the Books, and gather a few people around you that will support you and select the best. That is not too difficult, because if they help you it means they won't have to do the job themselves. You will find good people as you go along, value them and their opinion and don't be afraid to learn from them.
UrellaH
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:15


07/23/2008 5:07 AM  
Thank you Robert. It is a lot to consider. This is why I am reading a lot. And also why I wanted to sit in and observe a board meeting. The more informed I am then I can make the best decision for me and my HOA.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


07/23/2008 5:17 AM  
UrellaH,
Forgive me this is my picking day, I see, so I will have to watch that today, but: Your last sentence, cross out "me". There will be lots of times you may have to decide and it may not be the best for, "You."
UrellaH
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:15


07/23/2008 7:23 AM  
I have two kids under the age of six and believe me I don't remember when was the last time I came first. But thank you for all the great advice. Everyone has been exremely helpful, and I hope I can continue to count on your support and advice whether or not I get elected to my BOD.
LisaD6
(Connecticut)

Posts:57


01/02/2019 9:05 PM  
A way for this to happen would be to see if you can be an assistant secretary or treasurer. I opened up an asst. secretary for exactly what you are saying. this position gives a person the chance to see if the board is where they want to be in the future. We just had this person move up to treasurer. and I put another association member into this position. She will take notes and learn about board meetings.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1227


01/03/2019 6:21 AM  
2008
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3590


01/03/2019 9:02 AM  
Posted By LisaD6 on 01/02/2019 9:05 PM
A way for this to happen would be to see if you can be an assistant secretary or treasurer. I opened up an asst. secretary for exactly what you are saying. this position gives a person the chance to see if the board is where they want to be in the future. We just had this person move up to treasurer. and I put another association member into this position. She will take notes and learn about board meetings.



Is there a point in digging up 10 year old posts?

Been there, Done that
LaverneB


Posts:0


01/09/2019 8:52 AM  
ANY, minutes of ANY, meeting a homeowner can see. Including contracts with vendors. As far as putting others name and personal info, it should not be in the minutes.We have had a vacant position on our board since Sept.This is election month and still they are saying 3 new members are to be voted in. We really need 4...
LaverneB


Posts:0


01/09/2019 8:52 AM  
ANY, minutes of ANY, meeting a homeowner can see. Including contracts with vendors. As far as putting others name and personal info, it should not be in the minutes.We have had a vacant position on our board since Sept.This is election month and still they are saying 3 new members are to be voted in. We really need 4...
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6350


01/09/2019 11:28 AM  
Best to start a new thread, Laverne.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:770


01/09/2019 3:00 PM  
DIE, thread, DIE


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