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Subject: Need advice, meeting coming up
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LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:158


01/06/2020 11:44 PM  
Hi. I am on the board of condominium association in Texas. I disagree with how the current board is allowing the president to control the day to day decisions of the community. We have an incompetent property manager and the president continues to make excuses for the manager.

My question is, is there a way I can insist on getting a legal opinion from the associations attorney. The president and a few of his supporters are blocking my attempts to have the board ask the association attorney for his opinion. They dismiss my objections to actions of the president.

The president does not run the show!.. Why can't these people get this in their thick heads. I'm sick and tired of the president not answering questions. No information is avaiable unless he gives it to us.

When I object to actions by the president. It's not that i'm disagreeing with what he chose. I'm disagreeing that he didn't get a board vote or input!

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8922


01/07/2020 4:11 AM  
Where to begin... The HOA's attorney is NOT your attorney!!! Did I mention the HOA's attorney is NOT your attorney? If not, then understand the HOA attorney is NOT your attorney. You have no need to contact the HOA's attorney. The HOA board is 100% in NOT allowing you to communicate to the HOA's attorney.

Unless you are on the board and the board AGREES to contact the attorney on the subject, 1 person can NOT contact the HOA's attorney. Added to that the board may have ONLY the President being the assigned person to represent them to the attorney. The HOA's attorney represents the HOA in it's entirety which is represented by the HOA board. NOT individual members. That HOA attorney will be the one representing the HOA if you were to sue or send legal notices to.

You have to get your own legal advice and pay for it. If others agree with you, then you ask them to contribute to hiring a lawyer. The HOA isn't responsible. Asking to communicate to the HOA's attorney makes EVERY member pay for it. Otherwise, the board can also agree to send you the bill.

The MC is NOT in control of the HOA. They are a PAID contractor hired to assist/manage the HOA WITH the HOA board. The HOA is in charge of making everyday decisions on budget and other issues so individual members don't have to. That is why the board members are elected. They are elected to REPRESENT the WHOLE of the HOA. They then elect from that board officer positions. So the President is ultimately in charge of daily decisions. The MC is NOT. The MC is to do what the board says or the contract between them says they do.

So before you go into a meeting, I'd highly suggest reading your Articles of Incorporation to see how the hierarchy works in a HOA. It seems you are not getting the fully picture just your own...

Former HOA President
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:179


01/07/2020 4:37 AM  
Laska, it's hard to understand what is really going on and what you are ultimately hoping to achieve. In your post you raise issues withe president, the property manager and the other board members. While it's entirely possible that you have some real problems with the organization it also possible the problem could be with your expectations and based on what you wrote I have no idea which one it is. For example:

1.) "My question is, is there a way I can insist on getting a legal opinion from the associations attorney."

You state that the president and his 'supporters' are blocking you. Did you make a motion to get the legal opinion? If you did and you lost the vote then you were NOT blocked. You were outvoted and the consensus was that your request did not merit spending money on legal council.

2.) "When I object to actions by the president. It's not that i'm disagreeing with what he chose. I'm disagreeing that he didn't get a board vote or input!"

There's no information provided by you that a board vote was needed. Can you provide an example?

3.)"The president does not run the show!.. Why can't these people get this in their thick heads. I'm sick and tired of the president not answering questions. No information is avaiable unless he gives it to us."

There is really only two reasons I can think of for this problem. The first is the president is a control freak and the other board members either don't care or they are intimidated by the president. The second is that there is a personality conflict between you and the board and they are now ignoring you. I have someone on our board who is very difficult to work with and if she is not kept in line by the rest of us our meetings will drag on forever and no decisions will get made. She has now irritated the rest of the board and as a result she's lost any effectiveness she may have had. I'm not saying this is the case with you but your post is high on emotions and low on facts.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8922


01/07/2020 5:02 AM  
Let me point something out from a "Presidents" perspective. We don't necessarily make decisions without board input or approval. It was something I typically sought out and even from the general membership before making a decision. With that said, your also dealing with a GROUP of people. So no one person in that group is going to have their opinion "heard", approved, or put into place.

The President's job is to FACILLITATE what the overall majority of HOA members need or want. So sometimes with the lack of cohesive group decisions the President does have to do the best guess solution. It may come across the HOA President is acting on their own or doing all the work. However, you have to factor in that they are ultimately the head of the HOA. Sometimes decisions have to be made and not continuously debated or fed.

Former HOA President
ND
(PA)

Posts:386


01/07/2020 5:27 AM  
I agree with JohnT . . . your post does not provide enough factual info to be able to help you out and provide opinions.

Regarding you one question . . . "is there a way I can insist on getting a legal opinion from the associations attorney" . . . the way to do this as a Board Member is to get the topic of discussion on your agenda, discuss and present your case at the meeting as to why a legal opinion is needed, and request the Board vote on your recommendation. If vote is in your favor, then a legal opinion should be sought. If not in your favor, then you either haven't sufficiently substantiated the need to seek the legal opinion or others on the Board simply seek to disagree with whatever you present.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1877


01/07/2020 5:33 AM  
This could simply be the democratic process at work.

Without a lot more information - specific, unemotional information - it is hard to determine if there is anything wrong, improper, etc.
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/07/2020 6:21 AM  
Posted By LaskaS on 01/06/2020 11:44 PM
Why can't these people get this in their thick heads.
Why can't you understand that these directors have heard your point of view and have decided they prefer the President making unilateral decisions? It takes less of their precious time. It keeps the HOA running. There is less conflict overall at board meetings. Isn't this rational decision-making on their part?

Else I agree with JohnT38, ND and George that it appears you have been outvoted. If you cannot accept a board majority's decision, then it is your conduct that is on the cusp of being unlawful. You should vote, lose the vote on some occasions, and move on. If you think a board action is unlawful, you have the option of hiring an attorney, spending a fortune, and waiting at least a year for the outcome (which may not go in your favor).

I imagine you're going mad because people 'are not following the rules.' You can let the inner conflict consume you. Or you can realize that people actually do see things differently from yourself. There is no changing their minds no way, no how. History and contemporary government at the national, state, and municipal levels show this time and again.
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:579


01/07/2020 7:13 AM  
Posted By LaskaS on 01/06/2020 11:44 PM
Hi.
My question is, is there a way I can insist on getting a legal opinion from the associations attorney.




You can certainly contact the lawyer and ask questions. Unless your engagement letter with the lawyer says that only the president can communicate with the lawyer (which I find odd), the lawyer should answer the questions, but caveat them with, "I am giving you these responses in your capacity as a director and I would need to give the same responses to all directors".

You won't get a formal legal opinion from the lawyer--that's a written letter with all sorts of legalease in it, putting the person's law firm on the line for statements about the legality of something.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:179


01/07/2020 7:28 AM  
Unless there is a prior agreement with the lawyer for free consultations he has no business calling the lawyer if there is going to be a charge. It's not HIS money. In addition, fair or not, once he does this he will do nothing but piss the rest of the board off which will end up making him less effective as a board member.
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:235


01/07/2020 8:17 AM  
I'm in Texas and our board members are among the worst anyone will ever come across. They hide information (like annual audits) and refuse to answer any normal questions. They are power hungry, egotistical, arrogant little hitlers.

With that said can you force them to contact the HOA attorney? Probably. It's a good bet that your governing documents that allow homeowners to call a special meeting. If you get enough homeowners to sign off on a meeting then you can force a vote on whatever you want and the majority wins. The board would become legally bound to execute the will of the people.

I would also highly recommend that you start reading the Texas Property Code section 209 with specific attention to section 209.005. Study your Covenants, By-Laws, Rules & Regulations, and other policies like Document Production etc. Learn how to go online and find documents filed with your county. A great example would be to discover if your MC has a management certificate on file.

Make no mistake about it battling your HOA takes a ton of effort.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1877


01/07/2020 8:21 AM  
As Jared noted - there are many ways to address your community's political management structure.

On the board via voting on motions to act - small stuff to special meetings for specific issues.

Via owner special meetings for specific issues or to recall.

All via the community's governing docs and state statute.

Complaining does little - organizing, on the board or as a property owner - is required to move forward.
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/07/2020 8:38 AM  
Posted By JaredC on 01/07/2020 8:17 AM
With that said can you force them to contact the HOA attorney? Probably. It's a good bet that your governing documents that allow homeowners to call a special meeting. If you get enough homeowners to sign off on a meeting then you can force a vote on whatever you want and the majority wins. The board would become legally bound to execute the will of the people.
I doubt a majority vote of members at a Special Meeting can lawfully reverse a decision by the board, where the governing documents give the board and only the board the authority to make this particular type of decision. If you have a Texas citation for your claim, please post it.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1452


01/07/2020 8:47 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 01/07/2020 5:02 AM
Let me point something out from a "Presidents" perspective. We don't necessarily make decisions without board input or approval. It was something I typically sought out and even from the general membership before making a decision. With that said, your also dealing with a GROUP of people. So no one person in that group is going to have their opinion "heard", approved, or put into place.

The President's job is to FACILLITATE what the overall majority of HOA members need or want. So sometimes with the lack of cohesive group decisions the President does have to do the best guess solution. It may come across the HOA President is acting on their own or doing all the work. However, you have to factor in that they are ultimately the head of the HOA. Sometimes decisions have to be made and not continuously debated or fed.




Melissa,

That is the best explanation of this HOA board challenge I think I've read on this forum.
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/07/2020 8:52 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 01/07/2020 5:02 AM
The President's job is to FACILLITATE what the overall majority of HOA members need or want. So sometimes with the lack of cohesive group decisions the President does have to do the best guess solution. It may come across the HOA President is acting on their own or doing all the work. However, you have to factor in that they are ultimately the head of the HOA.


No where in any Declaration is the above reasoning indicated. Under corporate law; pursuant to HOA and corporate statutes; and per a HOA's governing documents, the "head of the HOA" is strictly the board in its entirety.

If a board wants a President to be free to make lesser decisions in coordination with the manager, this is probably lawful. But the board should vote on this thusly.
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:235


01/07/2020 9:01 AM  
AugustineD I personally went through this process last June. I got the necessary signatures to call the very first special meeting in our HOA's history. It was so unique the HOA attorney became involved and even attended the meeting despite the protests of the board members and homeowners. I brought up four items to vote on the the attorney not only signed off on the process but advocated for it. In the end my idiot neighbors decided to NOT trim trees for hurricane season, NOT address a significant rodent infestation in all buildings, NOT replace known inaccurate electrical submeters (I'm going to court on this particular point on January 21st btw), and NOT clean the mold and mildew off the white siding. Basically my uneducated moronic neighbors didn't want to do any normal maintenance. The funny thing was several approached me later complaining about the rodents they just voted not to remediate. Truly stupid people.

In the end common sense and prudent property management lost however the process is real. In our HOA the majority can overturn board votes.
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:579


01/07/2020 9:21 AM  
Posted By JaredC on 01/07/2020 8:17 AM
I'm in Texas and our board members are among the worst anyone will ever come across.




Please come visit NY HOA meetings. At least in Texas people are polite.
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/07/2020 9:22 AM  
JaredC, thank you for sharing this account. As you seem to indicate, it is interesting on a few levels. To me it raises some serious liability issues. E.g. does the HOA manager now take direction from the members (not to trim trees for hurricane season etc.) or the Board. From what you wrote, it appears the HOA attorney weighed in and opined that the manager must take direction from the membership, on account of a properly called Special Meeting. Should the board actually vote to approve the membership's direction? If it votes yes (and so counter to the board's own wishes on the point), the manager must take instruction from the membership on this issue, then I think the Board is jeopardizing its indemnification. If the Board votes no the manager will not take direction from the membership on this issue, then the manager is in an unfair quandary. From whom does the manager take direction? Who is responsible for hiring him or her? And so on. Unless the Texas Property Code validates your HOA attorney's position, I think this was a stupendously stupid opinion by him.

By the way, what was the board's actual position on each of these issues?
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/07/2020 9:26 AM  
Posted By JaredC on 01/07/2020 9:01 AM
NOT replace known inaccurate electrical submeters (I'm going to court on this particular point on January 21st btw).
Care to elaborate, for everyone's instruction?


Has your lawyer sent numerous letters of demand?

Has your lawyer filed in court on your behalf already?

Do you and the HOA both agree that the HOA is responsible for maintaining the sub-meters?

What is the HOA's position for not repairing the sub-meters? What is your position?
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2882


01/07/2020 9:30 AM  
Posted By JaredC on 01/07/2020 9:01 AM
AugustineD I personally went through this process last June. I got the necessary signatures to call the very first special meeting in our HOA's history. It was so unique the HOA attorney became involved and even attended the meeting despite the protests of the board members and homeowners. I brought up four items to vote on the the attorney not only signed off on the process but advocated for it. In the end my idiot neighbors decided to NOT trim trees for hurricane season, NOT address a significant rodent infestation in all buildings, NOT replace known inaccurate electrical submeters (I'm going to court on this particular point on January 21st btw), and NOT clean the mold and mildew off the white siding. Basically my uneducated moronic neighbors didn't want to do any normal maintenance. The funny thing was several approached me later complaining about the rodents they just voted not to remediate. Truly stupid people.

In the end common sense and prudent property management lost however the process is real. In our HOA the majority can overturn board votes.





And then people wonder why there's so much chaos and disorder in their HOAs!

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6817


01/07/2020 9:39 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 01/07/2020 5:02 AM
"The President's job is to FACILLITATE what the overall majority of HOA members need or want. So sometimes with the lack of cohesive group decisions the President does have to do the best guess solution. It may come across the HOA President is acting on their own or doing all the work. However, you have to factor in that they are ultimately the head of the HOA."

Augustin replied, "No where in any Declaration is the above reasoning indicated. Under corporate law; pursuant to HOA and corporate statutes; and per a HOA's governing documents, the "head of the HOA" is strictly the board in its entirety.

If a board wants a President to be free to make lesser decisions in coordination with the manager, this is probably lawful. But the board should vote on this thusly."

Augustin's reply is what's in our bylaws. The board, not the president, governs non-profits, which most HOAs are. UNLESS the board gives some of their powers to the prez with their vote, the president is not "the decider."

But, and I won't review them, here and in Laska's previous threads, it's very clear the board will go along with the president, will not rein him in, and will not follow Laska's advice.

Contracts with two HOA attorneys we've had specify that there be one board liaison with the attorney and that person will be the president unless the board votes otherwise.
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:235


01/07/2020 9:55 AM  
AugustineD regarding the electrical meter issue the reason the board hasn't replaced them is BECAUSE I am for replacing them. Our board is unethical, immoral, and unreasonable. While this is the truth it is NOT a legal argument. The legal argument is much different.

1) I am acting as my own attorney.
2) I filed the formal complaint in April 2019 and trial is set before an SOAH ALJ (State office of Administrative Hearings, Administrative Law Judge) for January 21, 2020.
3) The case was brought before the PUC (Public Utility Commission) and they are acting as an interested third party. My case will create state-wide precedent.

This thread cannot do this case justice but if anyone wants to go take a look and dive in the the details then knock yourself out. It's all public record. interchange.puc.texas.gov control #49429.

Regardless, and back to the special meeting issue, our board was deadlocked because of one bad board member and therefore never actually voted on any of the topics before the special meeting. The fact that a majority of homeowners voted AGAINST replacing known inaccurate meters absolutely does bring up a legal quandry. Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to the HOA but can that be trumped by a majority vote of homeowners? Why didn't the board vote to replace the meters during the year and a half prior to the special meeting? Is that not a breach of fiduciary responsibility?

They are interesting questions.

GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1877


01/07/2020 10:05 AM  
Jared - please keep us updated on the outcome.

Kerry - I'm laughing cause I BEG our Board members for their input, comments, thoughts, etc ... for the most part, I get very little. They are more than pleased to have someone come up with the questions and situations, research options, provide background for decisions, propose the issue, state the motion, run the meeting, coordinate with the property manager, sign off on all receipts and invoices, get bids, etc, etc, etc .... :-)
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/07/2020 10:18 AM  
JaredC, I read quickly a number of the documents. In the filings with PUC, did the HOA refer to the members' vote? Otherwise, among other things, I see the HOA (through its attorney) is claiming you lack legal standing; that the HOA is not subject to certain laws; and so on. The board appears to prefer to spend a fortune on its attorney, defeating you on technicalities (granted legitimate ones), rather than fix the problem. About how much would it cost to replace the sub-meters in question? Your efforts impress me.

(I am trying not to hijack the thread too much.)
JaredC
(Texas)

Posts:235


01/07/2020 10:33 AM  
AugustineD. Correct a threshold issue is "Does the PUC have jurisdiction to enforce substantive rules outlined in TAC 25.142?" When I was president of the board for 12 years and PUC complaints were filed we always worked with the PUC to remedy them. This jurisdictional argument is new. The beauty is that I don't have to argue jurisdiction! The PUC staff attorney's are going to do that for me, thank goodness. All I have to do is demonstrate the meters are not accurate and I have that won hands down.

No, the HOA has not mentioned the members vote in any filings and honestly it may be a moot point. There is a second legal argument unrelated to this case that the HOA is knowingly and willingly charging homeowners for electrical usage based on meters that are known to be inaccurate. The bad board member(s) could face personal liability regardless where this PUC case goes.

And yes bids to replace the meters is roughly $10,000. To date the HOA has spent roughly $15,000 in legal fees plus lost another $15,000 (minimum) is lost billing due to inaccurate meters. It is total insanity! Assuming I prevail the judge will order the HOA to come into compliance with PUC substantive rules which means replacing those meters. It will have cost the HOA $40,000 to do $10,000 worth of work. IMHO It is a COMPLETE breach of fiduciary responsibility board I have to deal with. Even worse the attorney still has to prepare for trial and drive from Houston to Austin to present his case. There goes another $5,000 in legal fees.
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/07/2020 10:42 AM  
JaredC, how kewl that the PUC staff attorneys are arguing the jurisdiction claims (in your favor). I do not have command of all that's been argued at this point, but this seems like one amazingly good sign.

I agree it is a complete breach of fiduciary duty on a few levels. Still, I do not see any judge making any director personally liable on this one. Doing so is too much of a deterrent to members stepping up to be on the board. The only times I have seen a judge make a director personally liable is in criminal cases. I think this is too far a stretch from criminal activity.

From afar but still as a neighbor of sorts, way to go!
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8922


01/07/2020 3:56 PM  
Apparently not getting the term "Facilitating". A President is to make what the board/general membership wants into fruition. They vote the HOA wants their streets all painted "red" the President's job is to make this happen. It's NOT without co-operation or support from the board/members. It's just their job to make it happen. The President represents the board as a whole.

It's like working in an office. Team members agree to an idea. Present the idea to the boss. The boss ultimately puts their signature down on the paperwork. It's NOT the entire team of people who do that.

BTW: The HOA lawyer contact should be limited as much as possible. Our board decided if issue needs a lawyer. Agrees to incur the expense. We appointed me as President to be the single source to contact the lawyer. I would then feedback the information back to the board. However, we could have chosen anyone on our board to do the same thing. It's just I have the experience and knowledge to deal with the lawyers.

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/07/2020 6:06 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 01/07/2020 3:56 PM
The President represents the board as a whole.
I am convinced you believe the latter. But the law does not.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8922


01/07/2020 7:48 PM  
So then anyone on the board can act on their own if others on the board agrees? That's too many hands in the pot. 1 person executes while others agree to be behind that execution.

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/08/2020 6:01 AM  
Melissa, under corporate law, a board majority makes all decisions except possibly the lesser ones delegated to the Treasurer, the Secretary, the President or the manager.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1877


01/08/2020 6:57 AM  
An interesting discussion, but way too fine a point for most - except judges.
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/08/2020 7:34 AM  
George, reports here of Board Presidents making decisions on big ticket matters, without a board vote, seem frequent enough. I do not think this is a 'fine point.'
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1877


01/08/2020 7:47 AM  
Yeah, probably happens all the time.

Sometimes due to president taking too much decision power, and then the Board should fix, or special meeting/election, etc.

Sometimes may just be a disagreement about what the president can do.

Sometimes may be a gray area and something needed to be done.

Hence the judge - final arbiter - assuming the Board, or owners don’t or can’t fix the perceived issue.

I continue to point out the scenarios provided by posters to this site may not be accurate ... or may at least be very one-sided.
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:158


01/10/2020 2:37 AM  
sorry I am just now responding. I had a family emergency and just got back home.

First, I was not wanting a legal opinion for my own issues. I wanted a legal clarification on the validity of actions that the president had taken without following the board adopted rules of order.

Second, I haven't been outvoted. I actually have made a lot of progress. I got the majority of the board to vote with me in the last meeting on a motion to interview new potential candidates for replacing the property manager.
This was huge! Up to this point, most of the board had continued to defer to whatever the president wanted.
.
However, now the president is basically insinuating that if the board decides to replace the property manager, the president won't be involved anymore. In my opinion, this is inappropriate at best.



LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:158


01/10/2020 2:37 AM  
sorry I am just now responding. I had a family emergency and just got back home.

First, I was not wanting a legal opinion for my own issues. I wanted a legal clarification on the validity of actions that the president had taken without following the board adopted rules of order.

Second, I haven't been outvoted. I actually have made a lot of progress. I got the majority of the board to vote with me in the last meeting on a motion to interview new potential candidates for replacing the property manager.
This was huge! Up to this point, most of the board had continued to defer to whatever the president wanted.
.
However, now the president is basically insinuating that if the board decides to replace the property manager, the president won't be involved anymore. In my opinion, this is inappropriate at best.



LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:158


01/10/2020 2:46 AM  
Melissa. On our property, the hoa employs a full time property manager, 9-5 ,, m-f. The property manager is supposed to manage and facilitate the maintenance of the day to day operations.

If the board president was the person who was responsible for day to day oversight and management of the property,, we woudn't need a property manager.




LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:158


01/10/2020 3:11 AM  
augustin

I have no problem accepting a vote of the board when it's on an hoa issue. My opinion sometimes is in the majority sometimes it's not. However, I have a serious problem with many of the other board members not wanting to give up any of their precious time to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities as a board member. Every board member is supposed to be informed on the issues at hand before they vote on something. Instead, we have several board members say, "I don't have any insight on this issue so i'll vote with MRX". This ,of course, drives me nuts. What do you mean you don't have any insight? Have you bothered to look at the agenda beforehand and perform any basic due diligence!

What i'm saying is I can absolutely accept when my vote is in the minority. If the issue is subjective. However,, there are some things that are black and white in the bylaws, declaration etc. When the board undertakes something that is not allowed, or more likely, does not take action on something that is required. I have a problem . There shouldn't even be a vote on the black and white issues. When I then remind everyone that we don't get to pick and choose which requirements in the declaration to follow. When I'm absolutely right on the facts. It then turns into, Mr.x (president) accusing me of wanting to take down the hoa. It's just bizarre.

Recently, I found out that the property manager actually has lied about all his accreditations,,credentials... (apparently, noone else every bothered to check his references )
I made sure to dot every i and cross every t. I got written confirmation for NAA and IREM that MR. abcd(property manager) is not now and has never been a member. And MR abcd does not have ARM or CAM certifcation. (as they claim to, and as they sign every single email they send to owners)

When I forwarded this info the the board. Instead of getting the few remaining holdouts on the board to agree that we need to move on from this property manager. The holdouts respond with, "well, are the certifications all that important"

AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/10/2020 8:06 AM  
Posted By LaskaS on 01/10/2020 3:11 AM
What i'm saying is I can absolutely accept when my vote is in the minority. If the issue is subjective. However,, there are some things that are black and white in the bylaws, declaration etc. When the board undertakes something that is not allowed, or more likely, does not take action on something that is required. I have a problem . There shouldn't even be a vote on the black and white issues. When I then remind everyone that we don't get to pick and choose which requirements in the declaration to follow. When I'm absolutely right on the facts. It then turns into, Mr.x (president) accusing me of wanting to take down the hoa. It's just bizarre.
LaskaS, this is my point: That you appear not to consider the machinations of a herd. You trumpet the facts and expect the cows in the herd to "get it." The herd does not care about the law or facts. Right now, you choose to be frustrated, wasting precious energy. You come here to vent. Venting is fine except for one thing: If venting and being validated for same does not translate to your realizing that one has to deal with the irrational among us in constructive ways, then what's the point of your posting and people responding?

I think I am "absolutely right" on the facts of Trump's attempting to bribe the Ukraine and that Trump got due process in the impeachment proceedings in the House. But nearly every Republican in the Senate says otherwise. What does one do? Concede the fact that Republicans hold the majority of the Senate. Get through the trial in the Senate, dotting i's and crossing t's to the greatest extent possible. If only because Trump, if re-elected, is going to pull this cr-p again and again. One has to stay calm and comply with the legal process. After dotting i's and crossing t's and getting all into the record. one should move on instead of ranting about, say, what idiots you have on your board or deeming the President's suggestion that he will 'no longer be involved' if the property manager goes is "inappropriate."

You seem to fixate on others' ethics (over which you have no power) and not process (over which you have considerable legal power).

More importantly, congratulations on a board majority agreeing to interview the property manager. Why you are decrying the President's threat to no longer be involved if the property manager is replaced does not make sense to me. If the President quits, I'd be thinking, "Don't let the door hit ya where the good lord... "
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:158


01/11/2020 2:13 AM  
Augustin

I think I finally get what you are saying. I'm fighting a losing battle when I don't have the majority. One difference though, the republicans and democrats, they don't have a fiduciary duty to their constituents. The hoa board has a fiduciary duty to the hoa and owners. I believe we have a higher responsibility to the hoa than congressmen do to their constituents.. legally speaking anyway.

That is why it is so frustrating when I realize that some other board members are agreeing with the president just because they don't want to offend him. Or they don't want to ruffle any feathers.
Luckily, I haven't given up. The board majority vote to interview new property manager candidates was HUGE. However, like I mentioned, the president is now threatening to not be involved if we get rid of the current property manager. I myself agree, don't let the door hit you in the rear end. The other board members, I'm afraid aren't going to have the same opinion. The president fundamentally believes he should be the one who controls and directs the property manager on how to take care of the property. This is just not correct. The board as a whole votes on issues that need a decisions. However the day to day operations should be handled by the property manager. Without him having to get approval for every single little thing he does.


I come here for feedback because the answers I get often give me insight I didn't see before.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1877


01/11/2020 3:26 AM  
Between the Board votes, someone, almost always the President of the Board, must continue to represent the Board, which represents the constituents of the HOA. Management companies require direction, attorneys require direction, representation wrt local municipal organizations, requires direction.

The Board, as an entity, usually does not meet frequently enough to make all decisions.

Laska, if you can work towards some more turnover in the Board, great. If you have constructed this as you versus the President, and they are considered valuable, you may just end up being a pita at every interaction. Unless you win.

Democracy.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8922


01/11/2020 5:13 AM  
You keep assigning things you want to see that is wrong. The reality is that you are dealing with GROUP decisions. It's just the nature of the beast of a HOA.

If you are so into "dotting the I's..." realize it's basically a self-imposed fallacy against a board to be "on the same page". The only time that is a possibility is at the meeting. Otherwise everything else is considered "not open".

Example: Your articles of incorporation may state that 3 board members constitutes a meeting. Let's say I as a board member go to Starbucks. I run into my neighbor who is the Vice-President. We then notice the President is sitting at a table with their family. A member walks in and sees us stop by to say "hello" neighbor. That member is now going to ASSUME 3 board members are together and that's a "meeting". Somehow we must be meeting behind people's backs at the Starbucks making decisions... Oh wait, we also must be "friends" etc... (It's all a conspiracy at Starbucks...)

Better yet, what if the board did send each other emails or made phone calls to each other BEFORE the meeting? Just to get on the same page and know what is going on. There is no decision making unless emergency reasons. Now all those emails are to be OPEN to be reviewed by the membership? Don't think anyone is comfortable with emails being shared...

Reality is that even in my HOA where we were extremely open, no board member was on the same page till the meeting. The board meetings are when HOA business is to be discussed. It is when decisions are made. So it also lends to believe that some board members need to catch up when in attendance. Which may take a bit longer to make a decision.

So what your asking is just the impossible. The truth is. Your in a GROUP. Group decisions are never fair to everyone. Decisions have to be made. The President most likely is going to make them. Usually after listening to the board or membership.

Stop assigning things to situations when it's really your issue.

Former HOA President
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:158


01/11/2020 9:05 PM  
melissa, with all due respect.. I'm not asking for fair! Life's not fair.

I'm asking for board members to not just look the other way because they can't be bothered. One of the board members who I'm friends with and talk to often. Has told me, Laska, you are right. But noone has time to follow up on all of these things and we would rather let mr.x(president) handle things because he's done a good enough job..
My friend also has advised me that I need to focus on one issue, and one issue only. Otherwise, The other board members tune out. So that's what I've done. I"ve methodically made the case and gotten the support to replace the property manager. However, since everyone is tiptoeing around mr.x(president) The motion that I made and that passed was to set up interviews for possible replacements. I knew the board members whouldn't vote to fire the property manager , it would upset the president.

Anyway, several of you have mentioned real politik, and or alluded to the way actually boards work. I guess I just thought that If I clearly and politely made sure that all the information was on the table. The board members would do the right thing. What I'm finding is, while they agree there are numerous issues with the property manager, that have not gotten better over a year, and he has not shown the basic ability to problem solve, or troubleshoot ,(the times he did take action, he made the wrong decisions. and basically made it up as he was going, instead of refer to the documents).. The president continues to tell the board that the manager is getting better, and the president works well with him.

Finally, after months and months enough owners have complained and relayed interactions that are exactly what I've been saying for 8 months. Anyway. Personally, I am sick of it all. I can't do it by myself. Of the owners that are residents, I have a lot of support. But many non resident owners as well as some new resident owners are apathetic unless it directly affects them.

Im kinda bummed that people don't aim higher. Our property could be so much better, without spending a lot more money. People just don't really care. ugg I'm done.
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:158


01/11/2020 9:06 PM  
melissa, with all due respect.. I'm not asking for fair! Life's not fair.

I'm asking for board members to not just look the other way because they can't be bothered. One of the board members who I'm friends with and talk to often. Has told me, Laska, you are right. But noone has time to follow up on all of these things and we would rather let mr.x(president) handle things because he's done a good enough job..
My friend also has advised me that I need to focus on one issue, and one issue only. Otherwise, The other board members tune out. So that's what I've done. I"ve methodically made the case and gotten the support to replace the property manager. However, since everyone is tiptoeing around mr.x(president) The motion that I made and that passed was to set up interviews for possible replacements. I knew the board members whouldn't vote to fire the property manager , it would upset the president.

Anyway, several of you have mentioned real politik, and or alluded to the way actually boards work. I guess I just thought that If I clearly and politely made sure that all the information was on the table. The board members would do the right thing. What I'm finding is, while they agree there are numerous issues with the property manager, that have not gotten better over a year, and he has not shown the basic ability to problem solve, or troubleshoot ,(the times he did take action, he made the wrong decisions. and basically made it up as he was going, instead of refer to the documents).. The president continues to tell the board that the manager is getting better, and the president works well with him.

Finally, after months and months enough owners have complained and relayed interactions that are exactly what I've been saying for 8 months. Anyway. Personally, I am sick of it all. I can't do it by myself. Of the owners that are residents, I have a lot of support. But many non resident owners as well as some new resident owners are apathetic unless it directly affects them.

Im kinda bummed that people don't aim higher. Our property could be so much better, without spending a lot more money. People just don't really care. ugg I'm done.
AugustinD


Posts:2411


01/12/2020 8:37 AM  
Posted By LaskaS on 01/11/2020 9:06 PM
One of the board members who I'm friends with and talk to often[, h]as told me, Laska, you are right. But no one has time to follow up on all of these things and we would rather let mr. x president) handle things because he's done a good enough job.
For what it is worth, and without intending to shoot you down LaskaS, I think what this board member said shows wisdom. Yes, to those of us who believe our HOAs/Condos could be so much better, and who are maybe still a little idealistic and not yet completely cynical (and thus "unwashed"?) it is dismaying to read. But for me, it helps my decision-making going forward. Like what battles to pick. Like whether I want to live in a condo or HOA in the future. Or if so, what are my criteria for buying into one?

I was going to compare what this board member said to the experience of, say, City Councilors and members of legislatures. These (almost always paid) folks all could likely name times they were on the losing side of a battle, with enormous implications and were frustrated. But City Councilors and members of legislatures are fairly easily held accountable. The press, civil servant staff, the occasional citizens' nonprofit lawsuit, government agencies like GAO, and attorneys general offices, fairly transparent election procedures and so on all ensure much greater accountability of their respective governing bodies. While City Councilors and higher may be frustrated, they have much greater assurance that the law is being followed. Homeowners' associations and condos lack this accountability. And it's not just about corporate vs. non-corporate. The courts have said HOAs and condos are quasi-governmental. Yet HOAs/Condos run roughshod over members all the time; break laws all the time; harass members all the time; get their attorneys to write stupid letters with no legal meaning (and only intended to intimidate with legally allowed lies) to members all the time.
MichelleG7
(Connecticut)

Posts:6


01/12/2020 9:35 PM  
If you are unhappy with what the president or Board is doing. your only answer is to get on the board yourself and try to communicate what you think should be done. So many times the one complaining doesnt want to get on the board but wants to be in control. I'm a president of a board and it isnt as easy as most think. And to have a management company that is on top of things isnt that easy either. So in all I suggest you get on the board asn see what it is actually all about. Then come back here and let us know how it goes for ya.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8922


01/13/2020 4:54 AM  
I believe Laskas is on the board. Just not sure has a full understanding how things work versus wishful thinking. I find people who assign why OTHER board members act like they do, is what they feel. What you think of me isn't what I think of me, it's most likely what you think of yourself or of me...

So to assign the board members not doing anything or agreeing with the President may just be how they feel they want to do. I find people who are against something do speak up...

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9053


01/13/2020 7:37 AM  
Laska is on the BOD but she disagrees with the BOD deferring many tasks/jobs to the President. She is in the minority on the BOD and should take it as it is. She is being outvoted and she does not like it. Poor darlin.
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