Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Tuesday, September 29, 2020











HOATalk is a free service of Community123.com:

Easy to use website tools to help your board
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Candidate Biographies No Ideology
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:335


01/20/2020 11:11 PM  
Why do the overwhelming majority of candidate bio's for Board election read like a resume and a summation of one's professional career and rarely mention ideology or positions regarding HOA or property issues? Why doesn't anyone begin with, "By profession, I am in telecommunications sales. Would be happy to provide a resume with all my professional accomplishments upon request. Now moving on to our HOA, my priorities include....."?

It is boring and immaterial in my opinion to read what a great salesperson someone is and all his/her career accomplishments but says nothing about his/her vision and ideology about the HOA. I would rather vote for an unemployed person or someone who writes "I won the lottery at age 22 and don't work, I inherited my family's fortune and don't work, or I don't work because my spouse supports me and therefore I can devote many hours to the HOA and here is my ideology..."


What phrases or buzzwords annoy you and assuming you don't know any of the candidates personally, what do you view as a positive in a candidate bio?

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9543


01/21/2020 4:17 AM  
So people are on here griping about how they think whomever is on their board should be "Professionals". That they should have some kind of business experience or nose for it. It's not necessarily a "business" job as your only requirement is to be an owner. Some people aren't going to like someone who is running because "I am retired, have a dog/cat, grandkids, and stay home all day". Yeah that person has nothing to do all day but the bidding of the HOA so let's vote for them.

Remember the board members is voted on by a group of people who are NOT interested on being on the board. That person represents that group. So if you don't like what they may vote, then you vote or run yourself. It's the nature of the beast. It is also what makes you a "Politician".

Former HOA President
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:648


01/21/2020 5:35 AM  
NpB,
What I try and look for as a Board President is who is the best candidate. That will vary by each election. It is a team and if you have 5 Quarterbacks and no one to throw the ball too you won't be successful. That is a very basic analogy. In my perfect world I always hope to find another person similar to myself who has a business acumen and also is willing to get in the middle of things. I have had a few great Vice Presidents in the past and it really does help. Most Board members give very little (extra time) to the association. They are at the Meetings and make decisions but many just don't have the time that is usually required to really be involved.

In the end it all depends on who the community elects. I have also found that Board Members have some power if they use it effectively. People will sometimes ask you who you like and you need to tell them. I always tell potential candidates that I want to help. I am going to tell my friends and ask them to tell their friends. If this is done and the word spreads good people can get elected. If 2 or 3 other board members are on the same page the votes can add up. I also would try to promote a "Meet the Candidates" night so that people get a chance to see what you guy has to say. This stuff helps.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1244


01/21/2020 6:25 AM  
Professional experience is absolutely relevant, especially in communities that are self-managed. The most incompetent board members I've seen are ones that have no business experience and do not have a clue as to what they should be doing (they seem to think HOAs are social clubs or some such).

On the other hand, what I try to get a sense of is the person's ability to work with others. A person's knowledge and skills will go to waste if he or she is a bully or is one of those who thrives on conflict and chaos (our attorneys call them "vocational dissidents"). Not only that, they will force everyone around them to waste their own time trying to make progress on anything. The other board members can counteract them to some extent, but only if they recognize certain patterns of behavior and adjust their own behavior accordingly. Unfortunately, these patterns of behavior can go unrecognized until it's too late.

Fortunately the vocational dissidents usually don't end up on the board. They would much rather spend their time being totally outraged by everything the board does and complaining loudly at every opportunity. Bullies *can* end up on the board, though - you can only hope that they'll be competent bullies rather than incompetent ones.
PaulJ6


Posts:0


01/21/2020 6:49 AM  
When I'm elected to a nonprofit board, I usually give a mini-resume of my professional background for the candidate information booklet or whatever other election materials are distributed. I figure that my professional background shows the specific qualifications that I can add to the board. I figure that I run my mouth enough about what I think of the institution as it is, although perhaps I should include a sentence about what I want to accomplish.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1244


01/21/2020 6:51 AM  
Another thought: an ideology doesn't count for much if you don't have the skills to convert ideals into actions.

Further, people who've never served on an HOA board can have very unrealistic ideas about what's involved. In fact, it's a job. It's running a corporation. There is a boatload of requirements, and an even bigger boatload of laws that govern how these requirements will be handled. It's reading complex financial and legal documents, it's managing physical assets, it's hiring and firing, it's dealing effectively with a cast of players (some of whom will be dysfunctional or outright nuts). It's having the skills to sort out sometimes competing priorities and doing it all without enough money. And it's listening to a steady stream of complaints from those who have no idea what you're doing but who are certain that they know better.

Ideologies tend to die quiet deaths by the roadside when confronted with the realities of the job.

I think being on a community association board is just plain tough. It requires both a depth and breadth of knowledge that few professional jobs don't require. A board member needs to he a generalist as well as a specialist, plus a skilled psychologist. It's no wonder so few do everything well.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:648


01/21/2020 6:58 AM  
CathyA3,
Wow Drop The Mike..... That is so well written I am cutting and pasting it so I can have it for future reference.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3130


01/21/2020 7:09 AM  
Well said.

I’m still trying to figure out what NpB’s question really is.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1244


01/21/2020 7:21 AM  
Posted By MarkM19 on 01/21/2020 6:58 AM
CathyA3,
Wow Drop The Mike..... That is so well written I am cutting and pasting it so I can have it for future reference.




Thanks. :-)

Before you cut and paste, I found a typo: "It requires both a depth and breadth of knowledge that few professional jobs don't require." (get rid of the word "don't").

As you can see, proofreading my own stuff is not one of my skills...
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9900


01/21/2020 7:35 AM  
I love it resumes, interviews, Q&A, etc. Us, we go begging for people on be on our BOD.
AugustinD


Posts:3933


01/21/2020 7:45 AM  
Posted By NpB on 01/20/2020 11:11 PM
What phrases or buzzwords annoy you
For fun --

-- Putting words in all caps. Using exclamation points. Using bold or italics or underlining more than once total.

-- Anyone with a PhD who insists that he or she be referred to as "Dr." I think it's a red flag one is dealing with someone (1) stupid; and (2) self-centered. I think I'd rather see Math SAT scores [wink].

Posted By NpB on 01/20/2020 11:11 PM
and assuming you don't know any of the candidates personally, what do you view as a positive in a candidate bio?
Brevity. List degrees and a bit of work experience. List main goals short, sweet and without emotion.

On the other hand, the HOA/condo board members and HOA/condo managers that last the longest play an excellent game of "Survivor." Blind loyalty to an alliance beats degrees, credentialed smarts, professional experience et cetera every time. I have never seen a resumé speak about this attribute. Though I bet Richard Hatch trumpets it in every application he makes to a condo board.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:648


01/21/2020 7:47 AM  
John,
You are correct in many HOAs weeding out candidates is not an option. That is why when ever I get a chance to talk to neighbors at events I am always looking for future candidates. The analogy I would use is like going to High School Football games looking for future talent. True leaders need to be looking beyond their terms in office and helping people to get involved. As many have said this is not an easy job and requires many different skills. Many people in HOAs have no idea what actually happens on the board.
DaveP8
(Oklahoma)

Posts:24


01/21/2020 7:48 AM  
Getting on our board is more a matter of who draws the short straw.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3465


01/21/2020 8:24 AM  
Cathy and Mark's viewpoints are pretty close to mine. Reading a resume is fine, but I don't stop there - I want to get into the candidate's head and get some insight on how they think and approach community issues. That's why I like candidate forums - have every candidate make a brief presentation and the The homeowners can ask questions Hopefully they pay attention to the responses and use them along with the resume to make a decision.

For me, I start with asking questions that help me see what type of neighbor they are, such as how have they lived in the community and whether they even like living in it. Do they they make an effort to get to know the neighbors? Have they attended board meetings or helped out in community activities?

Then I ask why they want to be on the board and what else will they bring to the position besides showing up once a month to decide how to spend money. Are they willing to commit to continuing education, even if it's as simple as reading a few books on things like reserve studies. Are they willing to ask questions (especially the tough ones) and LISTEN to the answers, even if they don't like what's being said?

Cathy also mentioned vision, which I don't think many current board members and homeowners think about as much as they should. What type of community do you want to see in a year? Or five or 10 years, whether you're still here or not? What are you willing to do to see that we get to that point there and how do you persuade the homeowners to support it? You can have all the ideas in the world, but without buy-in from the homeowners (most of them anyway) nothing will happen
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:335


01/21/2020 11:46 AM  
Are candidates hesitant to provide their ideology and write in a generic way due to not wanting to offend any potential voter? Outside of HOA's politicians generally have legal or business backgrounds and I'm sure they can provide a list of career accomplishments in that regard. They are not hesitant to state their ideology and positions on issues. Other than a great salesperson, one really doesn't know who they are voting for in HOA elections.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3130


01/21/2020 12:11 PM  
Due diligence is always required prior to voting - folks voting for HOA/COA/POA boards must satisfy themselves they know enough.

It's pretty easy to know almost everything relevant about candidates these days.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:349


01/21/2020 12:46 PM  
I would say that most candidates don't have an ideology yet because they don't know what they don't know. Most homeowners have no idea how HOAs actually operate until they serve on the board.

And most elections are more about begging someone to volunteer than sifting through applications.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:4076


01/21/2020 7:04 PM  
Posted By NpB on 01/20/2020 11:11 PM
Why do the overwhelming majority of candidate bio's for Board election read like a resume and a summation of one's professional career and rarely mention ideology or positions regarding HOA or property issues? Why doesn't anyone begin with, "By profession, I am in telecommunications sales. Would be happy to provide a resume with all my professional accomplishments upon request. Now moving on to our HOA, my priorities include....."?

In Florida, candidates have the option to provide an "information sheet". A great number of people think that means "resume". They're so unimaginative they can't even consider submitting anything else. I agree information regarding what they think they would bring to the table in an HOA or Condo context would be much more relevant than their experience as a district sales manager for a regional department store that's been out of business for 20 years.

We'll have 2 new board members next year who couldn't even guess the size of our annual budget within a million dollars (it's less than half a million by quite a bit).
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3987


01/21/2020 7:22 PM  
We try to make it easy for anyone interested in running for the BOD.

There's a place for name and address.

Below that, there's a line that says "Common Sense" with "Yes" and "No" check boxes beside it.

That's all there is to it.

If someone checks "Yes" they get elected to the BOD.

If someone checks "No" they get elected to the BOD.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:648


01/21/2020 7:53 PM  
NpS,
I was just mentioning this to our Board last week during a meeting. The older I get the less Common Sense is common anymore.

You may trip a lot of people up with that type of question.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3987


01/21/2020 9:10 PM  
Posted By MarkM19 on 01/21/2020 7:53 PM
The older I get the less Common Sense is common anymore.

Well said.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
FredS7
(Arizona)

Posts:927


01/23/2020 9:43 AM  
A candidate's statement with irrelevant material tells you something about the candidate.

If you are fortunate enough to live in an association with more candidates than slots, then I say let 'er run and let the least annoying candidate win.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:335


01/31/2020 3:03 PM  
Posted By FredS7 on 01/23/2020 9:43 AM
A candidate's statement with irrelevant material tells you something about the candidate.

If you are fortunate enough to live in an association with more candidates than slots, then I say let 'er run and let the least annoying candidate win.





A candidate with no information about their ideology communicates to me to be cautious. It doesn't make a good first impression about character or transparency.
MarkW18


Posts:1290


01/31/2020 3:28 PM  
Let's say you had a candidate trying to get on a Board. If the person is looking to get appointed by the Board, you might fill out the candidate form to say you're a kiss ass who will "go along to get along". On the other hand, you put your qualifications on a form if you are looking to get elected by the owners.

From personal experience, Boards and MC's don't like a person more qualified than they are and they sure don't want someone coming in to rock the boat.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:335


02/01/2020 12:55 AM  
Posted By MarkW18 on 01/31/2020 3:28 PM
Let's say you had a candidate trying to get on a Board. If the person is looking to get appointed by the Board, you might fill out the candidate form to say you're a kiss ass who will "go along to get along". On the other hand, you put your qualifications on a form if you are looking to get elected by the owners.

From personal experience, Boards and MC's don't like a person more qualified than they are and they sure don't want someone coming in to rock the boat.





What do you think about a candidate who mentions they live a debt-free lifestyle?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9543


02/01/2020 4:30 AM  
I hate those people who brag about living a "debt free" life style. It's just not true and they also have bad credit. HOA dues are a "debt"...

Former HOA President
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1244


02/01/2020 4:32 AM  
Posted By NpB on 02/01/2020 12:55 AM
Posted By MarkW18 on 01/31/2020 3:28 PM
Let's say you had a candidate trying to get on a Board. If the person is looking to get appointed by the Board, you might fill out the candidate form to say you're a kiss ass who will "go along to get along". On the other hand, you put your qualifications on a form if you are looking to get elected by the owners.

From personal experience, Boards and MC's don't like a person more qualified than they are and they sure don't want someone coming in to rock the boat.





What do you think about a candidate who mentions they live a debt-free lifestyle?




It sounds good but doesn't tell you anything by itself. Maybe the person is frugal and an excellent money manager. Or maybe he inherited a pile from his folks and can afford to pay cash for everything without having to worry about his spending. Being able to live within a budget is an important skill for board members, so I would want to know more before deciding whether this is good or bad.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7516


02/01/2020 1:02 PM  
We hav a cover sheet the caddie signs sayin all in their statement is true and that agree to abide by and enforce our governing docs. They're invited to fill out the below 1-page form that must be limited to 300 words. Candidates may attache a 1" X 1" pic of self if they wish.

Most will include their own philosophy either in the first part or the last part. Not perfect, but it avoids the whole resume thing. One director, who knows better, cheated this year by including a 5-page CV of all his academic achievements going back to the '70s. He and the two other incumbents are defeated.


Name
HOA address
Date

Primary Goals & Objectives

Related Professional Experience

Related Volunteer Experience

Achievements at [Our HOA]

Why I Should Be Elected to the Board

NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:335


02/10/2020 11:27 AM  
Since a large part of an HOA's purpose is to manage the associations funds, I would not want a candidate who has high personal debt making decisions on spending the HOA's funds.
DeidreB
(Virginia)

Posts:99


02/10/2020 11:43 AM  
I agree that candidates should speak up about their views and opinions on matters relating to the association property and finances and how the association should interact with members, etc.

Sadly, I have never seen an election run off. Rather, I have seen the opposite -- someone who doesn't want to do it (usually for good reason) or who secretly wants to do it but with a martyr complex (I really didn't want to do it but I will and now I have full license to do whatever I want).

At the risk of sounding facetious (I am not), some of the worst board members I have worked with were among the most professionally qualified, if not impressive.

Smart enough to work the system, smart enough to avoid getting caught, crafty enough to develop a coalition that pushes for a bad decision or approach to an issue that may be a personal agenda for them.

The best board members I have seen were selfless, eager to question their own assertions to ensure they were doing and supporting the right thing, prone to deferring to personal rights and liberties whenever the law or association documents were murky and of course who are highly cost conservative. These things are not always embodied in a high level corporate resume.

A treasurer who can draft a budget for the board to work with and decide upon together and who knows how to work with financial statements is important. But I'd rather have someone who is humble and less (but adequately) experienced than the CFO of Xyz Corporation who intends to park his Ferrari in guest parking while towing my old Toyota doing the same.

It is hard to spur these kinds of philosophy statements by candidates when there is only one person who "reluctantly steps up."
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Candidate Biographies No Ideology



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.
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