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Subject: Liaison Committee
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RitaS4
(Florida)

Posts:6


06/09/2020 5:32 AM  
What exactly is a liaison Committe on an HOA board? Do they have the right to make decisions without informing the rest of the board. We have a 7 member board and the President and Vice President formed a Liaison Committee and believe they can make decisions without contacting the rest of the board. Thank you for your import.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1077


06/09/2020 5:50 AM  
That's a new one.

No, they may not make decisions without consulting the rest of the board, unless they're talking about minor and trivial things such as spending $10 for some flowers at the community entrance. However, the rest of the board would have to agree ahead of time that this would be OK. I suspect that's not what they have in mind.

Time to push back.
RitaS4
(Florida)

Posts:6


06/09/2020 6:23 AM  
Thank you. That is what I thought. What they did is authorize a landscaping/tree trimming company to change the trees and plant grass without our knowledge. They also cancelled our webpage without telling the rest of the board so people were still being directed to look there for information.

How would I push back? Our management company was the one that suggested this.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1077


06/09/2020 7:50 AM  
More info needed:

* Are you in condos or an HOA?

* How many homes are in your association? I assume your community is pretty large with a 7-member board.

* Are you on the board or a homeowner? You'll have more leverage if you're on the board, but a determined group of homeowners can remove board members who aren't doing their jobs properly.

* The management company works for the association and takes direction from the board, not the other way around. If the manager is calling the shots, that's another issue that needs to be dealt with. Is your manager by any chance a holdover from the days when your community was still under developer control? If a manager is used to answering to a developer only and not the board, that manager may be used to telling the board what to do. However, a manager can also be a convenient scapegoat for a board that is misbehaving.

At the very least, communication doesn't appear to be your board's strong suit. (And I believe that a web site is required for condo communities over a certain size in Florida - one of our Florida posters will add more if I'm wrong about that.)

On the other hand, boards generally are not required to get approval from homeowners for decisions they make, except in certain specific instances required by state law (which can be different for condos vs. HOAs). Their decisions should be taking place in open, properly noticed meetings, and they should be documented in the meetings' minutes so that homeowners know what's going on.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7333


06/09/2020 7:53 AM  
If on the Board, you need a "board majority" to push back as Cathy. IF the Board voted to give those two so much ay authority, the Board can vote to remove that authority.

By the way, read the Bylaws which will say something about this topic.
AugustinD


Posts:3495


06/09/2020 8:58 AM  
Posted By RitaS4 on 06/09/2020 6:23 AM
Thank you. That is what I thought. What they did is authorize a landscaping/tree trimming company to change the trees and plant grass without our knowledge. They also cancelled our webpage without telling the rest of the board so people were still being directed to look there for information. How would I push back? Our management company was the one that suggested this.
Are you saying the management company suggested a "Liaison Committee"? If so, and like CathyA3 and KerryL1 indicated, legally only the board has the authority to make such decisions or possibly delegate such decision-making. I suspect no such delegation of powers was made. I suspect the committee members do not understand that they have committed acts of ultra vires. Said acts are a violation of the law. The typical HOA member and HOA director are typically 99% ignorant of their legal obligations. They think a HOA is just a club, and that being on a board or committee means they have the authority to do whatever they want, including making up rules as they go along. Not so.

As CathyA3 indicated, communications may be the main problem here.
MarkW18


Posts:1195


06/09/2020 11:59 AM  
Everyone is getting their panties in a bunch.

First, as a manager, if I didn't take the inititive, I would be out of a job and the HOA would be left to fend for themselves. Why do Boards hire managers, so they don't have to do the work, take on the role of bad cop. Yes, they don't get paid. Some companies can retain managers and others is a constant revolving door.

This liaison committee very well could be an executive committee and yes they can have the power to do things on their own without board approval, becuase the committee charter is set up in that manner. They actually could have three members, as long as it was less than a quorum of directors. Many associations have them, some used wisely and some poorly.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1077


06/09/2020 1:56 PM  
Posted By MarkW18 on 06/09/2020 11:59 AM
... snippage ...

This liaison committee very well could be an executive committee and yes they can have the power to do things on their own without board approval, becuase the committee charter is set up in that manner. ...



The operative words here are "committee charter". This suggests that the entire board is "on board" (heh, heh) with it, rather than a couple individual directors setting up some informal structure on their own. However, I can't tell from the OP's posts which of these two scenarios it is.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9577


06/09/2020 5:11 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/09/2020 1:56 PM
Posted By MarkW18 on 06/09/2020 11:59 AM
... snippage ...

This liaison committee very well could be an executive committee and yes they can have the power to do things on their own without board approval, becuase the committee charter is set up in that manner. ...



The operative words here are "committee charter". This suggests that the entire board is "on board" (heh, heh) with it, rather than a couple individual directors setting up some informal structure on their own. However, I can't tell from the OP's posts which of these two scenarios it is.



I agree. Not enough info to decide.
MarkW18


Posts:1195


06/09/2020 5:51 PM  
Sorry, entire boards don't have to be "on board", just a simple majority. Sorry, that sometimes is the reality in HOA's.

As others have mentioned, they ain't enough information to go on, as the OP probably is not on the Board, hasn't been tpo a meeting and probably doesn't look at minutes, IF they are provided.

You shouldn't be shocked as to what rogue board members can accomplish if left unchecked.

RitaS4
(Florida)

Posts:6


06/10/2020 8:59 AM  
It's a HOA in Florida

There are 384 house units

I am currently a board member and homeowner. Have been on board for 6 years as until this year it was difficult to get volunteers. In fact for all of 2019 and most of 2018 the president did not respond to any of my emails. This year the new members were recruited by current president so he would have the control vote. I should had inquired earlier.

There is not "check and balances" within our board or management company. Our previous manager worked with us until his illness progressed to have him leave. It's only been less than 1 year and we have had 2 managers so far. The management company is the original from what I understand.

Thank you and everybody for the help you've provided.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7333


06/10/2020 9:59 AM  
So.... Rita. Did the Board vote to permit the Prez & Veep to have so much power? A Board could delegate a lot of things to an executive committee or to one or more officers. Keep in mind though, that as a director YOU are still
reponsible.
RitaS4
(Florida)

Posts:6


06/10/2020 11:02 AM  
Our annual meeting (the only one we have, not by my choice) was a joke. The meetings were written up that the board voted unanimously for many things when I didn't vote yes on anything. I know the majority rule and the self-appointed president ( I say this as he was not nominated or voted in that position) had his 3 friends put on the board so he had the majority vote. He didn't like my son-in-law and myself being on the board of 5 prior as he thought we were always in agreement which we were not. I'm probably going to resign as I don't want to be on a board that appears to be so corrupt.
Thanks for responding.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2816


06/10/2020 12:23 PM  
Corrupt is probably the wrong word.

Perhaps they are simply not following the rules? Perhaps there is no one willing to challenge them?

I am assuming both you and your son in law own separate properties?

If you have CCRs and Bylaws do you know exactly what they say about elections, how often for board meetings, officer duties, how to call special meetings, etc?
RitaS4
(Florida)

Posts:6


06/10/2020 12:43 PM  
There have been no special meetings. It seems that the president and vice president are in control along with the management company who back them no matter what. You are probably right about me choosing the wrong word corrupt but it's more like a "secret squirrel" board for those who remember him.

Yes we both are separate home owners and I might add we don't think anything alike which is the funny thing about the vice president stating prior to his election that he "wasn't comfortable having relatives on the board together" yet it's ok to pick your friends for the board. I know my hands are tied as I'm just 1 member of the board.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3867


06/10/2020 1:23 PM  
RitaS4, many people are uncomfortable with board members who are related to each other. But even if you were husband-and-wife, there's nothing in the Florida Statutes that prohibit that in an HOA. The Condo statute prohibits members of the same household from serving together on the board, but the HOA statute has no such limitation. With that said, you are 2 people who own 2 separate homes and, even in a condo, it's perfectly fine for the both of you to be on the board.

It sounds like you've got a real situation on your hands. First things first, DO NOT RESIGN. If you're interested in making positive change and are committeed to it, resigning is the worst thing you could possibly do.

I'd start at the top: verify your corporate status is active at the FL Secretary of State's website at http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/ByName. Make sure the HOA has been filing Annual Reports.

Then make sure you have copies of your current governing documents: Articles of Incorporation, Declaration of Covenants (aka CC&Rs), and Bylaws.

Ask for a copy of the current management company contract. Every homeowner has the right to see that, not just board members. Then ask for copies of the monthly financial statements for the last 12 months.

I'd start with those.
AugustinD


Posts:3495


06/10/2020 5:19 PM  
Posted By RitaS4 on 06/10/2020 11:02 AM
The meetings were written up that the board voted unanimously for many things when I didn't vote yes on anything. I know the majority rule [snip]
When this President or Board majority supports the Secretary knowingly falsifying Minutes in this fashion, I agree resigning is probably best. I consider this board corrupt.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2816


06/10/2020 7:32 PM  
Rita,

Don’t resign.

You need to accept responsibility to fix whatever is going on ... if you don’t, who will?
RitaS4
(Florida)

Posts:6


06/11/2020 2:37 AM  
Thank you for this information. I did check for their filing the Annual Report and it appears they filed them. Don't remember receiving copies of them. I do have copies of the current governing documents. I have the financial statements which I received every month.

I am interested in making positive changes but I also know that reality is it's a big task and being almost 70 I'm not sure I'll get much accomplished. It appears the current president has issues with dealing a woman.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3867


06/11/2020 12:03 PM  
Posted By RitaS4 on 06/11/2020 2:37 AM
Thank you for this information. I did check for their filing the Annual Report and it appears they filed them. Don't remember receiving copies of them. I do have copies of the current governing documents. I have the financial statements which I received every month.

OK, that's good.

Posted By RitaS4 on 06/11/2020 2:37 AM
I am interested in making positive changes but I also know that reality is it's a big task and being almost 70 I'm not sure I'll get much accomplished. It appears the current president has issues with dealing a woman.

You've got more than 3 times the number of homes that we do, so the dynamics are probably quite different. It certainly sounds like you've got a rogue president. 'Corrupt' may be exactly the right word.

Look at what your Bylaws say with regard to Directors, Officers, Board Meetings and Membership Meetings.

FS 720.303 requires that the minutes of Board Meetings must record the vote or abstention of each Director present on every item brought up for a vote. If your partcipation at a board meeting was falsified in the Minutes then that could be the end of a loose thread where you might start to pull. I assume that was at a board meeting because the Board wouldn't be voting on anything at a Members Meeting (except for voting as a member on issues that come before the general membership as a whole).
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