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Subject: Husband and wife both serving on committees
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DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:10


09/14/2020 1:36 PM  
We have a few cases in which a husband serves as co-chair on one HOA committee and a wife serves as co-chair on another. I didn't consider this to be a problem because we have trouble finding anyone to step up and volunteer. However, we are now receiving a couple of complaints about the situation. I'm new to the HOA environment, and we are a new HOA, so I would like to get the opinions of others. Legal? Ethical?
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:643


09/14/2020 1:46 PM  
David,
It sounds to me that you have a Husband and Wife who care about the Community they live in and have time and energy to volunteer to make it better by giving of their time and talents.

I am curious why this would be questioned? Have they done anything wrong? As Co chairs they have only reporting duties to the Board of Directors who they are serving at the pleasure of at this point. If the HOA board every see that they are not doing the job that they are volunteering for they can be removed very easily by other volunteers.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16955


09/14/2020 1:47 PM  
David,

Ask those who are complaining if they are willing to serve on the committees.

If not, then simply explain we don't have enough volunteers and are happy they are volunteering.

If they are willing, accept their offer and move one of the individuals to a different committee.
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:10


09/14/2020 1:58 PM  
I honestly don't know the reason. We just created committees last month, and they haven't really done anything yet. I think it's a matter of principle to those who have objected. One of the complaints comes from a lady who was concerned about the "diversity" of the committees.

The property management company announced a series of committee meetings via Zoom, in which the property manager explained the purpose of each committee and asked for volunteers. Unsurprisingly, few volunteered and it took a little arm-twisting on my part to get enough volunteers.

We have a 55+ side and an all-ages side. At my suggestion each committee has a chair from both sides. We are also a diverse community, and the committees currently appear to match that diversity.

But I'm curious if this is not considered "good form." If not, I'm sure some people would be willing to step down.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:643


09/14/2020 2:49 PM  
David,
In my last Community we had 6 different committees. As President of the HOA I always tried to get a Board member to be on every committee as a board representative so that the committee did not come up with some crazy requests that the board or our Bylaws would not be able to allow. I severed on a few committees at the same time because of lack of desire by a few of the Board. As a board member you always have a right to go to any of those meetings and observe them. Remember the committees serve at the pleasure of the board and if they are not playing well with others they can be release from the volunteer position.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9532


09/14/2020 2:51 PM  
Our HOA you had to be on the title to qualify to be on the Board. That is as a member or as an officer. However, committees are a bit different. That is because they are not part of the "board". The board has the final say. It's just the committees do a lot of the work in areas the board needs help with. Like a ARC may control appearances but they still have to answer to the board in the end.

So nothing wrong with a husband/wife being on committees. It may be if it's a board position. We had a husband/wife that changed board positions every year. 1 ran for the board every other year. Didn't serve together.

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9877


09/14/2020 3:42 PM  
While I do not like husband/wife being together on a BOD nor a committee, If no one else will do it I can tolerate it.

As far as committees go, I have less trouble with it as the BOD is the final say, not a committee.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7502


09/14/2020 4:27 PM  
There is no issue with the husband and the wife each serving on different or the same committees. (Unless your Bylaws forbid it)

It isn't a question of "good form." We very often have spouses of directors serving on committees. Question sometimes, but rarely, emerge when, our example, the Landscape Committee or Social Committee votes to seek additional funds form the Board for special plantings or special event and a member is a spouse of a director. Some grumble it's a conflict of interest.

But it certainly is not as the funds don't go to the spouse, but to the Committee.

Agree with MarkM that each committee should have a director on it, or a director assigned as a Board Liaison to guide the Committee regarding, say, expenses, or issues with the governing documents.
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:298


09/15/2020 6:25 AM  
Are units owners allowed to be on more than one committee? If the answer is yes than I don't see any issue at all. I could possibly see an issue if the husband and wife were on the same committee but in that case I think I would just allow one to vote on any issues the committee votes. It is great they are willing to volunteer and I would not discourage them.
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:750


09/15/2020 6:29 AM  
Ye gads! Are you guys from the 50’s? A woman can’t think for herself and needs a man to tell her how to vote? Husbands have that much political influence?

Shame on you all!!

Use thoughtful conflict of interest policies and be done with it.

The upcoming generations will not put up with that kind of misogynistic thinking, that’s for sure
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3460


09/15/2020 6:35 AM  
The answer may depend on your documents, but I don't see a You - usually advisory s address different subjects anyway. As others have said it's more of an issue if you're talking about the board. Many communities have one vote per house or unit, so if you had two people from the same household, they essentially get two votes, which would be wrong.
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:298


09/15/2020 6:38 AM  
Posted By SueW6 on 09/15/2020 6:29 AM
Ye gads! Are you guys from the 50’s? A woman can’t think for herself and needs a man to tell her how to vote? Husbands have that much political influence?

Shame on you all!!

Use thoughtful conflict of interest policies and be done with it.

The upcoming generations will not put up with that kind of misogynistic thinking, that’s for sure





Sue get your husband to read and explain the thread to you. You didn't comprehend this thread.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3113


09/15/2020 2:12 PM  
Sue, I think you missed the context.

To the OP - I would be extremely thankful for both of the committee volunteers - and would tell those concerned, “tough.”
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9877


09/15/2020 3:53 PM  
SueW6

The conversation flew over your head.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7502


09/15/2020 4:58 PM  
I think Sheila's off-base here. Very rare. But one vote per household refers to elections in which the entire membership votes.

Owners do not vote on Board decisions, board members do. Co-owners could serve on the board simultaneously if not forbidden by their bylaws or state laws (as in now the case in CA). I wouldn't like it, though, it's been sometimes necessary on some boards when no one else will step up to serve.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:349


09/16/2020 11:05 AM  
What is the theoretical risk here? That a husband and wife on the landscape committee will have a monopoly on the flowers chosen for the front entrance? Egads!



GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3113


09/18/2020 6:06 AM  
My read from the OP is that the H and W are on different committees.
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:10


09/18/2020 6:12 AM  
We actually have two scenarios:

Husband is on Facilities Committee and wife is on Social Committee. This one has not been specifically criticized.

Husband is the sole Resident Board Member (we're still in the stage where the Developer controls the board) and Wife is on the Social Committee. This is the one that has been specifically mentioned.

MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:643


09/18/2020 6:25 AM  
David,
If you are still under Developer control than you really do not have a voice on this matter. The developer can literally do what they want until the community gets the majority on the Board.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3113


09/18/2020 6:59 AM  
Well, then, David.

I think the whole brouhaha is not a brouhaha, at all - it is simply someone with an opinion being critical of a circumstance - without any credible reason.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:349


09/18/2020 9:57 AM  
Posted By DavidG45 on 09/18/2020 6:12 AM
We actually have two scenarios:

Husband is on Facilities Committee and wife is on Social Committee. This one has not been specifically criticized.

Husband is the sole Resident Board Member (we're still in the stage where the Developer controls the board) and Wife is on the Social Committee. This is the one that has been specifically mentioned.





Still not clear what the concern is. The husband is one of at least 3 board members and doesn't have unilateral authority to grant the social committee any funds.
AugustinD


Posts:3900


09/18/2020 10:28 AM  
As Groucho Marx used to say, the duck descended with this response from TimB4:

Posted By TimB4 on 09/14/2020 1:47 PM
David,

Ask those who are complaining if they are willing to serve on the committees.

If not, then simply explain we don't have enough volunteers and are happy they are volunteering.

If they are willing, accept their offer and move one of the individuals to a different committee.


I agree with the others who posted similar (JohnC46, most of what KerryL1 posted, GeorgeS21, BarbaraT1, SamE2).

DavidG45, respectfully, I hope you remember to thank those who posted.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1540


09/18/2020 10:50 AM  
Hi David,

There's no issue with spouses serving on ad hoc, volunteer committees.

The issue could arise if a couple want to occupy two seats, as officers, on the board of directors.

Explain and then move on and not get bogged down since you're new to service.
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:10


09/20/2020 6:41 AM  
Thanks to everyone for the helpful comments. I guess there will simply always be people who complain no matter what you do, and I just have to get used to that!
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9877


09/20/2020 3:04 PM  
Posted By DavidG45 on 09/20/2020 6:41 AM
Thanks to everyone for the helpful comments. I guess there will simply always be people who complain no matter what you do, and I just have to get used to that!



They are often identified as CCO's. Chief Complaining Officers. Who they are soon becomes known to all. We treat them with benign neglect.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3113


09/20/2020 3:12 PM  
And, don't forget the term "ankle-biters!"
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