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Subject: Annual meeting but no proxy distributed
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Author Messages
ChrisE8
(New York)

Posts:225


11/20/2020 2:47 AM  
If a HOA has an annual meeting, is it risky or even somewhat normal for the HOA NOT to distribute proxies?

In a HOA in NC, I received a notice of an annual meeting (to be held in December 31), but it was just a notice, stating the time and place of the meeting (plus a 2021 budget). There was no ballot, no information about the board and no proxy.

I asked another owner about there being no proxy and was told, “you just make your own proxy and give it to someone you know, if you care.” The board president and other board members apparently just make their own proxies and get their friends to sign them, which makes it easy for the board to get re-elected each year. It’s certainly easy to win re-election when your opponents are informed of the election and aren’t given proxies and aren’t given ballots unless they attend the annual meeting (most likely wouldn’t, on New Year’s Eve).

Thoughts?

Thanks.
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:781


11/20/2020 3:55 AM  
What was on the agenda?
ChrisE8
(New York)

Posts:225


11/20/2020 4:25 AM  
Posted By SueW6 on 11/20/2020 3:55 AM
What was on the agenda?




Nothing was listed. The bylaws state that directors are elected at each annual meeting, but the bylaws just require notice of the time, place and date of the meeting; no agenda has to be included in the notice.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1368


11/20/2020 5:33 AM  
The obvious problem would not be achieving quorum, but the board seems to have that one covered.

One other possible issue would be that the DIY poxies don't contain the necessary items or legalese and thus are not valid in your state.

Incumbents always have the edge over challengers. They know how the game is played and this (possibly over-) confidence can be confused with competence. However, a serious challenger who has lived in the community should at least know how the election game is played and could start to campaign a year ahead. If there is some hot-button issue handy or at least enough dissatisfied owners, the challenger could have enough support to gain a seat at the table.

Of course that's when his real work starts. Getting elected is the easy part. Putting changes into effect is harder and may not be possible given the other board dynamics. Putting lasting changes into effect is almost impossible unless they're CC&R amendments or something like that. There never seems to be a shortage of clueless people who want power or think they know what they're doing, and the hard workers burn out or move away after a while.

That may sound pessimistic, but serving on the board will beat any false optimism out of you pretty quickly, and at some point nearly everyone asks themselves why they're working so hard for so little reward.


SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3577


11/20/2020 6:38 AM  
Think about it - if you know an annual meeting is coming up and You can't be there and You also know there's a board election, wouldn't it make sense to ensure you can cast a vote in advance so it could be counted or at least ask if you could appoint someone to attend in your place and cast a vote on your behalf? And if everyone else is completing a oroxy, maybe you should get out a piece of paper and do the same, and give it to someone you trust. Or make time to attend that meeting and speak for yourself.

I don't know what you plan to do, but as some have noted, not showing up or assigning a proxy is a great way to guarantee the ones in power stay there. I say over and over on this website - when homeowners don't hold themselves or their neighbors in check (that's what board members are), they shouldn't be surprised at what may happen next.

It makes sense for a HOA to prepare a properly worded proxy to send to homeowners so you can avoid stuff like ballot stuffing or ineligible people casting votes (usually delinquent homeowners),followed by threats of or actual lawsuits. Then again, this is another chapter in the posts you've presented that demonstrate people in your community appear to be just fine with pulling stuff out of their behind and doing whatever as long as they get away with it. If this is the community where your rental property is located, it would appear the closing date for your sake can't come soon enough (assuming the seller hasn't already walked away - I know I would.)

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10130


11/20/2020 9:45 AM  
Chris

According to you, the BOD gave proper notice thus the reasons they run it this way are:

1. They know they will not make Quorum thus no election and the BOD stays in place.

2. They know they will make Quorum and have an election.

Also as you are out of there in two weeks, it will no longer be any of your business how they operate.
FloridaC1
(Florida)

Posts:3


11/20/2020 12:03 PM  
This is called, "First Notice of Annual Meeting". It does not have to contain a proxy or an Agenda based upon your documents. The "Second Notice" would contain the Intent to be a Candidate, Proxy, Agenda, last years Annual Meeting Minutes for approval, etc. Now, I've done Annual Meeting mailings for HOAs that are just one notice as well which include everything. You might want to read your documents and take the Board Certification class if you're a Board member...
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10130


11/20/2020 1:09 PM  
We do one notice 30 days prior to our Annual Meeting via US Mail containing:

1. A two part Proxy. One part of the Proxy is used to count toward Quorum. The 2nd part assigns the Proxy to the BOD.

2. An Agenda is included.

3. There is also a call for anyone wishing to run for the BOD and how many spots are available (usually 2 to 3 on a 5 person board). As we allow nominations from the floor we do nothing prior to the meeting about elections.

We read and ask for approval of Last Years Annual Meeting Minutes at the meeting. Always been a unanimous Yes.

We present the Year End Financials and the New (which has already started) Budget. The PM presents the financials/budget and I, the Finance Chairman, back him up. We field any questions but we usually only get one or two minor questions one of which is always about what are we doing on delinquencies (liens but we have never foreclosures).

We conduct a BOD Election run by our PM. Only once did we ever have more candidates then open positions thus an actual election. Usually we are begging for people to be on the BOD.

We have an open Q&A Session prior to the end of the meeting. We are fortunate in that we do not have any ankle biters. We use to have one but his health is failing so he does not attend anymore. Most questions are on landscaping (the HOA does all landscaping) and personal questions about being able to do something like plant a tree.

As we have no amenities we are not a complex association.

Our Annual Meetings is done in less than two hours.

ChrisE8
(New York)

Posts:225


11/20/2020 2:01 PM  
Thanks, everyone (particularly for the description of how annual meetings should work, contrary to this situation).

This was the "one and only" annual meeting notice. No agenda, no director names, no financial statements, no anything other than the time and place of the meeting. Democracy, 2020-style.
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