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Subject: Help out a new HOA President
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JonB2
(South Carolina)

Posts:2


03/29/2021 7:39 AM  
Hello, I am new to this forum and looking for some help. I have been HOA President for a few months and need some guidance about conducting my first HOA meeting. Over the last week I had two members of our ARC decide to resign leaving only 1 member left. I don't see anything in our covenants that states the number of members needed to maintain this committee. I don't know of any other documents or bylaws that I can rely on for help in this situation.

If I have people who want to join the ARC, Does that need a vote by the attendees at the meeting?

Thanks in advance. I am in SC.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3862


03/29/2021 8:33 AM  
Welcome to the forum and congrats on the new position!

Regarding the ARC, the Board usually appoints the members and since it charters advisory committees, it can have as many members it feels are necessary to do the job. It also decides what the ARC will do. In some communities, the committee reviews exterior change requests and approves or disapproves them, while others review the request and gather information, then make recommendations to the board on accepting or rejecting the request. Personally, I prefer the latter, because the Board is ultimately responsible for overseeing rules enforcement.

You might want to ask the former committee members why they quit - maybe there's something that can be easily fixed. The board needs to decide what's important to them as far as how the ARC should operate and write it down - inconsistency by the board may be why the members left. Once you figure that out, a formal charter could be voted upon during a regular board meeting and published in a community newsletter or on its website, so potential volunteers will know what's expected of them. This would also be a good time to remind all homeowners of the ARC process and why it exists.

You could ask the former members if they'd be willing to stay on until new ones are appointed, but if they don't, thank them for their service and during the next meeting, announce members are needed and the board is looking for volunteers.

It may be tempting to appoint the first two who raise their hands, but I think you should do a brief interview. How long have they lived in the community, have they ever gone through the ARC process, why they want to join the committee, are they familiar with the community's design standards, if any, are they comfortable with the amount of work required (no need to volunteer if you don't really have the time), how would they respond if a neighbor goes nuts if his/her application is denied, etc. Then the board can take a vote as to whether to appoint the volunteers or not.

If you get several volunteers, it may be helpful to come up with a questionnaire they can complete and return, and then the board can discuss some of their concerns, if any, during the next meeting and take a vote. Appointments to any committee should be done during an open meeting and voted upon b the board. Make sure the new members understand they serve at the pleasure of the board, meaning they can be replaced at any time for any reason. That said, it's appropriate and professional to explain why, keeping personalities out of it (e.g. failure to attend meetings).

By the way, since you are a new HOA board president and didn't say if you've been a board member before (or even if you have), may I suggest you review your documents so you'll know what the president can and can't do (you're only one vote and the rest of the board can remove YOU from the position). I'm always recommending education materials from the CAI website, which has all sorts of information on HOA issues, including officer positions and best practices on how to approach the job. Keep reading conversations on this website and you'll also learn how some people approach the job and are effective, while others....aren't. Good luck!
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10817


03/29/2021 8:52 AM  
Jon

Typically the BOD appoints people to committees. Some associations have a BOD Member as Chairperson of a Committee for better communication with the BOD.

Our docs say committees are allowed but do not specify what committees. We have no committees. The BOD makes all decisions. That said we rarely get any ARC requests. ARC questions we get but no formal requests. Reason being is we maintain a common look so few changes are allowed/made.
JonB2
(South Carolina)

Posts:2


03/29/2021 10:34 AM  
Thank you both for the replies! We have a meeting tonight and I"m sure I will be posting more questions soon. I was Vice President of our Board last two years but feel a good bit more responsibility now than before.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:775


03/29/2021 11:42 AM  
Jon,
It is always very helpful if we get some information about your community. Here are some of the basics that will help everyone help you.

1) How many units in your Community?
2) Condos or SF Homes?
3) Do you have a Management Company that handles the day to day tasks.
4) How many board members total?
5) How old is your community?
6) What happened to the last board president?
7) How many ARC applications do you get monthly?

You mentioned you have been on the board for the last 2 years so surely you have seen how that president ran the HOA. I would make minor changes while following the same general format. Was a recent shake up in the HOA that caused your ARC to resign?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7949


03/29/2021 2:01 PM  
I'd like to see replies to Mark's questions too, JonB.
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