Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Thursday, May 13, 2021











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: Just got elected President
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
JackJ9
(Oregon)

Posts:8


05/01/2021 8:29 AM  
Hello,

I've been in the board for about 18 months now, and everyone that was on the board previously has left, leaving me as the most experienced person. I'm also the most active person. I was the Treasurer and now was elected to be President. Have some questions. These are not black and white questions, but I'm mulling things over.

1) Do I need to actually hand over all of my internal files to the new Treasurer? We're all volunteers and I am not sure the skillset of the new Treasurer. I created lots of neat handy Excel charts in my role as Treasurer and don't really want to hand these over. They are my charts after all and I didn't create them for someone else to use. I'm thinking that the new Treasurer should create his own files as he feels fit, if he feels he needs any at all.

2) How do we as a board "rein in" problematic board members? I tried to have another board member work with a vendor on a particular task, and the result was the board member and the vendor got into an argument, the vendor huffed off, and refused to create a proposal for the work that we needed done. There have been many other times that this board member has wanted to push vendors "too hard" in my opinion, which I've blocked in the past, but it's going to be more difficult to block other board members actions now that I'm in the President's chair.

Thank you

JackJ

JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:569


05/01/2021 8:42 AM  
I simply can't understand the mindset of not offering the Excel files to the new Treasurer if it will help your HOA run more efficiently. A good leader goes out of their way to make others successful.
AugustinD


Posts:300


05/01/2021 8:44 AM  
Posted By JackJ9 on 05/01/2021 8:29 AM

1) Do I need to actually hand over all of my internal files to the new Treasurer? We're all volunteers and I am not sure the skillset of the new Treasurer. I created lots of neat handy Excel charts in my role as Treasurer and don't really want to hand these over. They are my charts after all and I didn't create them for someone else to use. I'm thinking that the new Treasurer should create his own files as he feels fit, if he feels he needs any at all.
I think I would turn over hard copies to the new Treasurer, as a courtesy, and be willing to answer questions from him or her. I know being Treasurer is a lot of work.

Posted By JackJ9 on 05/01/2021 8:29 AM
2) How do we as a board "rein in" problematic board members? I tried to have another board member work with a vendor on a particular task,
Please clarify: Do you think your job as president includes assigning directors to work with vendors? Or is this something on which the board as a whole should vote?

In my opinion the Board, when it assigns tasks to directors that involve communicating with vendors, should be very clear with the director that she or he will represent the Association as a whole on this one task and must not make decisions that are the boards to make. The tasks must be of a neutral nature, like say a director is tasked with coming up contacting five vendors from whom to solicit bids for a major contract. No negotiations should take place. The director shares the exact same info with each vendor.
JackJ9
(Oregon)

Posts:8


05/01/2021 8:51 AM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 05/01/2021 8:42 AM
I simply can't understand the mindset of not offering the Excel files to the new Treasurer if it will help your HOA run more efficiently. A good leader goes out of their way to make others successful.




I don't know if the new guy has the expertise, time, or desire to keep the Excel spreadsheets updated. If he does, I cringe a bit that he'll get credit for the neat charts that are presented. The initial creation of the charts took me a lot of time (many, many hours) but they are relatively simple to keep updated. I guess I'm kinda proud of them and didn't spend all that time creating them just to give them to someone else to use and receive credit for.
JackJ9
(Oregon)

Posts:8


05/01/2021 8:57 AM  
Posted By JackJ9 on 05/01/2021 8:51 AM
Posted By JohnT38 on 05/01/2021 8:42 AM
I simply can't understand the mindset of not offering the Excel files to the new Treasurer if it will help your HOA run more efficiently. A good leader goes out of their way to make others successful.




I don't know if the new guy has the expertise, time, or desire to keep the Excel spreadsheets updated. If he does, I cringe a bit that he'll get credit for the neat charts that are presented. The initial creation of the charts took me a lot of time (many, many hours) but they are relatively simple to keep updated. I guess I'm kinda proud of them and didn't spend all that time creating them just to give them to someone else to use and receive credit for.





From reading your posts, I believe you work with a philosophy of a high degree of organization and formality. Our board is not run that way. We meet every 3 months for an hour or two and handle everything in between via e-mail. It's the only way to effectively run our association.

So we don't decide as a board which person should go talk to a vendor, or decide as a board what the scope of work should be. Any of us go work with a vendor, and circulate proposals to the board for approval.

As President, I feel my job is the run the meetings that we do have, and then everything else is voluntary.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:569


05/01/2021 8:58 AM  
Posted By JackJ9 on 05/01/2021 8:51 AM
Posted By JohnT38 on 05/01/2021 8:42 AM
I simply can't understand the mindset of not offering the Excel files to the new Treasurer if it will help your HOA run more efficiently. A good leader goes out of their way to make others successful.




I don't know if the new guy has the expertise, time, or desire to keep the Excel spreadsheets updated. If he does, I cringe a bit that he'll get credit for the neat charts that are presented. The initial creation of the charts took me a lot of time (many, many hours) but they are relatively simple to keep updated. I guess I'm kinda proud of them and didn't spend all that time creating them just to give them to someone else to use and receive credit for.




Put your pride aside and do the right thing for the HOA. I seriously doubt any homeowner will be looking to pin a medal on the chest of someone because of the wonderful Excel spreadsheet he or she created.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1881


05/01/2021 8:59 AM  
Former board president here. My opinions:

* I would share the Excel spreadsheets. If you were an employee, your employer would own any work product you created. Likewise, HOA records belong to the HOA, and any director is entitled to see them.

Further, it's in your best interest, as a board member and as a homeowner, that your new treasurer is able to do a good job.

I may change my mind if your spreadsheets were developed for a different purpose or there is some sort of intellectual property stuff going on. But really, HOA accounting is pretty much the same everywhere - it's hard to get innovative with this stuff.

Alternative: if you don't want to share, look online for HOA software or free templates online.

* If I were assigning people to work with vendors, I'd assign the most capable one and that would include people skills. If you manage to run off a potential vendor before they even submit a bid, you really need to rethink your approach.

If you as a board president think that none of the directors can conduct themselves professionally, then automate the process as much as possible: develop clear project requirements and background information, everything should be in writing so that you can minimize in-person transactions. (You should do this anyway so that the HOA has good records.

At some point most vendors will need a site visit before they bid - that's when you assign Mr/Ms Congeniality work meet with the person.


JackJ9
(Oregon)

Posts:8


05/01/2021 9:06 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 05/01/2021 8:59 AM
Former board president here. My opinions:

* I would share the Excel spreadsheets. If you were an employee, your employer would own any work product you created. Likewise, HOA records belong to the HOA, and any director is entitled to see them.

Further, it's in your best interest, as a board member and as a homeowner, that your new treasurer is able to do a good job.

I may change my mind if your spreadsheets were developed for a different purpose or there is some sort of intellectual property stuff going on. But really, HOA accounting is pretty much the same everywhere - it's hard to get innovative with this stuff.

Alternative: if you don't want to share, look online for HOA software or free templates online.




To be clear, I am not an accountant. We outsource the accounting of our HOA ledgers to our property manager who does the taxes, collects the revenue, and provides PDF copies of the ledger to the Treasurer each month. All of this will be going to the new person. The charts that I had created are supplemental to this and used to monitor spending throughout the year.

I think my objection is that if I hand them over to the new guy, they may not be used (they require a fair amount of effort to keep up throughout the year). I really enjoy using the spreadsheets and would rather than keep them updated myself.
AugustinD


Posts:300


05/01/2021 9:21 AM  
Posted By JackJ9 on 05/01/2021 8:57 AM
We meet every 3 months for an hour or two and handle everything in between via e-mail.
Excerpt from the Oregon HOA statute, Section 94.640:

=== Start Excerpt ===
(8)
(a) All meetings of the board of directors of the association shall be open to owners, except that at the discretion of the board, the board may close the meeting to owners other than board members and meet in executive session to:
(A) Consult with legal counsel.
(B) Consider the following:
(i) Personnel matters, including salary negotiations and employee discipline;
(ii) Negotiation of contracts with third parties; or
(iii) Collection of unpaid assessments.

(b) Except in the case of an emergency, the board of directors of an association shall vote in an open meeting whether to meet in executive session. If the board of directors votes to meet in executive session, the presiding officer of the board of directors shall state the general nature of the action to be considered and, as precisely as possible, when and under what circumstances the deliberations can be disclosed to owners. The statement, motion or decision to meet in executive session must be included in the minutes of the meeting.

(9) The meeting and notice requirements in subsections (8) and (10) of this section may not be circumvented by chance or social meetings or by any other means.

(10) In a planned community in which the majority of the lots are the principal residences of the occupants, meetings of the board of directors must comply with the following:
(a) For other than emergency meetings, notice of board of directors' meetings shall be posted at a place or places on the property at least three days prior to the meeting or notice shall be provided by a method otherwise reasonably calculated to inform lot owners of such meetings;
(b) Emergency meetings may be held without notice, if the reason for the emergency is stated in the minutes of the meeting; and
(c) Only emergency meetings of the board of directors may be conducted by telephonic communication or by the use of a means of communication that allows all members of the board of directors participating to hear each other simultaneously or otherwise to be able to communicate during the meeting. A member of the board of directors participating in a meeting by this means is deemed to be present in person at the meeting.
=== End Excerpt ===

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10944


05/01/2021 9:53 AM  
Let us all give Jack a pat on the back. Did the word anal not occur to some?
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1695


05/01/2021 10:58 AM  

1. If you've established a working protocol using Excel Spreadsheets, it's in your interest to train the new Treasurer on the processes that work for you to lead the HOA Board of Directors. Otherwise, your processes will wither and the Treasurer, if inexperienced, may develop inferior processes in good-faith.

2. You, as president, need to represent the board of directors in early conversations with potential vendors. It's unacceptable for board members to be arguing with vendors. In fact, it's so unprofessional as to be a disqualifier. As president, you can absolutely and discretely inform vendors of the most constructive communication paths, including a "be nice to this person but speak with me about official decisions. I'm a president and I've had to protect vendors from pushy board directors. Pushiness reflects incompetence in my opinion.

As a president, there's no need to micro-manage anything but core business communication channels and the preservation of quality partnerships.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1881


05/01/2021 2:27 PM  
Further explanation did not yield clarity for me.

Disclaimer: I don't know the OP from Adam, have no idea what's going, and I'm not accusing anyone of anything. But...

I spent a good part of my career working with financial information systems, including data security. So I'm suspicious by nature and by profession.

Any push back at turning over financial data to others who are entitled to see it would jump out at me as Needs to Be Investigated. At the very least I'd be getting my hands on financial records for the last however many years are needed and going over them with a fine tooth comb. The fact that much of the financial work is being done by third parties lessens the likelihood of anything being amiss. But once you catch my attention, I take nothing on faith until I'm satisfied that everything is copacetic.

I wouldn't react the same way if someone created a lovely template for doing the newsletter and didn't want to share. Fine, whatever. But, ya know.... money.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8014


05/01/2021 4:15 PM  
It'll help me understand your situation, Jack, if you tell us how many units/homes are in your HOA? How many directors? How many meetings a year do your bylaws say you should have?

Meanwhile, I'm concerned that your Board's approach is way too casual and may even jeopardize your HOA given OR statutes. It's important to note that Your whole board can be liable for a director who insults potential vendors. This same director might insult your current vendors to the extent they'd holler "hostile work environment."

John of SC often smirks & brags about the casual approach that HOAs in SC can use. And that boards can make decisions in secret behind their members' backs. I don't know why he keeps it up. He well knows that different states have very different laws about board meetings, notice requirements, etc.

Offhand, Jack, it looks like your Board needs a solid 1 hour seminar with your HOA attorney who'll clarify directors' obligations & responsiilities per your CC&Rs, Bylaws and OR statutes. S/he might also give you useful advice about delegating certain tasks to certain directors or officers.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8014


05/01/2021 4:15 PM  
It'll help me understand your situation, Jack, if you tell us how many units/homes are in your HOA? How many directors? How many meetings a year do your bylaws say you should have?

Meanwhile, I'm concerned that your Board's approach is way too casual and may even jeopardize your HOA given OR statutes. It's important to note that Your whole board can be liable for a director who insults potential vendors. This same director might insult your current vendors to the extent they'd holler "hostile work environment."

John of SC often smirks & brags about the casual approach that HOAs in SC can use. And that boards can make decisions in secret behind their members' backs. I don't know why he keeps it up. He well knows that different states have very different laws about board meetings, notice requirements, etc.

Offhand, Jack, it looks like your Board needs a solid 1 hour seminar with your HOA attorney who'll clarify directors' obligations & responsiilities per your CC&Rs, Bylaws and OR statutes. S/he might also give you useful advice about delegating certain tasks to certain directors or officers.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:790


05/02/2021 8:23 PM  
Jack,
As the new President you are now the one that is the leader of the HOA. Sure everyone gets the same voting powers but as the spokesperson for the board at all of the meeting if your other board members do not have the tolls to be successful YOU will more than your 20% voting share of the fallout.

As someone who has lead 2 different HOAs for 7 years it is my job to make the TEAM successful. That means dealing with some who give little effort and others that contribute more time and energy. If you have a tool that helps a fellow board member and choose not to share it I think your leadership skills may need some tuning. As others have mentioned your Fiduciary Duty is to the HOA not to your own ego. You will win if you can get your HOA to be better during your tenure than it was before.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17599


05/02/2021 10:10 PM  
Jack,

I believe anyone who serves on the board should make it easier for the people who come after them.

For example, I've served in all positions on my board. As such, I created binders showing the minimum that had to be done to keep the Association operational. The duties of the office. Links to all documents, etc. These included calendars showing when each item should be done and examples on how to do them. These were provided in both paper and electronic format.

If you are that concerned of the capabilities of the individual serving as treasurer, then you should lobby to be appointed to that office and have someone else serve as President. At the very least, as others have said, you should offer to train.
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Just got elected President



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