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Subject: Obstructive Director
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LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:203


05/16/2021 4:48 PM  
We have a Director who obstructs every meeting with complaints and accusations against the President. the President tries to keep control of the meeting but is usually unsuccessful and so the accusations etc. continue for 20-30 minutes ( or longer) until he get tired or is made to understand from other board members that his behavior is out of order etc. The President will say we need to stay on topic with the agenda. Nothing works. What can we do? The President says she could threaten to adjourn the meeting, but that needs a majority vote and he might not get it. This happens at every meeting and is such a waste of time. What can we do?

Thank you.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/16/2021 5:19 PM  
Is this the same troublemaker you've complained about previously? Was that advice no good? Are you the president?

AugustinD


Posts:1920


05/16/2021 5:52 PM  
Posted By LouH1 on 05/16/2021 4:48 PM
We have a Director who obstructs every meeting with complaints and accusations against the President. the President tries to keep control of the meeting but is usually unsuccessful and so the accusations etc. continue for 20-30 minutes ( or longer) until he get tired or is made to understand from other board members that his behavior is out of order etc. The President will say we need to stay on topic with the agenda. Nothing works. What can we do? The President says she could threaten to adjourn the meeting, but that needs a majority vote and he might not get it. This happens at every meeting and is such a waste of time. What can we do?
-- I recommend a meeting of the board with the HOA attorney. I expect this director will act up at even this meeting. The HOA attorney needs to inform this director in no uncertain terms that he is obstructing the business of the corporation, and this may have legal implications, including his violation of his fiduciary duty. Ask the attorney to inform this person that if he continues to disrupt the meeting, by straying from the agenda, he will be required to attend by Zoom, and the president will reserve the right to cut off his sound when he goes off-topic, returning his sound when the next item on the agenda commences.

-- If this director is speaking at length about a topic on the agenda, place time limits for directors' commentary.

-- If the disruption is severe enough, ask the attorney whether having a security guard attend the meetings is appropriate, with disruptive people (including directors), escorted out as needed.

-- Ask the attorney if warning the director that he may be the subject of a court-ordered restraining order is appropriate.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


05/17/2021 6:51 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 05/16/2021 5:52 PM
Posted By LouH1 on 05/16/2021 4:48 PM
We have a Director who obstructs every meeting with complaints and accusations against the President. the President tries to keep control of the meeting but is usually unsuccessful and so the accusations etc. continue for 20-30 minutes ( or longer) until he get tired or is made to understand from other board members that his behavior is out of order etc. The President will say we need to stay on topic with the agenda. Nothing works. What can we do? The President says she could threaten to adjourn the meeting, but that needs a majority vote and he might not get it. This happens at every meeting and is such a waste of time. What can we do?
-- I recommend a meeting of the board with the HOA attorney. I expect this director will act up at even this meeting. The HOA attorney needs to inform this director in no uncertain terms that he is obstructing the business of the corporation, and this may have legal implications, including his violation of his fiduciary duty. Ask the attorney to inform this person that if he continues to disrupt the meeting, by straying from the agenda, he will be required to attend by Zoom, and the president will reserve the right to cut off his sound when he goes off-topic, returning his sound when the next item on the agenda commences.

... snip ...



It may be a violation of state law to disrupt meetings or to prevent business from being conducted. The attorney would be able to tell the board if similar laws are in effect in Colorado and what the penalties are.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


05/17/2021 6:52 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 05/17/2021 6:51 AM
... snip ....
It may be a violation of state law to disrupt meetings or to prevent business from being conducted. The attorney would be able to tell the board if similar laws are in effect in Colorado and what the penalties are.



Or in Michigan. (I need coffee....)
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:203


05/17/2021 9:08 AM  
Agustin D.....How can you be up so early? As usual, you have responded in a timely manner with GREAT suggestions. I was hoping you would give me an answer and not respond, as others do, with more questions that don't address my question. Thank you again, and again, and again. You are the BEST!

CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


05/17/2021 9:28 AM  
Posted By LouH1 on 05/17/2021 9:08 AM
... snip ...I was hoping you would give me an answer and not respond, as others do, with more questions that don't address my question. Thank you again, and again, and again. You are the BEST!




Can't less this slide.

The reason people posting questions receive a slew of questions in response is that they did not - contrary to what they may believe - provide enough information for others to give accurate answers.

It does nobody any good for people to make assumptions about the missing information and get it wrong.


KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/17/2021 1:29 PM  
Sorry to ask more annoying questions, Lou. If the rogue director is taking about a non agenda item, a director of the meeting chair (usually the prez) states ""point of Order. We must follow the agenda!" If the jerk doesn't stop, the director again raises her/his voice and stands up declaring "Point of Order, Point of order!" XX is out of order with this remark. Then, the president rules that s/he must stop. I've only stood once to quell an owners ' lengthy & rude remarks and it's amazing the effect that can have.

Sorry I don't have time to look at Robert's rules, but you've mentioned them before. Try "point of Order" in the Index?

Now Lou, if you don't have any other director willing to do this or support you (the prez?) in dampening this creep's poor behavior, you have far more problems than just him/her.

If s/he refuses, ask that she leave the meeting and return when he can comport themselves properly.

I like Augustin's ideas too, but think you can try some preliminary steps first that don't involve an attorney's billings
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


05/17/2021 1:42 PM  
Lou

Until the Pres has the balls to standup to the Director, the obstructions will continue.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


05/17/2021 1:59 PM  
I agree about trying the practical steps KerryL1 describes so well. It's sad that sometimes, a President may have to get loud and kinda nasty and intimidating to get cooperation and maintain order. But even judges snarl now and then when an attorney is over-the-top. Hopefully the President is on the correct side of the law when she or he does this (as I believe the President would be in LouH1's HOA's case). I agree with CathyA3 and JohnC46 as well.
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:203


05/18/2021 7:25 AM  
KathyA3

I, also can't let this slide.....Funny that responders like AugustinD doesn't have to be "snippy" ( a whole different meaning of the word) and avoid answering the question, but, instead asks personal questions about previously asking the question, or is the questioner someone else etc. ? Neither of these comments/questions are necessary in their response.

Many of you avoid answering questions you aren't interested in, it seems, so just don't answer if you can't ask questions that directly pertaining to the inquiry content. If you don't feel like answering my question without asking personal questions or making personal remarks, don't respond at all. I am fine with that and respect that as well.

In fairness, I know you are all doing your best to help us and I really do appreciate your assistance in my problems. But, if you can't answer a queston witout asking personal questions (which don't pertain at all to the inquiry) or make personal remarks or comments......just please don't reply at all.

Thanks very much!
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:203


05/18/2021 7:28 AM  
Ooops, this should have gone to Kerry L1 not KathyA3. My apologies.
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:203


05/18/2021 7:29 AM  
No, I reread, it is confusing the way things are posted. It should have gone to both KarryL! and Kathy A3. No apologies.....
AugustinD


Posts:1920


05/18/2021 7:49 AM  
Posted By LouH1 on 05/18/2021 7:25 AM
Funny that responders like AugustinD doesn't have to be "snippy" ( a whole different meaning of the word) and avoid answering the question, but, instead asks personal questions about previously asking the question, or is the questioner someone else etc. ?
LouH1, respectfully, I get quite snippy, snarky, condescending and more with some posters here, including newbies. I eviscerated someone not long ago who referred to communicating to his HOA's members, "Our HOA's values." (How about communicating the HOA's covenants, bylaws and a bit of the state's HOA statute now and then?) Picky picky. Perhaps I am playing the bad cop in these instances. Someone else often jumps in and plays the good cop. At times, I suppose there is a need for both the bad cop and the good cop. The moderator has deleted some of my posts. ("Oh no Mr. Bill!" Seriously, I think it sucks having to moderate much of the cr-p here.)

I sometimes go looking at previous threads, by a certain poster, seeking more context. I will even link old threads in new threads (with both the old and new threads started by the same poster), all to try to help with context, and ask the OP 'What about this from several months ago?'

Most of the time newbie posters do not provide enough information, typically on account of a lack of sophistication when it comes to HOAs, condos and covenants. I think you provided enough information here, and I think you were quite concrete and exact regarding your needs. Which is incredibly helpful. But I can understand someone wanting to know if this scoundrel (who disrupts board meetings) is the same scoundrel you may have brought up elsewhere, and so a more comprehensive approach (if this exists) to said scoundrel is needed.
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:203


05/18/2021 8:26 AM  
Augustin D......Thank you for your response. Perhaps you have enlightened me further and I am the one being too 'hard" on the individuals who are trying to be helpful to either the "newbies" (I was a newbie a couple years ago.....) or just in general. FYI: We have 2 scoundrels on our board, and one bordering on that definition. Anyway, I have replied, in the past, to responders who have, in my estimation, been disrespectful and down right nasty for not good reasons and called them out. You, (is Mr. Bill listening?) AugustinD guide people (questioners) to different avenues of assistance like their own covenants or state law etc. (Note: I think NONE of our directors have read all our By-Laws or Master Deed). It is discouraging and I can and do get snippy and snarky too.

I feel honored that you answer my frequent questions and provide me with options, ideas, and direction. Refreshing to me! In all fairness, I get this somewhat from very few other people with whom you "work" and I appreciate it greatly. I think they all respect you and those who don't are just jealous of your knowledge capability.

So, if you get really exasperated with me, and go off, I will understand. Much of the cr-p that you have to moderate is repetitive stuff and I would think that makes it even more difficult. But, "Mr. Bill" again.....if you are listening, I would suggest you moderate some of the "regulars" who respond (about 90% of the time) in offensive ways......not just occasionally when it is deserved.

Thanks again, Mr. Augustin D. YOU have been a great help to me and I hope you will continue to be "there" for my and other's "needs."
AugustinD


Posts:1920


05/18/2021 12:08 PM  
LouH1,

-- You are no newbie. I am sorry if I was not clear on this point. I do think you are one of many regulars here dealing with boards who, like you indicate, do not think one of their principal duties is to comply with the governing documents (Bylaws, covenants and Rules and Regs) and state law and exercise only those powers delineated in the gov docs and state law. It's great that you understand this. But I know it's one heckuva battle. Given the social dynamics of groups, the herd mentality, the reality that directors are volunteers, it's a battle in which I think few are successful. When a director is successful in causing change, the effort usually takes months and months.

-- I am not a moderator. I think I have reported maybe one to three posts here as offensive and inappropriate. I think only one of these got taken down. And it was a doozie, so I am glad the moderator took action and then some.

-- I am sure you are the type who is passing along any luck you have here (with resolving whatever) to others.

-- I admit I often wish there were more active moderation too. Then again the "marketplace of ideas" often works its magic and drowns out nonsensical (IMO) responses.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:300


05/18/2021 12:53 PM  
JohnC46 that was the correct answer. Too many people who are in leadership positions do not like conflict and will avoid it at all costs. The leaders will not have the critical conversations that are required of leadership. Leadership is a lot different than management.
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:203


05/18/2021 1:22 PM  
Perfectly said! Thank you! Yes, it is taking months and months, but I don't give up easily and this community is worth the effort, I think. It may eventually do-me-in, but not for awhile yet. I have a supportive and intelligent husband/friend as well as many homeowners who thank me regularly. You have helped me enormously, however.


When I decide I am going to ask HOATalk something, I can hardly wait to get some answers (and my husband is constantly saying, did AugustinD answer yet.... ha ha. Sometimes you aren't around so I treasure the times you are.

Peg
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/18/2021 5:27 PM  
This advice might interest others who read these posts. It's from a site compiled, plus advice, by CA HOA lawyers: Davis-stirling.com, Index, director, meetings

"DISRUPTIVE DIRECTORS
QUESTION: Can a board member be censured for continually interrupting other board members at meetings? She has been warned over and over on this issue. What exactly does censuring mean, what does it accomplish?

ANSWER: Yes, boards can censure fellow directors for disrupting meetings or otherwise behaving badly.

Orderly Meetings. Board meetings are supposed to be run in an orderly fashion to accomplish the business of the association. Rules of parliamentary procedure were created for that purpose. If one director is constantly DISRUPTING meetings, business is delayed and directors become frustrated and either cease voicing their opinions or, worse, resign from the board.

Procedure. In the case where a director is disrupting the meeting by interrupting other directors, the censure can be imposed immediately. Under Robert's Rules of Order:

'in any case of an offense against the assembly [the HOA Board] occurring in a meeting, there is no need for a formal trial provided that any penalty is imposed promptly after the breach, since the witnesses are all present and make up the body [they are Board members] that is to determine the penalty.' (Robert's Rules, 11th ed., p. 646.)

Minutes. If done in an open meeting, the censure is recorded in the minutes of the meeting and becomes a public record for the membership's review. If it occurs in executive session, the minutes are not open for review but the action can be reported in the executive session summary recorded in the next open meeting minutes. (Civ. Code §4935(e).)"

So what a board needs is a majority of those present to first ask the violator of prop behavior to stop. As written previously, a director or the meeting chair calls "point of order! Point of Order!" This erosion states that XX must be instructed to speak only on agenda items." The chair instructs the violating director to follow the agenda wait for their turn or whatever. If that fails, a director or the prez calls a point of order again and even makes motion to censure the offending director. The censure can be the director must speak for the remainder of the meeting, for instance. (Not sure this is OK) The board, tho' could vote to remove the offender form an offices or committees they're on.

This only works, however, if a Board majority agrees to either shout "Point of order!" to get things rolling. The chair agrees with the point of order, or not. Failing that, the majority votes to censure the director. On a Board where there are 2-/1/2 offenders, I feel there's not much chance of success.

Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, In Brief, 2011, p. 90 is about (even) shouting "Point of Order!"
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


05/19/2021 11:52 AM  
To an unruly BOD Member, censure has the same power as being hit with a wet noodle.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/19/2021 3:01 PM  
Censure CAN have power, JohnC, if done properly.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


05/20/2021 11:29 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 05/19/2021 3:01 PM
Censure CAN have power, JohnC, if done properly.



Explain how/what please.
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:203


05/21/2021 4:37 AM  
Yes, KellyL1, If you would please, let us know the proper way to do a censure. I thought it was a pretty simple procedure, Make a motion to censure including why etc. Vote, if majority it passes and person is considered censured. Not much more than that, then if passed, entered into the minutes. Have I missed something here?
Thank you.
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