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Subject: No proof of elections
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Author Messages
DakotaS
(Missouri)

Posts:30


05/30/2021 7:33 PM  
Hello everyone so our board has admitted they do not document or keep track of elections. Our restrictions and amendments state that they should hold elections every year electing two people at every annual meeting and each member has a term of 3 years before being required to be re-elected. We have members of our board that have been on the board for 25 years and there's no proof of elections at all. They don't follow the cc&rs and many residents are upset. I am located in Missouri so what can I do about this election issue I have asked for proof of the elections so I would know when each board member's term is up and I was basically told they did not have that information because they weren't elected they just volunteered and have been on ever since..... Thank you for the help!
AugustinD


Posts:601


05/30/2021 8:20 PM  
Posted By DakotaS on 05/30/2021 7:33 PM
Hello everyone so our board has admitted they do not document or keep track of elections. Our restrictions and amendments state that they should hold elections every year electing two people at every annual meeting and each member has a term of 3 years before being required to be re-elected. We have members of our board that have been on the board for 25 years and there's no proof of elections at all. They don't follow the cc&rs and many residents are upset. I am located in Missouri so what can I do about this election issue I have asked for proof of the elections so I would know when each board member's term is up and I was basically told they did not have that information because they weren't elected they just volunteered and have been on ever since..... Thank you for the help!
-- I would focus only on getting an election properly completed on the date specified in the Bylaws (if a date is so specified).

-- I believe the (strong?) possibility that in the past, people have filled positions as though they were lawful directors, but arguably were not, is pretty much legally moot, in my opinion. Why? Because no one in the membership stepped up and demanded elections.
DakotaS
(Missouri)

Posts:30


05/30/2021 8:34 PM  
Correct the community has been suppressed and hasn't even been given copies of the actual restrictions and amendments and of course they didn't take it upon themselves to go get them so everyone has been pretty much in the dark about how this works now that this is been brought to light people do want an election. They actually just postponed our annual meeting which was supposed to take place on June 12th to sometime in September but they have not given a specific date. There will be no elections at the annual meeting either as it was not on the agenda handed out. The community wants there to be an election but the board isn't allowing it.
AugustinD


Posts:601


05/30/2021 8:45 PM  
Posted By DakotaS on 05/30/2021 8:34 PM
The community wants there to be an election but the board isn't allowing it.
If the Bylaws require an annual election, then in Missouri, the recourse of anyone wanting to enforce the Bylaws is to hire an attorney to send a series of demand letters, ultimately threatening a lawsuit, and possibly following through and filing a lawsuit with the courts.

Missouri's nonprofit corporation statute says that, if the Bylaws are silent about when an election is to be held, then the election must be annual.
DakotaS
(Missouri)

Posts:30


05/30/2021 8:49 PM  
So you'd have to hire an attorney? There isn't a way to do this without an attorney? Filing the forms ourselves or something?
AugustinD


Posts:601


05/30/2021 9:07 PM  
Posted By DakotaS on 05/30/2021 8:49 PM
So you'd have to hire an attorney? There isn't a way to do this without an attorney? Filing the forms ourselves or something?
-- Your group does not have to hire an attorney. But it would have to research how to write a series of demand letters.

-- Demand letters are more effective coming from an attorney.

-- Your group could go to court pro se, but again, I know of few who are capable of representing themselves pro se. The HOA attorney would be under instructions to shred whatever complaint your group filed with the court. There's a reason law school is three years and one has to pass the bar to become an attorney.

-- Do your Bylaws say anything about recalling directors? An attorney really should be used for a recall, but some are successful in recalling directors without an attorney. The Missouri nonprofit corporation statute addresses recalls as well. See https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=355.346&bid=19221&hl=
AugustinD


Posts:601


05/30/2021 9:09 PM  
See also this sections of the Missouri Nonprofit Corporation statute, about a court removing a director and more:
https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=355.356&bid=19223&hl=
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8123


05/31/2021 5:39 PM  
Completely agree with Augustin. Find an HOA or contract attorney. Your need a team of owners with you. You can all chip in. The more the better. The attorney can word a letter for your group that the HOA hold an election for directors, and that the governing documents be immediately availab for all owners who want them.They can be posted online.

What size is your HOA, Dakota? Do you have a property manager?
DakotaS
(Missouri)

Posts:30


06/05/2021 1:01 PM  
No property manager. About 200-250 homes I think.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2021


06/05/2021 1:55 PM  
Posted By DakotaS on 06/05/2021 1:01 PM
No property manager. About 200-250 homes I think.




That's a pretty large community to be without a property manager.

One of the advantages of hiring a manager is board members can delegate many of their duties to the manager (assuming their bylaws allow this). Serving as a board member is time-consuming, and loading property management duties on top of that almost guarantees that things won't get done. "Niceties" such as maintaining good records is something that can fall through the cracks since it doesn't scream for attention. I'm pretty confident that this is what has been happening and that hiring a manager can make a big differece.

Of course assessments will have to go up to pay for the manager. I suggest that anyone who complains has just volunteered for the job. :-)
(No, not really - although I used that approach as a board member whenever a homeowner complained that something wasn't getting done to their satisfaction. It generally didn't get many volunteers but it sure cut down on complaints directed to me.)

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11059


06/05/2021 3:59 PM  
Posted By DakotaS on 06/05/2021 1:01 PM
No property manager. About 200-250 homes I think.




You think? About time to learn a few things about how your association works.

DakotaS
(Missouri)

Posts:30


06/05/2021 4:32 PM  
Well jeeee I'm sorry I don't know the exact amount of homes that live here it's between 200-250 I have never counted exactly. Why would I? Some people are just special I guess! Nothing like a keyboard smart ass 🤣🤣
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2021


06/06/2021 4:32 AM  
Posted By DakotaS on 06/05/2021 4:32 PM
Well jeeee I'm sorry I don't know the exact amount of homes that live here it's between 200-250 I have never counted exactly. Why would I? Some people are just special I guess! Nothing like a keyboard smart ass 🤣🤣



Not special - they just understand that homeowners in an HOA or condo association have legal and financial relationships with every other owner.

If you don't know a pretty exact count, how do you know that the annual budget makes any sense? That assessments are reasonable for that size community? That actual income from assessments is anywhere near the projected income? (If it's not, that means a lot of your "business partners" are deadbeats who are letting the rest of you pay the bills.) In other words, it's in your best interest to know, and what you don't know can hurt you (legal and financial relationships again).

Of course, if you're on the board you'd better know exact counts or have the information readily available, otherwise you can't do your job. Which brings us back to the original question about the board taking a too casual approach to running things.

One of the big issues many of us on this web site have commented on is the lack of qualifications for board members. Basically the only qualification for serving on the board is being a homeowner, and the only qualifications for being a homeowner are having enough money and being able to fog a mirror (to put it bluntly). If you select your board members from among a bunch of apathetic and ignorant owners, is it any wonder that your boards are also apathetic and ignorant and who ignore essential tasks? It's stuff like this that have led many people to decide that they want nothing to do with community associations.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11059


06/06/2021 8:58 AM  
Our association is very poor on keeping records. We basically have no way
to "prove" who was elected when. Of course we have never had anyone biting
our ankles about it.

I suppose the reason is we have never had a contested election and only once
in 6 years did we ever have more people running then there were open spots.
We usually have to go begging for people to run. In my association the
chance are very good that if you run, you get elected. I say this is a result
of the openness and hide nothing attitude by the BOD.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:108


06/06/2021 9:10 AM  
In North Carolina elections are held at the Annual Meeting if a quorum by attendance or proxy is present. If there is no quorum, the present Board remains.

Was there a quorum present at your annual meeting and no vote for elected Board members?

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11059


06/06/2021 5:59 PM  
Posted By PatJ1 on 06/06/2021 9:10 AM
In North Carolina elections are held at the Annual Meeting if a quorum by attendance or proxy is present. If there is no quorum, the present Board remains.

Was there a quorum present at your annual meeting and no vote for elected Board members?



Same here in my SC HOA.
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