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Subject: Committees
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Author Messages
LowellH1
(Georgia)

Posts:17


06/15/2021 8:42 AM  
I tried to do a search but the search link here is broken. We are looking to establish some committees. One of our board members thinks that a member of the board has to be on each committee that we establish. I can't find any language concerning that in our documents. Just curious what your thoughts are on that and committees in general. Thanks!
AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/15/2021 8:49 AM  
Posted By LowellH1 on 06/15/2021 8:42 AM
I tried to do a search but the search link here is broken. We are looking to establish some committees. One of our board members thinks that a member of the board has to be on each committee that we establish. I can't find any language concerning that in our documents.
For what it's worth, A+ to you for going directly to the governing documents.

I have yet to see a HOA/COA's governing documents that required a director to serve on each committee.

Try to get this director to point to the source of this requirement. I doubt she/he will find one. Instead, his/her ego may kick in, and she/he will say, "Well it just makes sense." No, it does not.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:300


06/15/2021 9:22 AM  
Our Association document do not require a Board member to be on each committee we have. We do, however, have the long standing tradition of having a non-voting Board member act as a liaison to each committee.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


06/15/2021 9:27 AM  
Posted By LowellH1 on 06/15/2021 8:42 AM
I tried to do a search but the search link here is broken. We are looking to establish some committees. One of our board members thinks that a member of the board has to be on each committee that we establish. I can't find any language concerning that in our documents. Just curious what your thoughts are on that and committees in general. Thanks!



Many Bylaws will state that the President shall be an ex-officio (are persons who are members by virtue of some other office or position that they hold) of all standing committees, or committees as a whole. The most common standing committee is the Architectural Control Committee, the other may be a Nominating or Election Committee.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:844


06/15/2021 9:35 AM  
Lowell,
I agree with Michael on this issue. Having a committee with All volunteers that have a single focus without having a board liaison can be problematic. I have seen those committees come up with ideas that are far from things that can actually be accomplished. Many new volunteers do not take the time to read the governing documents or in some cases don't even attend the regular meetings. They just want to get their personal goals across the finish line. By having a board member at those meetings it can keep them inside the lines of things that the board will be able to approve. It also helps when the committee submits the ideas to the board for approval they probably already have 20% of the board in favor of the item for discussion.

I always recommend that a liaison is good idea weather it is in the documents or not. Also a board member I believe any member can sit in on a sub committee meeting and observe unless it would create a quorum at that meeting.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


06/15/2021 9:51 AM  
Posted By MarkM19 on 06/15/2021 9:35 AM
Many new volunteers do not take the time to read the governing documents.

They just want to get their personal goals across the finish line.


Are you referring to Board members?
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:844


06/15/2021 11:19 AM  
Max,
Actually most people have a reason why they join or form a committee. I always hope that board members that serve with me on our board have a bigger view of the HOA as a whole.

I have served on boards for 11 years now and have 8 of those years as President. I am not making this statement as a knock on volunteers just basing it on the fact that we all have reasons for volunteering our time.
LowellH1
(Georgia)

Posts:17


06/15/2021 11:45 AM  
Thanks for the input! I am the President of our Board. The VP is the one saying a board member should be a member of the committees. I like the idea of a Liason that can work with a committee but not be a voting part. I think my plan is for the Board to be the final word on things that come out of committee if needed.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/15/2021 11:57 AM  
Posted By LowellH1 on 06/15/2021 11:45 AM
I think my plan is for the Board to be the final word on things that come out of committee if needed.
It's more than a plan: That the Board has the final word is the law, per the covenants and statute. Do encourage the Board to make this crystal clear to committees.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


06/15/2021 1:35 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/15/2021 11:57 AM
Posted By LowellH1 on 06/15/2021 11:45 AM
I think my plan is for the Board to be the final word on things that come out of committee if needed.
It's more than a plan: That the Board has the final word is the law, per the covenants and statute. Do encourage the Board to make this crystal clear to committees.



I agree. The BOB has the final say.
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:536


06/15/2021 5:53 PM  
oh my goodness, our association is dealing with the same issue.

In our documents.. this is the exact wording.

4. President. The president shall be the chief executive officer of the association. He shall preside at all meetings of the association and board of managers. He shall have all the general powers and duties which are usually vested in the office of president of an association, including but not limited to the power to appoint committees from among the owners from time to time as he may in his discretion decide is appropriate to assist in the conduct of the affairs of the association or as may be established by the board or by members of the association at any regular or special meetings.


nowhere does it mention that the a board member is required to be one of the members of committee. Although it certainly doesn't preclude it.


there is another section that discusses the formation of an executive committee and a nominating committee. Those two committees have special purposes and requirements for membership.

I also found the following info on effective committees. hope this is helfpul.

creating effective committees.
Without a clear sense of direction or scope of authority, committees can lose control and cease to function effectively. Boards
should take time to draft a concise committee charter with all of the following elements:

1.Purpose. Give the committee a clear purpose. Is the purpose of the committee to provide the board with a recommendation on an issue? Is the purpose of the
committee to carry out a specific task?
2.Product. Tell the committee what you expect them to produce. Is it a detailed recommendation to the board? If so, what must be included in the recommendation?
Will the committee take some sort of action on behalf of the board? If so, be very clear about the action the committee is expected to take, and establish clear
limits. Remember that a board may delegate authority to act, but cannot delegate responsibility for the action.
3.Timeframe. Tell the committee how long their services are needed. Is the committee to meet during a period of six weeks or a year? Is the committee a standing
committee that will meet until the governing documents are amended or until the board takes action to dissolve the committee?
4.Budget. If the committee will need money to fulfill their task, be clear about the amount of money available to the committee. You should also be clear about the
process the committee should go through to obtain the funds. Clear records and receipts should be kept by the committee and submitted regularly to the board and
or property manager.
5.Reporting. Establish how the committee should report to the board. Committees making recommendations or decisions must communicate their findings to the
board. Be clear about the frequency and method of those reports. Decision-making committees must produce minutes.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


06/15/2021 6:07 PM  
Over the many years of managing communities, I have found that actually committees are better prepared and smarter than the Board they actually work under.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2600


06/16/2021 4:28 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/15/2021 6:07 PM
Over the many years of managing communities, I have found that actually committees are better prepared and smarter than the Board they actually work under.



And in my community it was exactly the opposite: committee members who tried to push their own agendas regardless of the committees' stated purpose, refused to understand the limits of their authority, CC&Rs what CC&Rs, poor judgement in general, etc. etc. One committee chair refused to have a black resident on the committee (Fair Housing violation, anyone?) in addition to all of the previous issues. Not only did they accomplish nothing, they actually created more work and turmoil. Lesson: ankle-biters make poor committee members.

On the other hand, I know that other communities use committees successfully. One nearby community has a finance committee that really digs into the financials, provides valuable expertise, and helps create a more informed membership. All good.
LowellH1
(Georgia)

Posts:17


06/16/2021 6:37 AM  
You guys are awesome. Thanks so much!
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


06/16/2021 8:27 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/16/2021 4:28 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/15/2021 6:07 PM
Over the many years of managing communities, I have found that actually committees are better prepared and smarter than the Board they actually work under.



And in my community it was exactly the opposite: committee members who tried to push their own agendas regardless of the committees' stated purpose, refused to understand the limits of their authority, CC&Rs what CC&Rs, poor judgement in general, etc. etc. One committee chair refused to have a black resident on the committee (Fair Housing violation, anyone?) in addition to all of the previous issues. Not only did they accomplish nothing, they actually created more work and turmoil. Lesson: ankle-biters make poor committee members.

On the other hand, I know that other communities use committees successfully. One nearby community has a finance committee that really digs into the financials, provides valuable expertise, and helps create a more informed membership. All good.



Well said.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


06/16/2021 6:05 PM  
Never have heard of an HOA requiring a director be on every committee. As with others here, we do assign a director as a liaison between the Committee & the Board. The liaison, as pointed out keeps the committees on task and realistic in their plans.

Boards are fully responsible for committee and approve their members and the committee chair. Unlike Laska's HOA, I think most HOA committees serve at the pleasure of the Board--the prez doesn't appoint.

We require written charters for all committees usually authored by those who want to form it. We also have General Guidelines for All Committees. An important one is only the Committee chair can take the committee's ideas, etc. to the GM, otherwise we'd have too many committee members in her office.

Given appropriate autonomy, being required to submit written monthly reports to the Board, Committees can be really good for HOAs. AND, they're a fine pipeline for future board service, especially Finance Committee members.
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