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Subject: can a condo board hire a parlimentarian for board meetings
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LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:536


06/16/2021 3:12 AM  
Hi,
Can a board decide to use association funds that are supposed to go to upkeep and maintenance and operations of the association and common areas to hire a parlimentarian to advise at board meetings.. The parliamentarian only advices the president and has no actual authority. He has repeatedly said he serves at the pleasure of the president.

He was brought on last october. and I recall that at the meeting, the president did announce his presence and at the time the board approved using him .

However, after a few months, It began to be a farce. Additionally, this person is charging the association 150 an hour.

This expense was not included in the annual budget.

While I know the board has discretion on how to allocate association funds. Its a stretch to try and categorize a parliamentarian that serves and advices only the president of the board at meetings of the board.

The big issues, The board did not include this expense in the budget presented to the owners for the year 2021. At this point he had already been attending meetings and charging upwards of 600 a meeting.

The owners have no idea they are being charges for this add on service.
I mean. I'm sure the board would like to get a 5 star dinner catered and have all meetings at the four seasons.. they would claim the meal and surroundings facilitate productive meetings. I SAY BS.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


06/16/2021 4:14 AM  
Why can't they hire a consultant to help them? I am not sure why this can't happen. If it's agreed upon as something needed I do not see a problem. It is a benefit for the HOA to get advice. The President position would be the one of whom this consultant/parliamentarian would be talking to. They are the one doing the job that needs it.

Do you just lay awake at night picking apart everything? Please just let people do their jobs.

Former HOA President
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:589


06/16/2021 5:48 AM  
Budgets don’t have to have a separate line item for every single individual expense. This could fall under “administrative” expenses or “legal & professional fees” or similar budget categories.

AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/16/2021 7:05 AM  
Posted By LaskaS on 06/16/2021 3:12 AM
He has repeatedly said he serves at the pleasure of the president.
Your governing documents might say this, but they almost assuredly also state that a board majority determines how money can be spent. In other words, a board majority can fire the parliamentarian. That this "parliamentarian" would not be clear on this point kind of underwhelms me. (To anyone calling out, "persnickety!" or worse: I plead guilty here.)

I agree with BarbaraT1's point. I also feel that use of, and paying for, a parliamentarian can be justified. As long as the board approves the payment, then I say it's a legitimate use of funds.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1689


06/16/2021 7:16 AM  
I agree with the others that hiring outside help is a legitimate use of association funds, just like hiring a bookkeeper would be.

I do think it is overkill to have a $150/hr parlimentarian at every board meeting. I could see hiring them once to give guidance to the board, but don't see the value in making it a regular occurrence. Since the president seems to have the agreement of the rest of board, I'm not sure what could be done beyond using it as a campaign issue during the next election.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:536


06/16/2021 3:55 PM  
thanks for the feedback.

douglas, I agree with you, hiring a parliamentarian to advice and educate the board for proper procedure. I can certainly see value in that. However. 8 months later, his advice to the president is effectively allowing her to avoid having the follow the bylaws and declaration.

I believe if the board has hired him, he should at least be required to know our bylaws. the law is clear the an association bylaws are superior to roberts rules of order when there is conflicting information between the two.

our budget is broken down in detail... there is a clear line item for meeting costs... the board did not include 600 + a month for meeting cost in the budget. Their failure to include it , I believe is to remain under the radar of most owners. Owners do look at the annual budget, especially variances. And a 7200+ variance for meeting cost , had it been included, would have certain raised questions.
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:536


06/16/2021 4:05 PM  
again,, I'm not asking if someone can make an arguement to support the cost.

I'm asking if the nonprofit corp laws and requirements allow a board to veer from the stated budget outside of unforseen items and emergencies.

The parliamentarian was helpful initially. however. after 3 months, his initial advice and help turned into advising the chair how to use roberts rules to manipulate the agenda and order of business in a way that prevented other agenda items from being objectively and fairly considered.

and mellissa, no i don't stay up at night. I'm preparing for the meeting tonight, and there is a large group of owners that is attending to support my requests. The owners would like to know what is going on and have some kind of schedule for the required restoration of the landscaping.
owners want a centralized work request/order system so that the board can see whether or not owner and resident complaints are being properly addressed.
owners want a qualified , experienced property/office manager in place, currently the board member who was supposed to be temporary has month after month failed to properly address the common area issues and refuses to give any information or access to records.

we basically want transparency regarding the day to day operations of the property, we want issues addressed properly and in a timely manner . We want requests and work orders and maintenance issues to be logged and easily accessible to the board so they can properly confirm and check on whether or not the issues and work order are being completed.

MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:300


06/16/2021 4:30 PM  
What a waste of money!!!!!
AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/16/2021 4:38 PM  
Posted By LaskaS on 06/16/2021 4:05 PM

I'm asking if the nonprofit corp laws and requirements allow a board to veer from the stated budget outside of unforseen items and emergencies.
Yes, a board can deviate from the published budget. The annual budget, submitted in advance of the fiscal year, is, with some caveats in Florida, only a guide.

At this point, how come you are not doing a keyword search for "budget" at FS 718 and seeking statutory restrictions on the budget yourself? See
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0718/0718.html

The Florida nonprofit corporation act has nothing on budgets, which is pretty usual nationwide.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/16/2021 5:01 PM  
Oops on me. It's the Texas statutes that should be checked.
Posted By LaskaS on 06/16/2021 4:05 PM
I'm asking if the nonprofit corp laws and requirements allow a board to veer from the stated budget outside of unforseen items and emergencies.
TUCA 82.107 (a) 1 through 7 applies to all Texas condos and gives Boards the right to amend budgets. With a few caveats depending on the state, HOA/COA budgets are only a guide.

How come you are not doing your own searches of Texas statutes at this point? Search the following for the word "budget":
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PR/htm/PR.82.htm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PR/htm/PR.81.htm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/BO/htm/BO.22.htm
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:536


06/17/2021 12:12 AM  
thanks augustine,

I actually did attempt to do a search. I was looking in non profit corporate code.


the meeting was tonight and I was trying to get information together for several different issues.

5 hour meeting.. 750 dollars to the parlimentarian.

In my opinion, spending 750 of homeowner money on a yes man to oversee a zoom meeting is a slap in the face when the board is spending nothing on the property. other than regular fixed costs and contractual maintenance.
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:536


06/17/2021 12:15 AM  
It's similar to the feeling when your nanny is asking for a raise and claiming they don't make enough only to discover they just signed a new g-wagon lease... ugg.

It's the misallocation of funds... in my opinion, a board shouldn't be spending that kind of money on advisors for board meeetings when they can't even follow through and assure that required maintenance is taking place.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/17/2021 2:23 AM  
Posted By LaskaS on 06/17/2021 12:12 AM
In my opinion, spending 750 of homeowner money on a yes man to oversee a zoom meeting is a slap in the face when the board is spending nothing on the property. other than regular fixed costs and contractual maintenance.
In my opinion --

-- You have no legal ground on which to stand to object to the parliamentarian.

-- Your sole remedy for this spending you allege to be inappropriate is to get on the board with a like-minded majority. If there is no such like-minded majority, then the message the membership is sending is that they are fine with the spending. Subsequently for you to continue to object to this spending is wasting the board's and others' time and hurts your credibility as a critic of the board.

BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:589


06/17/2021 5:14 AM  
Posted By LaskaS on 06/17/2021 12:15 AM
It's similar to the feeling when your nanny is asking for a raise and claiming they don't make enough only to discover they just signed a new g-wagon lease... ugg.

It's the misallocation of funds... in my opinion, a board shouldn't be spending that kind of money on advisors for board meeetings when they can't even follow through and assure that required maintenance is taking place.




Maybe the nanny deserves a raise because the work she does have value and should be compensated for fairly and it’s nobody’s business how she spends her money.

This is a terrible, classist analogy.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


06/17/2021 10:11 AM  
Posted By MichaelS56 on 06/16/2021 4:30 PM
What a waste of money!!!!!



I agree.
LaskaS
(Texas)

Posts:536


06/17/2021 9:50 PM  
actually, I brought it up once. the board members want to keep him.

I think it's a total waste of money. But for now the parliamentarian stays.

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