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Subject: NC HOA Election Irregularities
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WaltH1
(North Carolina)

Posts:18


06/21/2021 9:45 AM  
Anyone have any advice on how to deal with election tampering by a North Carolina HOA Board of Directors?

Grievances have been filed and rejected. Our elections are coming up soon. There are numerous unlawful acts according to Bylaws and NC State Statutes.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


06/21/2021 9:50 AM  
Can you please be specific?
WaltH1
(North Carolina)

Posts:18


06/21/2021 10:54 AM  
We have a voting system with 4 categories of vote "weights." Only been used twice in 14 years.

Improper appointment to Board by Board

No vote totals in HOA meeting minutes

Different proxy form, other than that provided, not accepted.

Unlawful proxy rejections at meetings

The number of vacancies in upcoming Board election is incorrect.

Failure to maintain records of election results.

Failure to post homeowners names and addresses before an election. (NC statute 55A)
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


06/21/2021 12:13 PM  
Posted By WaltH1 on 06/21/2021 10:54 AM
We have a voting system with 4 categories of vote "weights." Only been used twice in 14 years.

Improper appointment to Board by Board

No vote totals in HOA meeting minutes

Different proxy form, other than that provided, not accepted.

Unlawful proxy rejections at meetings

The number of vacancies in upcoming Board election is incorrect.

Failure to maintain records of election results.

Failure to post homeowners names and addresses before an election. (NC statute 55A)



For what it's worth:

* Board members appoint people to open director positions in between elections. Perfectly legal and happens a lot.

* We don't put vote totals in the meeting minutes, only a summary of the results (why embarrass the folks who didn't get many votes). The ballots are part of our corporate records and available for inspection by homeowners. (NOTE: your state law or bylaws may say something different about this - if so, you'll need to quote the relevant passage.)

* There are legal requirements for valid proxy forms. Rejected forms may not have fulfilled these requirements. It's also common for duplicate or contradictory proxies to be filed, and these have to be rejected. Without knowing your state's requirements and seeing the actual rejected forms, you have no proof that something nefarious was done.

* Post names and addresses where?

My sense is that you're itching for a fight. If so, lawyer up and open your wallet. Hopefully your lawyer will be able to tell you whether or not you have a case worth pursuing.


JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


06/21/2021 1:18 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/21/2021 12:13 PM
Posted By WaltH1 on 06/21/2021 10:54 AM
We have a voting system with 4 categories of vote "weights." Only been used twice in 14 years.

Improper appointment to Board by Board

No vote totals in HOA meeting minutes

Different proxy form, other than that provided, not accepted.

Unlawful proxy rejections at meetings

The number of vacancies in upcoming Board election is incorrect.

Failure to maintain records of election results.

Failure to post homeowners names and addresses before an election. (NC statute 55A)



For what it's worth:

* Board members appoint people to open director positions in between elections. Perfectly legal and happens a lot.

* We don't put vote totals in the meeting minutes, only a summary of the results (why embarrass the folks who didn't get many votes). The ballots are part of our corporate records and available for inspection by homeowners. (NOTE: your state law or bylaws may say something different about this - if so, you'll need to quote the relevant passage.)

* There are legal requirements for valid proxy forms. Rejected forms may not have fulfilled these requirements. It's also common for duplicate or contradictory proxies to be filed, and these have to be rejected. Without knowing your state's requirements and seeing the actual rejected forms, you have no proof that something nefarious was done.

* Post names and addresses where?

My sense is that you're itching for a fight. If so, lawyer up and open your wallet. Hopefully your lawyer will be able to tell you whether or not you have a case worth pursuing.






I agree.
WaltH1
(North Carolina)

Posts:18


06/21/2021 3:12 PM  
Thanks for taking your time to respond,CathyA3. In all fairness, I just gave you the headlines. If I'm too specific, it might get the attention of our Board and Don't want them nosing around my post.

I agree with all your points, however, the vote total is debatable with your point on one side, and transparency and owners right to know on the other, especially when there is much distrust of our Board.

Our bylaws are vague on proxies and there are 2 NC statutes applying here. NC Not for Profit Act, statute 55A, and, in our case, 47C The NC condominium Act. In North Carolina, the proxies have to be dated, and reasonably able to determine the owner. One popular HOA attorney has opined, they can be written on a cocktail napkin.

I'm curious. Do your proxies have all the candidates names vying for a Board seat, and all the known items to be voted on, on the proxy form?

NC Statute 55A requires homeowners names and address as well as the Board's names and addresses to be posted at the meeting site 2 days before the meeting.

Sadly, in North Carolina, lawyering up, is about the only way to go after a Bad Board, and few here have the motivation or want to spend the money. There are no state agencies to defend the homeowner and our statutes have no teeth.

What I'm itching for is fairness, honesty, and a level playing field in our elections.

The problems I've mentioned are about half of all the unlawful things they do. They have little knowledge of our governing documents and little respect for the ones they are aware of.

Thanks again, CathyA3, for sharing your thoughts.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


06/21/2021 5:22 PM  
It cud be that in NC the tabulations and numbers of votes for each candidate is announced at the ann. meeting, also is in the newsletter and in the next open meeting minutes.

We had an abusive dishonest board. Three of its members lost reelection bids. It was fabulous hearing their pathetic vote counts the meeting and seeing them posted.

We also have had very new owners lose pretty badly, but everyone knew it was because they were so new. Two--at separate times--got on committees, contributed, and won election the next year.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


06/21/2021 5:29 PM  
The only way that isn't costly to get rid of bad boards is to align with fellow owners, start making demands in writing, get some letters out to owners season improvements a "new" board will makes, etc. We've accomplished this twice in my HOA, in '07 & in '19.

We have about 75% owner occupants, which makes it easier than, I'd say, an HOA with a majority or a lot of renters.

Unification and teamwork on behalf of improving your HOA works. BUT it take educating yourselves, and hard work.

WaltH1
(North Carolina)

Posts:18


06/21/2021 5:50 PM  
You would think it would be that easy, KerryL1. We do have a pretty good chance this year, having put together a small group of like minded owners. If we get one of our group elected to the Board, we'll consider it a triumph.

The Board members we have now have had an ironclad lock on the Board for years, and it's all legal. NC has some of the weakest Statutes in the country when it comes to HOA's. There are 2 basic ways to take control of a Board in NC. I won't go over both, because I don't want to give the recipe to another unscrupulous Board, but part of the method is leaving the Board before their term runs out so the Board can appoint someone to fill the vacancy.

Two years ago a Board member resigned at the Board meeting right after the Homeowners meeting, allowing their cronies on the Board to appoint another crony to the Board.

The other trick they use is "legal" as they like to say, but as unethical as the day is long.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


06/21/2021 6:04 PM  
I guess I didn't write it's "HARD WORK" strongly enough. It wasn't easy, Walt.

Our earlier nasty Board did that trick too--director quits right after election & board appoints another crony.

How long do Board appointees serve per your Bylaws? Until the next election? Or until the term is up?

It'd be great if you could get two elected. One sole good guy/gal is very tough on that person.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


06/21/2021 6:25 PM  
Posted By WaltH1 on 06/21/2021 5:50 PM
I don't want to give the recipe to another unscrupulous Board, but part of the method is leaving the Board before their term runs out so the Board can appoint someone to fill the vacancy.

Two years ago a Board member resigned at the Board meeting right after the Homeowners meeting, allowing their cronies on the Board to appoint another crony to the Board.

The other trick they use is "legal" as they like to say, but as unethical as the day is long.
I do not see how this is unscrupulous or unethical. Why? Because the newly-elected director who resigns shortly after the election is a crony of the board, who simply does not want to serve but does want to give the board the power to choose someone they prefer (presumably another crony).

Whereas if the first crony did not run at all, then someone the board majority does not like could get elected.

Don't like it? Don't vote at the annual meeting for the crony.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


06/21/2021 6:43 PM  
I agree with Kerry that replacing bad directors is hard work.

What's even more disheartening is discovering that the hard work has only started, and in fact may never end - more than one director has found out that all of their hard work can be undone in the future unless they remain on the board.

At some point you can start to wonder why you should even bother.

WaltH1
(North Carolina)

Posts:18


06/21/2021 6:55 PM  
Amen, CathyA3! I've lost count of how many times I've wondered why I bother.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


06/22/2021 7:28 AM  
It took a group of us two election cycles to "clean up" our BOD. It was not easy. We held meetings, we went door to door handing out "White Papers", we made a Proxy and asked people to sign it over to us, we manned tables at entrances, etc.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


06/22/2021 8:54 AM  
Posted By WaltH1 on 06/21/2021 6:55 PM
Amen, CathyA3! I've lost count of how many times I've wondered why I bother.



I solved the issue, I moved.
WaltH1
(North Carolina)

Posts:18


06/22/2021 10:19 AM  
Sadly, sometimes it's the best soloution.
WaltH1
(North Carolina)

Posts:18


06/22/2021 10:32 AM  
JohnC46, I sure hope your fellow homeowners appreciated yours and your group's hard work. Sometimes HOA homeowners don't realize just how much damage a Bad Board can do.

Our situation is compounded because we are a vacation condo in the North Carolina Mountains. Owners aren't here on a regular basis, many of the are Air B&Bing, and seemingly either don't care or, what I believe is the problem, out of sight, out of mind, and their unit goes to the back burner although this Board is costing us thousands in misspent money.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


06/22/2021 12:57 PM  
Posted By WaltH1 on 06/22/2021 10:32 AM
JohnC46, I sure hope your fellow homeowners appreciated yours and your group's hard work. Sometimes HOA homeowners don't realize just how much damage a Bad Board can do.

Our situation is compounded because we are a vacation condo in the North Carolina Mountains. Owners aren't here on a regular basis, many of the are Air B&Bing, and seemingly either don't care or, what I believe is the problem, out of sight, out of mind, and their unit goes to the back burner although this Board is costing us thousands in misspent money.



Tough row to hoe.
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