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Subject: Revolution Successful! Now What?
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Author Messages
MackenzieM
(Maryland)

Posts:2


07/28/2021 5:04 AM  
So as of last night's annual meeting, three of us owners's plan to take all three open condo association board seats (out of five board positions total) and thereby oust the two members who have been serving for 10+ years was successful!

In fact, the incumbent board members skipped the meeting and the vote was a "landslide." We took about 30 votes out of 47 possible. It's unclear how many votes the incumbents got but they had been run opposed until now and made many enemies of the past 12 years.

I was then elected president of the board by a vote of the 5 board members. My other two "running mates" were elected treasurer and secretary. The board member who had previously served as secretary (who is part of the board faction we overthrew) is now Vice President. We decided to give her that position because it doesn't come with any actual roles or duties or responsibilities.

Then one of the two board members not up for re-election until next year resigned effective immediately. So we'll have to appoint a board member to serve out the rest of the resigning members' term. But as of now, the board consists of myself, my two compatriots and one member hold over from the "toxic deposed faction."

The community association manager is aligned with the "toxic deposed faction" and has always been and does remain markedly adversarial to us newly elected board members and to owners in general. In fact, his treatment of owners was one of the main topics of discussion during the open forum. It's great to have backup and support and witnesses to this obfuscation but things remain as opaque as ever. I caught him in 3 lies just yesterday. Now that we're in charge, he doesn't appear to have yet experienced an attitude adjustment.

The outgoing board was not observing our governing docs and state law regarding open meetings. The outgoing secretary did not keep notes or submit meeting minutes for roughly half of the board meetings over the past few years. I have been hounding the CAM and board for answers on this for the entire year and a half I've been a unit owner. No substantive answers have been given as of yet. Furthermore, despite dedicating countless hours requesting documents, sending nasty-grams, and reviewing documents, I still feel I have a poor understanding of what is actually going on with the current state of the association.

My business is still not back to pre-quarantine levels and luckily I have the financial flexibility to not have to immediately close that gap. I have a master's in Taxation and worked for a big 4 international accounting firm as well as a fortune 500 company. So I currently have the both the skills and time to dedicate to cleaning up this mess.

However, I have never served on a board before. In fact, I have never held a formal position of power in any capacity before now. I feel this a strength but does come with some weaknesses.

So I'm many of you have been serving in the trenches of many HOA/Condo Association battles. Please do share any and all advice, warnings, hot takes, encouragement, and ideas about how we should go about cleaning up the mess the outgoing board created and, hopefully, putting our campaign into practice "Security! Communication! Transparency! It's Time for a Change!"

CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


07/28/2021 5:50 AM  
* Now the hard work starts.

* If you've never done this before, prepare for an eye-opening experience.

* The first casualties of being elected to serve on an association board are: 1. any notion that you know what you're doing; and 2) your opinion of your neighbors.

* Take every opportunity to learn about your job. You're now in charge of a multi-million dollar corporation. Learn about the limits of your authority. If you don't spend your first year feeling like you're in over your head and on the verge of quitting, then you're not learning what you need to learn.

* You will make your share of mistakes. If you haven't spent your first year in a panic and on the verge of quitting, you'll make more and bigger blunders. If in a few years you don't look back and cringe, then you almost certainly still don't know what you need to know.

* Some percentage of your supporters will probably turn on you now that you're on the board. Around here we call these folks ankle-biters, chief complaining officers, or vocational dissidents. If you don't deal with them correctly, they'll either stop you in your tracks or they'll make progress very, very difficult. Keep in mind that a lie will run around the world faster than the truth can put its shoes on.

* Speaking of lies, avoid social media like the plague.

* Some helpful advice from one of my favorite authors for revolutionaries everywhere: "People on the side of The People always ended up disappointed, in any case. They found that The People tended not to be grateful or appreciative or forward-thinking or obedient. The People tended to be small-minded and conservative and not very clever and were even distrustful of cleverness. And so the children of the revolution were faced with the age-old problem: it wasn't that you had the wrong kind of government, which was obvious, but that you had the wrong kind of people." -- Terry Pratchett

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


07/28/2021 6:08 AM  
Congrats. Suggest bringing the rules to every meeting. If you need to answer a question then can refer to them or tell person to wait till researched. Try not to wing it. Always reference the exact rule or rules in writing.


Once you do that, then people will see the rules are really being applied. Plus if you all do not like some, then can work on changing them. It is all in there on how.

Good luck

Former HOA President
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1806


07/28/2021 6:08 AM  
Here are the first pieces of advice:

1. I see new board members and leaders, due to inexperience, bring dissatisfaction and lingering frustration into their new role, which is disempowering. You and your allies can no longer complain about HOA operational shortcomings as of today.

2. Slow down your new board's decision-making process until you better understand your HOA operations. Really slow it down. By conducting a "revolution" and sparking other directors' resignations, much experience left your board and you don't have the relationships to rely on them for any advice at all.

3. Looking back at the previous board's leadership as a reason operations aren't running smoothly under your allies' leadership should be avoided. Change was necessary at your board level, you achieved it. Now, use previous leadership decisions as the springboard.

4. Be ready to counter the upcoming gossip about your board's leadership decisions with facts, information and dues payer engagement. You are not being slandered when your old board members inevitably talk about you and your leadership. It comes with role. If you're a better leadership group, it will show. Your dues payers are smart people if duly informed.

5. Don't think about "investigating" the old board's activities and business decisions. I'd maintain vendor relations with landscapers, property managers and pool companies as smoothly as possible and not worry about the project decisions made in the past. Your job is offering stability of service. Let the revolution end with the board of directors changes for now.

Summary: Don't look back at the other board's decisions and allow the frustration of "back then" to mingle with your upcoming goals, which appear to be better operational transparency. Allow your service providers to serve your new board and assess them based on their interactions under a new leadership structure. They may be excellent companies and your opinion of them is clouded by community politics.

And...expect it to require multiple years of leadership to cultivate the cultural changes you seek. Hence, take it slow and show your community what you can do.

AugustinD


Posts:1920


07/28/2021 6:30 AM  
MackenzieM, great report. Congratulations.

-- I am glad you know about open meetings and Minutes. To me the most important part of being on a board is ensuring that every vote of yours, and hopefully every decision the board makes, has a sound basis in either the covenants, bylaws, rules and reuglations, or the Maryland Condominium Act. The covenants, bylaws and rules and regulations are also known collectively as "the governing documents." If you have not already at least skimmed the governing documents and the Maryland Condominium Act, then I advise doing so now. For a copy of the condo act, see https://sos.maryland.gov/Documents/CondominiumBooklet.pdf . I suggest you put out an email to the board and possibly membership stating, "I will do my best to ensure that every vote I make has a sound basis in the governing documents and/or the Condominium Act. When any member or director asks for anything, my own response will usually start with, "Show me in the governing documents and the Condominium statute where it says this."

-- First impressions are everything. Make sure the agenda for the first board meeting is well-thought out. As president, one of your biggest responsibilities is to "preside" at board meetings. Stick closely to the agenda. During the main portion of the board meeting, take no input from owners.

-- The Maryland Condominium Act at 11-109 (c) (7) (ii) requires that Board meetings include a period where owners may comment. I suggest putting one comment period at the beginning, and another at the end. Limit comments to two minutes per owner.

-- When the governing documents and condo act do not answer a question you have, consider posting your question here. Then as needed ask the board to agree to let you consult with the COA attorney.



SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


07/28/2021 6:45 AM  
A few things I learned during my 10 years on the board:

1. knowledge is power. I often refer people, especially new board members to the Community Association Institute, which is an association of HOAs and assorted property management companies and other vendors. The local chapters are controversial in some states, but I mostly like them for their educational materials. Some of them are designed for new board members and cover a variety of subjects. If there's a local chapter in your state, they might sponsor education seminars. You and your colleagues should take a few - in fact, taking one or two courses a year for as long as you're on the board will help you understand your documents better.

2. Be transparent. Nothing the board does should ever be a surprise to the homeowners. They don't have to agree with everything (and they won't), but anyone should be able to go to any board member and get an accurate explanation of what's happening and why, and how much it'll cost (whether it's time or energy).

3. The property manager works at the direction of your board, which is probably why you may have to get rid of the current one if he has an issue with staying in his lane. It's ok for them to suggest, but then they have to shaddup and let the board decide. Don't get lazy and let the property manager run everything. At the same time, get out of the way and let the property manager do his/her job - that's what the association is paying them for.

4. You don't say if you have a problem with delinquent homeowners, but if you do, it's vital that you jump on delinquencies quickly. The longer you let them drag, the harder it will be to collect. You'll soon learn the deadbeats from people who are having trouble because of job loss, major illness, etc. The latter you work with, the deadbeats need to be addressed quickly and firmly.

5. When it comes to rules enforcement, it's ok to set priorities, as some things may become more problematic than others at different times. That said, you don't rules for every little thing and some things are not the board's issue, such as disputes between individual homeowners. Stay out of those and use common sense with the rest. As for the stuff that concerns the common area, be consistent, be fair and document the hell out of everything you do. Some homeowners will try to test you, but when it becomes clear that the rules WILL be enforced, most will back down and some will even appreciate your efforts.

6. Don't be afraid to say "I don't know" - follow that up with "I will find out and get back to you (and do it). Don't be afraid to say "I'm sorry" or "I made a mistake." Fix the mistake, learn from it and move on.

7. Set your limits. It took time and lots of drama to effect change in your community, so it may be beneficial for everyone to step back, take a deep breath and then decide what to do next. Board members do have a life outside the association - don't think you have to do everything all the time. You may have seen a few conversations on this website where certain board members were micromanaging everything and then complain of burnout. You and your colleagues need to share in the work and invite other interested homeowners to help (they can serve on advisory committees and that could be the beginning of developing the next generation of board members).

8. Remember, it's not all about you. YOU may do whatever you like with your home, but when you become a board member, you must make decisions that are in the best interests of the association. That may mean you'll have to make decisions people don't like. Some may yell and threaten you with a recall or some such, but that shouldn't prevent you from doing what's necessary. It's like parents with teenagers - they may squawk at having a curfew, but in time, they will see why it's important. And if they still disagree, they can do what they want when they leave home and set up their own. The squawkers may claim they can do the job better than you and run against you, but that's ok. All you can do is your best and if the homeowners decide someone else should run the show, don't take it personally. In time, everyone will see who's right.

9. Be creative and open to change HOAs are made up of people and the people who established the community years ago may be different than the ones who live there today. You have to meet people where they are and the things they see as important may not be what the original owners thought. That will change again in time.

There's a lot more, but I'll stop now. Keep coming to this website and read the conversations so you'll learn different approaches (good and bad) and continue posting your questions. This isn't an amen corner and some of us may be a little hard on you, but we're still learning too. Congrats and good luck!
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:794


07/28/2021 6:52 AM  
1.) Learn your governing documents frontwards and backwards and don't deviate from them even if you disagree with something in them. In these cases find out the proper way to change them and decide if it's worth the effort.

2.) Communicate, communicate, communicate. Keep the owners informed and educate them as you move forward. Explain what you are doing and why. Consider holding Town Hall meetings every 6 months and give an in-depth breakdown of the finances and also an overview of major projects that you are working on. Send periodic emails to all owners providing information on important topics. Create a generic email address that anyone can use to send questions or comments to the Board.

3.) Think before you speak. (Especially when you are new.) If you don't know the answer admit it and tell the person that you will research the question and get back to them. Resist replying with what you think makes sense. In many cases what makes sense is not reality.

4.) Do the right thing even when the community doesn't like it. (Refer to #2 above.) If your finances are bad and maintenance and repairs have been neglected then make the appropriate adjustments to the fees and stand firm in your decision. Never back down from the threat of a law suit unless you know you are in the wrong.

5.) Understand what the mood is of the community and why they feel the way they do. When appropriate change the rules to reflect what the majority of owners want. Use online survey software to poll your owners to find out what the hot topics are.

6.) Understand that if you previously had rogue Boards it will take a while to gain the trust back of your community. Don't take it personally. Trust is earned so be patient.

7.) Avoid burn out. You may think you are doing the right thing by going gang busters but in the end you may burn out and quit before you accomplish your goals. If it took years for the community to run down it may take years to bring it back up. Pace yourself.

8.) Find out what type of professional talent you have within your community and use these people as resources when needed.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:295


07/28/2021 8:35 AM  
All these previous posts are GREAT! Wish I had these 7 years ago.

The only things I would like to add is:

-Avoid "parking lot chatter" - Resident's think because they said something to you while you were walking your dog, its being handled. Every concern needs to be in writing to the MC and/or the Board. Avoid "but they said". Get it in writing. Then reply with an in place plan or a "we are reviewing it".

-Beware of issues that fall under "neighbor to neighbor" issues. Noise and odors usually pop up commonly in our community. What is deemed loud or obnoxious (odors) are subjective. We need several concerns filed by several owners before Board action. We tell them to call our local police to enforce our City's noise issues.

-Review your communities issues and set priorities based on your governing documents. Integrity of buildings, common elements.

-Use your attorney, sparingly, but by all means use them. Have only one point of contact with the Board. Best for the Board to reach out to them directly. Keep the MC out of attorney issues. So much gets lost in the MC/Attorney translation. Collections are different depending on if you use them for collections, then the MC should be the contact since they record the monthly dues.

As previously said, don't dwell on previous Boards actions. Move forward, gain community support through actions. Even if it's only a visual quick fix to show that the new Board cares.

Talk and rumors run like water in a community. It will take time. Don't get discouraged.








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

Posts:11665


07/28/2021 8:39 AM  
Mac

One of the first things I would do is have a sit down with the present CAM. Even though you say some have had problems with them, it could be they were simply doing as the old BOD asked them to do and they will now do as your BOAD directs them to do. Would be easier to keep them then to have to change them. If for on other reason, but to aid you during the transition.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/28/2021 8:41 AM  
Kudos Mackenzie. What good tips and advice have come your way. Almost 2 years ago, our owners did not reelect three directors and we had a new Board of 7. Two who had unfinished terms had been outnumbered previously and now were in the majority with us three newly elected directors. An ally of the 3 defeated directors resigned a month later. The PM who'd been ever-so-helpful to the "old" board then resigned too. I'd taken a year's break due to the old Board's secrecy, interactions twig owners, and arrogance, so brought several years experience to the Board, and a remaining director also was experienced so we had a pretty knowledgeable foundation.

After 15 months Owners are still with us! We've beefed up and added committees and have several major projects in the works. One defeated director sold his unit and another is putting hers on the market. The third doesn't live on the premises and was a rubber-stamping cipher anyway. They literally "disappeared."

I like Kelly's 3 & 5 especially.

1. You need to know your history so as not to repeat it. but we've seen a lot of posters here who spend unneeded time obsessing about the past Board.

2. A couple of you directors CAM (property manager = PM) should meet with the head of the management company (MC) & your PM to discuss YOUR board's goals for the near future. If your Board doen't feel that your PM is serving the best interests of your community, see if your MC can assign you someone different. Or is your PM independent of a MC? Is your PM full-time with your HOA and does he have an office on your premises? Does your contract with the MC include him writing meeting minutes?

3. Related to Augustin's remarks, if you can afford it, ask your HOA attorney to meet with your Board to offer some training especially about your governing documents and MD statutes. Meanwhile, your own Bylaws and MD corporations codes can tell you a lot about your duties as a Board and as officers.

4. Follow Sheila's advice and visit the CAI website--some educational materials are free.

5. Non-profit boards are or should be very democratic. Board members are equals, each member has one vote. Boards govern HOAs not presidents. The president, especially if the daily tasks of overseeing vendors and staff, if any, were delegated to management, presides at meetings and usually is the liaison between management and the Board and HOA counsel and the Board.

6. Your background, Mac, gives you the tools to thoroughly review your HOA's reserves. You may wish to meet with your reserves analyst.

7. Review your major contracts: management, HOA attorney at minimum.



KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/28/2021 8:45 AM  
Kudos Mackenzie. What good tips and advice have come your way. Almost 2 years ago, our owners did not reelect three directors and we had a new Board of 7. Two who had unfinished terms had been outnumbered previously and now were in the majority with us three newly elected directors. An ally of the 3 defeated directors resigned a month later. The PM who'd been ever-so-helpful to the "old" board then resigned too. I'd taken a year's break due to the old Board's secrecy, interactions twig owners, and arrogance, so brought several years experience to the Board, and a remaining director also was experienced so we had a pretty knowledgeable foundation.

After 15 months Owners are still with us! We've beefed up and added committees and have several major projects in the works. One defeated director sold his unit and another is putting hers on the market. The third doesn't live on the premises and was a rubber-stamping cipher anyway. They literally "disappeared."

I like Kelly's 3 & 5 especially.

1. You need to know your history so as not to repeat it. but we've seen a lot of posters here who spend unneeded time obsessing about the past Board.

2. A couple of you directors CAM (property manager = PM) should meet with the head of the management company (MC) & your PM to discuss YOUR board's goals for the near future. If your Board doen't feel that your PM is serving the best interests of your community, see if your MC can assign you someone different. Or is your PM independent of a MC? Is your PM full-time with your HOA and does he have an office on your premises? Does your contract with the MC include him writing meeting minutes?

3. Related to Augustin's remarks, if you can afford it, ask your HOA attorney to meet with your Board to offer some training especially about your governing documents and MD statutes. Meanwhile, your own Bylaws and MD corporations codes can tell you a lot about your duties as a Board and as officers.

4. Follow Sheila's advice and visit the CAI website--some educational materials are free.

5. Non-profit boards are or should be very democratic. Board members are equals, each member has one vote. Boards govern HOAs not presidents. The president, especially if the daily tasks of overseeing vendors and staff, if any, were delegated to management, presides at meetings and usually is the liaison between management and the Board and HOA counsel and the Board.

6. Your background, Mac, gives you the tools to thoroughly review your HOA's reserves. You may wish to meet with your reserves analyst.

7. Review your major contracts: management, HOA attorney, at minimum.



MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/28/2021 8:52 AM  
While all well and good,

1) We only have half the story and

2) Being you have never done this before and never held a leadership position, well, be careful for with you wish for.

BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1108


07/28/2021 9:32 AM  
Keep in mind that, normally, the president is not a position of power. You are one board member who runs the meetings. Unless your governing documents say otherwise, you can't do anything on your own, the board runs the HOA.

You may have a good reason for seeing the other board members as the enemy but you should change that attitude immediately and commit to working with everyone to make it a better community.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


07/28/2021 10:55 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 07/28/2021 8:52 AM
While all well and good,

1) We only have half the story and

2) Being you have never done this before and never held a leadership position, well, be careful for with you wish for.




One thing I've noticed over the years is that new board members who get elected on a wave of "we're going to fix all the problems created by that horrible outgoing board, you betcha!" have a tendency to become exactly what they criticized the previous board members for.

Sometimes it's because "that horrible board" was actually doing what the CC&Rs and state laws required, but the activist homeowners didn't know that and find themselves having to do the same things.

Sometimes it's because the whole business was about power plays between factions.

And sometimes it's just about the fight - and once the new regime discovers that they're now in the hot seat and will be on the receiving end of the kind of stuff they were dishing out before, they lose their enthusiasm big time. Face it, taking pot shots at people is a lot more fun that getting shot at yourself.

Interesting times...



MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/28/2021 11:14 AM  
Prior to running for my board, I got certified through CAI as a CMCA (Certified Manager of Community Associations). That didn't sit well with the management company or the attorney. While we as community managers wish more of our board members were better educated in HOA affairs, the sad fact is many count on their ignorance.

Someone here keeps pounding that board members need to checkj their state codes, to which many board members will say, what codes, ehll I haven't read my governing docs. Many in Calfornia think it's the Davis-Sterling Act, but I think Larry Stirling would authored the legislation would like his name spelled correctly.

To the OP, learn how a HOA really works, top to bottom.

Here is a good resource, HOA Board Member Toolkit, https://www.caionline.org/HomeownerLeaders/ResourcesforHomeownerLeaders/CAI.BoardMemberToolkit_2014.pdf
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/28/2021 11:47 AM  
Yes, the CAI's Toolkit is one of the free pubs I and Sheila recommend, too. I think it's the best basic guide for HOAs of all I've looked at.

Speaking of the Davis-Stirling Act, which applies only to CA, Mackenzie, an HOA legal firm in has an excellent website that explains and Avises about all HOA items of interest. Much of the site relates to any HOA, not just those in Ca, but when you read it, make sure whatever you're reading isn't specific to CA. There is, for instance, a fine section on contracts most of which is generalizable to anywhere in the US. Visit Davis-Stirling.com.

I don't know how many "revolutionary" now Board Cathy has experienced, but I've only experienced two. The first was way back in '08. The new "upstart" Board, and I was elected to it, did not at all ever become anything like its predecessor. We newbies had studied our CC&Rs & Bylaws before being elected. We knew ,based on an owner's advice that we needed to start construction defect action immediately, which the old Board refused to do. All went well, our new PM ws excellent and been through defect litigation previously.

But time passed, all previous "good directors, retired, became ill or moved to follow. By 2017, a new element had been gradually elected not as a slate, but they coincidentally shared an interest in secrecy, and "keeping owners in line" at meetings, by publicly being rude to them. at monthly open meetings. By mid' 18 they made some very unpopular decisions. The situation was so bad that I didn't run for reelection & took a year off. They as explained previously were thrown out in the late '19 election. The now new Board is transparent, civil, communicative and creative. We overturned some previous disastrous decisions. We are nothing like the boards of the previous 2-3 years.

So my experience, though very limited is the opposite of what Cathy has seen
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


07/28/2021 1:15 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 07/28/2021 8:52 AM
While all well and good,

1) We only have half the story and

2) Being you have never done this before and never held a leadership position, well, be careful for with you wish for.




True, but just because you may be in for a helluva ride doesn't mean you can avoid it, and just because it can and WILL be hard work doesn't mean you get to skip it. Mackenzie has taken a great first step - recognizing she doesn't know what she doesn't know, but is willing to try to do the right thing by asking the perspectives of those who've been there. Some of the tips may be more beneficial than others - time will tell. In the meantime, it's a matter of setting priorities and taking your time - nothing worthwhile happens on a dime.

No one on this website knew everything about their HOAs before joining the board and I know I still learn things from reading it, although I've been off my board for 7 years (there's an outside chance I may return and would prefer to be a little wiser so I'll be more effective).
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


07/28/2021 1:56 PM  
Mac

The answer to reports of violations: is we are aware of the allegation and we are collecting information, including legal advice before we proceed. The worst thing we could do is start action without all the information. To do so we could be inviting costly legal action against our association and nobody wants that. Please let us do our job.
MikeB23
(Louisiana)

Posts:59


07/28/2021 5:16 PM  
Been there and done that. Our revolution was 7 years ago and I ended up on the Board.

Three things are your friend, the Declarations (Louisiana) or CCRs, the bylaws, and the Rules and Regulations. Everything else is just smoke and mirrors and my experience is that you will likely have to hurt some feelings of both those on the Board and those owners not on the Board.

Our Bylaws state meeting will be run according to Robert's Rules of Order. Get a copy that has the addendum in the back that outlines how to operate in an HOA.
LoriM15
(Florida)

Posts:50


07/29/2021 2:56 PM  
Posted By BenA2 on 07/28/2021 9:32 AM
Keep in mind that, normally, the president is not a position of power. You are one board member who runs the meetings. Unless your governing documents say otherwise, you can't do anything on your own, the board runs the HOA.

You may have a good reason for seeing the other board members as the enemy but you should change that attitude immediately and commit to working with everyone to make it a better community.




Having witnessed the last two presidents of our HOA fall victim to the "I'm in charge" disease, I want to say that the words above are really, really important.

Do everything you can to get your board to work together as a team. Ask for help. Give other board members projects to lead to keep them involved.

Don't be afraid to have a discussion with disagreement among the board members at a meeting. That shows transparency to the community. Our last president always wanted to have email discussions behind the scenes and just vote at meetings so it looked like we all agreed. It looked suspicious (plus probably broke some sunshine laws).

Fight the urge to do favors for friends and neighbors. Everyone has to be treated the same. Don't have special interest projects that don't benefit the entire community. Finally, remember that you are NEVER going to make everyone happy.
MikeB23
(Louisiana)

Posts:59


07/29/2021 3:21 PM  
I am so glad Louisiana doesn't require Board meetings to be pubic. I just don't see how that benefits anyone. Just like cameras in court rooms or Congressional hearings. People act different and some are afraid to be honest if being watched by their neighbors.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


07/30/2021 5:12 AM  
If board members are afraid of their neighbors giving them a side-eye or more if they make a decision people don't like, they need to rethink why they became board members in the first place. Personally, I prefer public meetings - that doesn't mean homeowners can jump in and make comments whenever they want. This is a BUSINESS meeting and while I also believe in a brief resident forum, people need to understand when it's over, sit down and listen, so the board members can do what they were elected to do, so everyone can go home at a decent hour.

By listening to the board members, homeowners can see the thought process that goes into decision making. They will find some people prepare and ask thoughtful questions, some don't think beyond "how much does this cost - I don't want it, that's too expensive" (regardless of what it is) and some simply go along with the crowd because it's easier. Hopefully, that will prompt people to think about who should continue to be on the board or may need to be voted out (or perhaps recalled).
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


07/30/2021 7:16 AM  
One way many BOD's get in trouble is they do not have enough owner input on issues. I believe that any owner is entitled to attend BOD Meetings, and at an appropriate time be able to speak.
MikeB23
(Louisiana)

Posts:59


08/01/2021 6:18 PM  
Not in Louisiana
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


08/01/2021 6:40 PM  
Posted By MikeB23 on 08/01/2021 6:18 PM
Not in Louisiana



God bless that red state!
DouglasM10
(Connecticut)

Posts:4


08/02/2021 8:54 AM  
Congrats! All great suggestions. One thing I would add is for you to get the latest, (12th) Edition od Roberts Rules of Order. Its very comprehensive and informative!!
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


08/02/2021 2:23 PM  
Robert's Rules is required for CT HOA board meetings, right, DouglasM? But I don't think that's typical in the USA in general. Many HOAs do require in their Bylaws that Robert's Rules be used for Membership/Associaton meetings; but not for board meetings.

Still, we occasionally use it as a default, when our bylaws are silent on a topic. An example that comes up maybe once a year is how to reconsider a decision that was made earlier in the meeting.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


08/02/2021 4:13 PM  
Posted By MikeB23 on 08/01/2021 6:18 PM
Not in Louisiana



I am not saying owners must be allowed to speak. I am saying that stifling them only leads to problems. A BOD is foolish and/or stupid and/or inviting problems if they do not let owners speak.

Let them speak at an appropriate time, such as at the end of the meeting not during the meeting

Set limits of what and how long they can speak. Say 3 minutes on any subject the BOD discussed. One minute on any subject the BOD did not discuss.

The BOD does not have to respond to any questions. Just say the BOD understands the question and will consider it.

Do not stifle owners.

MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


08/02/2021 4:25 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 08/02/2021 4:13 PM
Posted By MikeB23 on 08/01/2021 6:18 PM
Not in Louisiana



I am not saying owners must be allowed to speak. I am saying that stifling them only leads to problems. A BOD is foolish and/or stupid and/or inviting problems if they do not let owners speak.

Let them speak at an appropriate time, such as at the end of the meeting not during the meeting

Set limits of what and how long they can speak. Say 3 minutes on any subject the BOD discussed. One minute on any subject the BOD did not discuss.

The BOD does not have to respond to any questions. Just say the BOD understands the question and will consider it.

Do not stifle owners.




What might is saying is board meeting are NOT open to members, and he likes that very mcuh.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


08/02/2021 4:33 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 08/02/2021 4:25 PM
Posted By JohnC46 on 08/02/2021 4:13 PM
Posted By MikeB23 on 08/01/2021 6:18 PM
Not in Louisiana



I am not saying owners must be allowed to speak. I am saying that stifling them only leads to problems. A BOD is foolish and/or stupid and/or inviting problems if they do not let owners speak.

Let them speak at an appropriate time, such as at the end of the meeting not during the meeting

Set limits of what and how long they can speak. Say 3 minutes on any subject the BOD discussed. One minute on any subject the BOD did not discuss.

The BOD does not have to respond to any questions. Just say the BOD understands the question and will consider it.

Do not stifle owners.




What might is saying is board meeting are NOT open to members, and he likes that very mcuh.



Mike, not might
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


08/03/2021 7:13 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 08/02/2021 4:25 PM
Posted By JohnC46 on 08/02/2021 4:13 PM
Posted By MikeB23 on 08/01/2021 6:18 PM
Not in Louisiana



I am not saying owners must be allowed to speak. I am saying that stifling them only leads to problems. A BOD is foolish and/or stupid and/or inviting problems if they do not let owners speak.

Let them speak at an appropriate time, such as at the end of the meeting not during the meeting

Set limits of what and how long they can speak. Say 3 minutes on any subject the BOD discussed. One minute on any subject the BOD did not discuss.

The BOD does not have to respond to any questions. Just say the BOD understands the question and will consider it.

Do not stifle owners.




What might is saying is board meeting are NOT open to members, and he likes that very mcuh.




I understand what Mike is saying. I am saying I disagree with him. Granted sate law might say you do not have to but I am saying it is foolish if you do not.
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