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Subject: How To Handle This Issue With Another Board Member
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CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/10/2021 8:40 PM  
Help Needed:

I am on the Board for a condo community. We had agreed that the cleaning of the stucco on the balcony was the responsibility of the Owner. The stucco on my unit is dirty since I have been in the home for 19 years. I planned to get my stucco cleaned and decided it would be nice to reach out to my neighbors to see if they wanted to get theirs clean at all. I sent out an email, under my homeowner role, letting folks know that I planned to get my stucco cleaned and if they wanted to join the initiative. I received feedback from 18 of the 48 units that they were interested in receiving quotes on the cleaning of the stucco.

There is a female Board Member that takes issue with my involvement with the community and has now started sending emails to the entire Board (and me) that I should not have asked other owners if they wanted to get their stucco cleaned. That I am a Board Member and should have just gotten mine cleaned and left everyone else alone. The emails are now bordering on harassment now because she implies that the community can't distinguish between my role as Owner and Board Member. Mind you, I am the Communications Person for the Board. Everything that goes out to the Community I generally write and it goes out under my name. I have received numerous commendations from Homeowners regarding the work that I have done on the Board.....

This Board Member is not very community focused. Whenever she is asked to provide leadership for anything that impacts the community, her response is "I don't know any of these people". I fear that this has now raised its ugly head in the space of "jealousy" because I am community-minded and have no problems interacting with the members.

She is now really pissed because I contacted the attorney, copied the Board, who said our original decision regarding the stucco on the balcony was wrong. That the stucco is part of the exterior of the building and that the Association needs to pay for any cleaning that is done. I suggested to the Board that we just notify the members that the work will be included in a larger plan to clean the buildings, clubhouse, etc. During that discussion, she attempted to berate me again.....and I finally had to tell her that she would not harass me any longer.

I guess this is a frustration letter. How do you deal with someone that continues to harass you on the Board? Who does very little on behalf of the community, but is continuing to strike out at me because I am community focused.

Your insights would be very helpful.
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/10/2021 9:16 PM  
I guess my question is: Do I have rights as an Owner simply because I am on the Board?
TimB4
(Tennessee)

Posts:17856


08/11/2021 2:19 AM  
Posted By CarolynM3 on 08/10/2021 8:40 PM

The emails are now bordering on harassment now because she implies that the community can't distinguish between my role as Owner and Board Member.




That is a fair concern.

I had a personal newsletter at one time informing owners about activities of the board. When I was elected to the board, I stopped publishing that newsletter because of the potential perception issue (was it me or the board talking).

Posted By CarolynM3 on 08/10/2021 8:40 PM

She is now really pissed because I contacted the attorney, copied the Board, who said our original decision regarding the stucco on the balcony was wrong. That the stucco is part of the exterior of the building and that the Association needs to pay for any cleaning that is done.




I hope you contacted the attorney with the boards permission and not on your own impulse.
If you didn't have the boards approval prior to contacting the board, you likely exceeded your authority.

BTW - I agree with the attorneys decision that this maintenance is the responsibility of the COA and not individual members.


Posted By CarolynM3 on 08/10/2021 8:40 PM

During that discussion, she attempted to berate me again.....and I finally had to tell her that she would not harass me any longer.

How do you deal with someone that continues to harass you on the Board?




Sounds like you dealt with it.
TimB4
(Tennessee)

Posts:17856


08/11/2021 2:22 AM  
Posted By CarolynM3 on 08/10/2021 9:16 PM
I guess my question is: Do I have rights as an Owner simply because I am on the Board?




Yes you have rights as an owner.
You also have a responsibility as a member of the board.


I would refrain from sending anything to the membership as an owner as long as you are on the board to minimize any confusion as to who is sending the message.

Additionally, anything you send out on behalf of the board should not go out under your name. It should go out under the Boards name. Alternatively, the signature block should read "for the board, Name, title"
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1811


08/11/2021 4:04 AM  
Setting aside your personal feud with a fellow neighbor....

You can certainly send personal correspondence to your neighbors, under your own name, to let people know that you've hired a cleaning company and they'd be willing to assess others' properties if the other owners so choose. Of course, make clear that this is doing this as a personal communication and don't use any HOA-cultivated mailing lists (like having your property manager send an email on your behalf).

Tim isn't wrong by suggesting that board members should refrain from all such neighbor-to-neighbor interaction but that can be too restrictive in my opinion given we're residents, first, volunteer servants second.

However, if you wave your "I'm an HOA board director" sign - and you know if you do this - your outreach could be viewed as quasi-official.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2607


08/11/2021 4:25 AM  
I agree with Tim and Kelly about your rights and responsibilities as a homeowner and as a board member.

In this particular case, as long as you made it clear you were acting as a homeowner and seeing if your neighbors wanted to join with you to get a better rate on stucco cleaning, you're fine. In fact we encouraged homeowners to do things like that since it would save them money and result in less commotion overall in the community. Not sure why your fellow board member would object to something like this.

As a general approach, If I'm dealing with someone who likes to start fights, I usually don't respond - both to avoid giving them the reaction they want and to save my energy for the more important things. Pick your battles.
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 4:43 AM  
This is the email that I distributed:

Good Afternoon.....

Writing to you not as a Board member, but as a neighbor to see if there is interest in the situation below.

Our stucco, on the balcony of #2104 is getting grimy in some spots. There is definitely discoloration in some spots...not sure. We were considering having it painted, but most authorities indicate that stucco should not be painted, but washed (power wash or soft cleaned if you do not have a water source). The resources indicated painting stucco tends to keep it from breathing and can create more problems in the long run.

Some additional reasons I found as to why you shouldn't paint the stucco;

Stucco needs to breath – One of the main reasons you shouldn’t coat your stucco with paint is because stucco is porous. This allows moisture that hits the surface to easily evaporate away. A coat of paint can harm that breathability.
Paint peels – Maybe not right away, but eventually the nice coat of paint you put over your stucco is going to peel. If you love the low-maintenance aspect of your stucco, paint would quickly become your enemy.
Some paints attract mildew – Some paints contain natural oils that attract algae or other mildew types. This may increase the likelihood of mold growth on your home.
You can’t put stucco over paint – Once paint is on your stucco, no stucco can go over it. The stucco will not bond to the paint and will crack and fall away. That means if any repairs require a new stucco coat, you’ll have to have a professional sand blast the paint off and then re-stucco – which is going to cost you!

So, we have decided to have our balcony stucco cleaned. We have to get a "soft clean" because we do not have a water source for our balcony.

The question is: Do you need your balcony stucco cleaned? I ask because I am generating a request to a vendor for the cleaning of my balcony stucco and if other folks have the same request maybe we can provide sufficient work for the vendor to take on the entire project.

Please let me know via this email thread.

Namaste',

Carolyn Miller
#2104
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 5:21 AM  
Everything I send out goes out as:

On Behalf of The ..... Board of Directors
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:297


08/11/2021 6:09 AM  
First thought is how did you acquire the email addresses used to send the communication? Did you use an HOA mailing list/address available as a Board member or addresses you personally collected being a neighbor?

If you used the email addresses available to you as the person representing the Board Communications liaison, I can see how this would be an issue with the Board.

If you contacted the HOA attorney without Board approval that is also an issue and now the HOA pays the attorney bill. Our attorney will only correspond with the HOA President after he has been provided approval from the Board.

Now that the attorney has determined that it's HOA responsibility, is there money in the budget to schedule stucco cleaning of the entire community? We are frequently asked to repaint front doors. Not in the budget at this time is our response and we offer them the paint code. We have 144 front doors and have a massive list of building integrity/safety issues before we can budget for cosmetics.

"I guess my question is: Do I have rights as an Owner simply because I am on the Board?"

You do have owner rights. Being on the Board may enlighten you to more than you thought you had as an owner. The Board needs to respond in unison to maintain it's integrity, preserve the HOA funds, maintain HOA property and fulfill it's fiduciary responsibility.

Best time for a Board member to ruffle feathers as an owner is when they are no longer a Board member after gaining all their knowledge while serving the HOA.






Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 6:39 AM  
I created this email distribution list. The property manager has the official list and I have my own list. I used the same communication to enlist the community on getting a good rate to have our dryer vents cleaned. There were no issues with this Board Member. I think I understand the basic issues now:

1. The Board Member did not have an issue with the dryer vent community project that I planned. (same type of communication and same email distribution list). Money was saved because 60% of the community participated.

2. She has made it clear that I "opened a can of worms and now the Association is responsible for cleaning the balcony stucco". She wishes that I had just gotten mine cleaned and not alerted the rest of the community. Her ire has been raised because she painted her stucco (without securing permission), and now the remainder of the community will have theirs cleaned / painted for free.

3. She does not like to really interact with the community at large. There are a few of us that are more gregarious. She seems to resent that and finds opportunities to criticize our intermingling.
I think she believes that being a "Board Member" is a form of "royal designation". I agree that we have to be above reproach on many levels when operating on behalf of the Association, but the degree to which she would prefer we "separate" ourselves from the larger community is very apparent to other Board members.

4. I never contact our attorney without engaging the Board (unless an emergency occurs and a phone call is needed). In fact the Board is copied on all said communications. But we have always brought the other members in on the discussion.

CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2607


08/11/2021 7:36 AM  
Posted By CarolynM3 on 08/11/2021 6:39 AM
... snip ...

2. She has made it clear that I "opened a can of worms and now the Association is responsible for cleaning the balcony stucco". She wishes that I had just gotten mine cleaned and not alerted the rest of the community. Her ire has been raised because she painted her stucco (without securing permission), and now the remainder of the community will have theirs cleaned / painted for free.

... snip ...



She's wrong. Maintenance responsibility in condos is defined in your CC&R's/Declaration, and it's not open for debate or change if someone messes up. If the stucco is considered part of the unit, then it's nearly always owner responsibility. If it's a limited common element, then maintenance may fall on either the owner or the association, but your CC&Rs will tell you that.

I'm confused about why she would have needed permission to deal with the stucco if it's her responsibility as an owner, unless your CC&Rs differentiate between cleaning/routine upkeep and maintenance/replacement. Why would she think that people are now getting this done "for free" (sic) if individual owners are getting together to hire the cleaners?

(Don't get me started on people who think that if the association pays for it that it's "free". Where do they think the money comes from?)
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 8:02 AM  
Our attorney informed us on yesterday that the maintenance (which includes the cleaning) of the stucco on the balconies is the responsibility of the Association. That an owner can go ahead and have theirs cleaned but would need to alert the Board as this is really a part of the Common Elements (in the event of damage). Heretofore, we thought the entire balcony (including the stucco, trim, etc) was the responsibility of the owner. That is why she is angry. That my actions helped to shed light on an area that she didn't want to have clarified.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


08/11/2021 9:37 AM  
Like Cathy (I think) I'm also in a condo building. The topic of painting balcony walls & ceilings was a major issue in my HOA because the CC&Rs are ambiguous. Our balconies are exclusive use (limited use) common areas. Our CC&Rs seem to say that Owners clean and maintain the interior surfaces of their balconies. But "maintain" isn't defined. To me, it would include paint.

As a director, you should learn or know the answers to the below questions:
What is the exact wording in your documents about WHO is obligated to clean, maintain, paint or whatever words are used, the balconies' interior surfaces.

Are the balconies limited use common area? Or are they common area?

IF they are the HOA's obligation, they surely there are funds in reserves to do this work? Is there a line item in your reserves study to paint or wash your balcony stucco??

I feel, Carolyn, that you sometimes go too far in your "reaching out" to the community. If you have a property manager, for instance, the Board should instruct them to seek bids to clean the dryer vents so that owners can enjoy a bulk rate., which is what we do here

Ditto with the balcony stucco. Your details about the downside of painting stucco that you sent to owners seems like an attempt to influence them re: Board policy, which I don't feel is appropriate for a director. Painting should have been a board agenda item, discussion, vote, etc.

With others, directors should never contact the HOA attorney without Board approval. It doesn't seem that was obtained. And you'd phone the attorney in an emergency without at least consulting with the president.

Look, Carolyn, I think it's wonderful that your'e so involved with assn .members and friendly towards the. But there are certain perimeters to what a direct can do "on her own initiative." It's important to be a team player with the Board.

As to your detractor, if her behavior towards you at board meeting is rude & surly, you might want to place this on an exclusive session agenda and ask the Board to direct her to be civil at board meetings.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2607


08/11/2021 9:57 AM  
I think the complaining board member got to find out first hand why homeowners should ask for approval before doing anything that's not their responsibility.

I also think this is a good illustration of why a board should think twice about being "nice" and allowing homeowners to do maintenance work that is the association's responsibility. There are many reasons not to do this: poor quality work, no warranty or guarantee, possible voiding of the warranty on exterior components, people getting upset when others appear to get something that they don't, and liability.

Liability is the biggie. Owners may damage something while doing the work, and they may get hurt on the common elements. And if they have the association's OK for doing this, then they're probably going to be considered employees of the association even though they're not being paid. It's possible that you're not carrying enough insurance if someone gets hurt and expects the association to pay their medical bills. People have stupid accidents all the time, and if these accidents occur on the common elements, the association is on the hook.

If this exterior maintenance is truly the association's responsibility, then homeowners shouldn't be getting together and doing anything. The correct solution is to figure out the correct schedule for doing this sort of work and then following this schedule. You can't control your expenses if you're doing things whenever someone gets a bee in their bonnet over something.
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 10:47 AM  
Cathy,

I would disagree with the being "too nice". We have a very small community: 2 buildings and 48 units. The pool is one of the key meeting places for residents: Board Members and Owners alike. The community has forged extremely close relationships over time. It is just not that kind of formal atmosphere. And, because we are so close, yes we do have to maintain checks and balances to ensure we are clear on when we are operating on behalf of the Board. That has never been a problem. We have residents that will take other residents to the hospital and spend the entire evening until a diagnosis has been made. (pre-pandemic). During the pandemic, residents will bring food to folks that are sick. Or, take a neighbor to the hospital for a special test. Or just bring someone a card and some flowers when they are down in the dumps. We do indeed have a very close and special community.

Correction: The Board did not allow the owner to do maintenance work that was the association's responsibility. The Board operated with the belief that the cleaning / maintenance of the balcony stucco was indeed the responsibility of the owner. It was only, Tuesday, August 11th that the attorney advised us that that was not the case.

As a small community, we interact with each other and collaborate on those things that are not "Board owned or controlled". We have been successful in this area and our community is very close because of that sense of collaboration. The current issue is that 16 of us were going to collaborate on getting a good quote for our stucco because the Board had communicated that the owners were responsible for the cleaning of the balcony / balcony stucco, etc. As indicated, we only discovered on yesterday that the Association was responsible. So, the owner that painted her stucco operated in good faith. She didn't really know that the "stucco" was a Common Element.

Regards,

Carolyn
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 10:57 AM  
You may have a different kind of Property Manager. WE sought to solicit bids to come up with an approved vendor so that all new windows would be standardized and alike. The Property Manager did nothing.

Our Board is probably one of the most active Boards I have heard of. We are very active in the day-to-day work, the decision-making, the overseeing of projects on the property. We have a CPA as our Treasurer. Personally, I was a Program Manager for an IT Dept within an international Communications Company. So, we oversee large initiatives. The Property Manager does very little. WE create our own budget. She indicated she holds our Board of Directors up as models for other communities. Sorry, we are not a "hands-off" Board. We have an action log that has worked at lest 500+ issues. I am the security person on-location. When there is an intrusion, I capture all of the data feed and coordinate with the local police. We have Board Members assigned to the following areas, i,e. Infrastructure / Maintenance, Janitorial, Communications, Security/ Access, Landscape, Event Planning, etc. So, a lot of what some of you might be accustomed to doing on a Board....just doesn't work in our community.

And, we have received huge commendations from our Community on just how well our property is managed.

Regards...

Carolyn
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 11:03 AM  
As to being a Team Player.....that is who I am. If you spoke to anyone on the team, you would find that I have volunteered to help others often when they needed to offload something. The person that has the issues has asked me to step in for her on numerous occasions.

The issue is that this Board Member would prefer a "hands off" approach when interacting with the community and anyone that chooses to do otherwise is a "threat to that personal belief". There are other Board members that engage as much (or more) with the owners. But, there are NO owners that would say they have instances of where the Board member "crossed the line" in terms of blurring the roles between Board and Owner.

Regards,

Carolyn
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


08/11/2021 11:04 AM  
Say, Carolyn. As a director, would you mind s answering my questions? thank you.
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 11:05 AM  
Correction: This response was for KerryL1 (in California; not Cathy)
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 11:06 AM  
I addressed an answer to Cathy, but it was for you. Please review. Thanks.
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 11:22 AM  
Like Cathy (I think) I'm also in a condo building. The topic of painting balcony walls & ceilings was a major issue in my HOA because the CC&Rs are ambiguous. Our balconies are exclusive use (limited use) common areas. Our CC&Rs seem to say that Owners clean and maintain the interior surfaces of their balconies. But "maintain" isn't defined. To me, it would include paint.

As a director, you should learn or know the answers to the below questions:
What is the exact wording in your documents about WHO is obligated to clean, maintain, paint or whatever words are used, the balconies' interior surfaces.

(You have this all wrong. Have you not read my responses. It was not clear in our documents as to WHO owned the responsibility for cleaning the stucco. The Board has assumed since the inception that that responsibility fell on the OWNERS)

Are the balconies limited use common area? Or are they common area?

(Our Attorney indicated that parts are Limited Common area and parts are Common Area. The stucco is considered a part of the building, and thus, a Common Element). I said this in several responses.

IF they are the HOA's obligation, they surely there are funds in reserves to do this work? Is there a line item in your reserves study to paint or wash your balcony stucco??

I feel, Carolyn, that you sometimes go too far in your "reaching out" to the community. If you have a property manager, for instance, the Board should instruct them to seek bids to clean the dryer vents so that owners can enjoy a bulk rate., which is what we do here

(You have no idea what you are speaking on here. See my response to Cathy, which should have been to you).

Ditto with the balcony stucco. Your details about the downside of painting stucco that you sent to owners seems like an attempt to influence them re: Board policy, which I don't feel is appropriate for a director. Painting should have been a board agenda item, discussion, vote, etc.

(Wrong again. This was based on personal research and had nothing to do with Board policy since I was operating as an owner. The other Board person shared her experiences with painting).

With others, directors should never contact the HOA attorney without Board approval. It doesn't seem that was obtained. And you'd phone the attorney in an emergency without at least consulting with the president.

(Shit happens....and there are emergencies. We have given each other the responsibility for reaching out in an emergency).

Look, Carolyn, I think it's wonderful that your'e so involved with assn .members and friendly towards the. But there are certain perimeters to what a direct can do "on her own initiative." It's important to be a team player with the Board.

( I have been a Board member for 5 years, coordinated the drafting of our handbook, and facilitated the update of the CCRs. I know the rules. Initiatives get started by other Board Members (including the 1 in question), and later presented to the Board for review and decision. I have been in a situation when a Board member met with a vendor and then provided estimates to us for review. WE had no idea this was happening. We bitch about it and we move on... because we know that it will happen again. I can be described as a lot of things, but a "loose cannon" would not be one ascribed to me.

As to your detractor, if her behavior towards you at board meeting is rude & surly, you might want to place this on an exclusive session agenda and ask the Board to direct her to be civil at board meetings.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2607


08/11/2021 11:24 AM  
I'll chime in anyway... :-)

Here is the issue with being "collaborative" with homeowners: like it or not, board members have a different role to play, and it does separate them from their neighbors.

* By law board members make the decisions, and they can be held legally accountable for those decisions. Homeowners do not and cannot.

* Board members have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the association. Homeowners do not - they are free to act in their own self interest, even if that self interest is detrimental to the association.

* In the most extreme cases, board members can fine their neighbors if they violate the CC&Rs, they can send delinquent accounts to collections, and they decide if and when to foreclose on a neighbor who has stopped paying their assessments. There is an inherent inequality, and no amount of "collaboration" will make that go away.

Blurring these lines can make it difficult to know who is in charge. More specifically, it can make for hard feelings on the part of homeowners who think they should have a say when they can't, and it can make it easy for board members to essentially pass the buck or not be the bad guy when it's time to make difficult decisions. It leads to poorer governance, not better - although the "we're all the best of chums here" attitude certainly can make everybody feel better, whether or not they actually are.
AugustinD


Posts:1937


08/11/2021 11:36 AM  
Posted By CarolynM3 on 08/10/2021 8:40 PM
How do you deal with someone that continues to harass you on the Board?
Two cents:

-- Ask that HOA business, including supposed concerns about directors' conduct, be addressed solely at meetings of the board and not by email. The directors' time is precious. Board actions are all that important, and unless there is an emergency, board actions may only occur via votes at a board meeting.

-- For board meetings, ask that directors stick to the agenda for board meetings.

-- Have two stock lines: (1) "My actions violated neither the governing documents; state law; nor any ethical rule." and (2) when she repeats pretty much the same line of attack, respond again and again, "Asked and answered." Do not engage. Resist elaboration. Stay composed and professional. Picture how those you admire respond in situations like this.


CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 11:36 AM  
CathyA3...I am afraid your experience has not been mine nor ours. We just don't operate the way you are describing.

This sterile notion that Board Members have to be aloof and removed from the larger population would not work for us and never has. WE manage to get the job done because we are connected to our community and they KNOW WE CARE. In a world today where there are sufficient boundaries to alienate and isolate folks, we have found a formula that works for our community. And, we actually have lots of positive responses and very few conflicts. This issue that I raised is an anomaly.

Our owners are so engaged. They are on Architecture Standards Committees, Security and Safety Committees, Social / Event Planning Committees, Communications Committees. They come to the first 15 minutes of our monthly Board meetings. They raise issues, we listen, and we decide on a path forward.

There are rules and guidelines that are applicable to all HOAs. And, there are areas where the rules are not as definitive as they need to be. We are constantly seeking to improve upon how we navigate the terrain of BOD oversight, but it will never be "ice cold" and lacking in a humanistic approach.

I think I have exhausted this subject.....the other Board Member has backed off and I have learned a lot from sharing this issue.

Thanks everyone for your assistance.
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 11:37 AM  
Thank you so very much. A most helpful response.
AugustinD


Posts:1937


08/11/2021 11:37 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 08/11/2021 11:36 AM
Board actions are all that important
The above should have been, "Board actions are all that are important"
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 11:37 AM  
CathyA3...I am afraid your experience has not been mine nor ours. We just don't operate the way you are describing.

This sterile notion that Board Members have to be aloof and removed from the larger population would not work for us and never has. WE manage to get the job done because we are connected to our community and they KNOW WE CARE. In a world today where there are sufficient boundaries to alienate and isolate folks, we have found a formula that works for our community. And, we actually have lots of positive responses and very few conflicts. This issue that I raised is an anomaly.

Our owners are so engaged. They are on Architecture Standards Committees, Security and Safety Committees, Social / Event Planning Committees, Communications Committees. They come to the first 15 minutes of our monthly Board meetings. They raise issues, we listen, and we decide on a path forward.

There are rules and guidelines that are applicable to all HOAs. And, there are areas where the rules are not as definitive as they need to be. We are constantly seeking to improve upon how we navigate the terrain of BOD oversight, but it will never be "ice cold" and lacking in a humanistic approach.

I think I have exhausted this subject.....the other Board Member has backed off and I have learned a lot from sharing this issue.

Thanks everyone for your assistance.
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 11:38 AM  
Like Cathy (I think) I'm also in a condo building. The topic of painting balcony walls & ceilings was a major issue in my HOA because the CC&Rs are ambiguous. Our balconies are exclusive use (limited use) common areas. Our CC&Rs seem to say that Owners clean and maintain the interior surfaces of their balconies. But "maintain" isn't defined. To me, it would include paint.

As a director, you should learn or know the answers to the below questions:
What is the exact wording in your documents about WHO is obligated to clean, maintain, paint or whatever words are used, the balconies' interior surfaces.

(You have this all wrong. Have you not read my responses. It was not clear in our documents as to WHO owned the responsibility for cleaning the stucco. The Board has assumed since the inception that that responsibility fell on the OWNERS)

Are the balconies limited use common area? Or are they common area?

(Our Attorney indicated that parts are Limited Common area and parts are Common Area. The stucco is considered a part of the building, and thus, a Common Element). I said this in several responses.

IF they are the HOA's obligation, they surely there are funds in reserves to do this work? Is there a line item in your reserves study to paint or wash your balcony stucco??

I feel, Carolyn, that you sometimes go too far in your "reaching out" to the community. If you have a property manager, for instance, the Board should instruct them to seek bids to clean the dryer vents so that owners can enjoy a bulk rate., which is what we do here

(You have no idea what you are speaking on here. See my response to Cathy, which should have been to you).

Ditto with the balcony stucco. Your details about the downside of painting stucco that you sent to owners seems like an attempt to influence them re: Board policy, which I don't feel is appropriate for a director. Painting should have been a board agenda item, discussion, vote, etc.

(Wrong again. This was based on personal research and had nothing to do with Board policy since I was operating as an owner. The other Board person shared her experiences with painting).

With others, directors should never contact the HOA attorney without Board approval. It doesn't seem that was obtained. And you'd phone the attorney in an emergency without at least consulting with the president.

(Shit happens....and there are emergencies. We have given each other the responsibility for reaching out in an emergency).

Look, Carolyn, I think it's wonderful that your'e so involved with assn .members and friendly towards the. But there are certain perimeters to what a direct can do "on her own initiative." It's important to be a team player with the Board.

( I have been a Board member for 5 years, coordinated the drafting of our handbook, and facilitated the update of the CCRs. I know the rules. Initiatives get started by other Board Members (including the 1 in question), and later presented to the Board for review and decision. I have been in a situation when a Board member met with a vendor and then provided estimates to us for review. WE had no idea this was happening. We bitch about it and we move on... because we know that it will happen again. I can be described as a lot of things, but a "loose cannon" would not be one ascribed to me.

As to your detractor, if her behavior towards you at board meeting is rude & surly, you might want to place this on an exclusive session agenda and ask the Board to direct her to be civil at board meetings.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2607


08/11/2021 2:50 PM  
Yikes.

Board members who

* don't know whether the exterior portions of the buildings are common elements or not

* don't understand who is responsible for maintaining them

* think it's appropriate to do an end run around the board and organize homeowners to do things that aren't their responsibility

* seem to believe this is admirable behavior ...

... are the definition of loose cannons.

Portraying this approach as friendly and collaborative, and labeling adhering to the CC&Rs and bylaws as "cold and "aloof", is a favorite tactic of loose cannons everywhere who like to justify their actions by using emotionally-loaded language.

This sounds like a chaotic community. Not surprising that board members are squabbling since none of them appears to have their s**** (*) together. Oh well - not my circus, not my monkeys, thankfully.

(* stuff, of course.)
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1614


08/11/2021 3:25 PM  
Carolyn

Welcome to the beat up a board members hour. I strongly believe that the attitiude of some here are the reason why HOA's get a bad rep.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


08/11/2021 4:27 PM  
It's really important that board members understand their governing documents, so I was going that Carolyn could cite the portion that says WHO is responsible for the interior of the balconies. That would include the floors, ceilings (stucco?), door to & from, light fixture etc. perhaps vent grills, etc. Whether a balcony is common area or limited use common area (most likely), its elements might be an obligation of the Owner or of the HOA. This should be be in your CC&Rs. Did a qualified HOA attorney help you out with your rewrite of them, Carolyn?

An HOA attorney would not say it's partly common area and partly limited use common area. That, so far as I know, is not possible UNLESS It's spelled out in the CC&Rs. Many condos have an "exhibit" to attach to their CC&Rs that specifies exactly WHO is responsible for what. The dimensions are: clean, maintain, repair, replace. Can you tell us if painting the balcony interiors is on your reserve schedule?

I've served on our HOA Board of 7 in a 200+ high rise for 13 years (took off '19) and we never have needed to call our HOA for an "emergency." I can't even think of what an example would be. (Plumbers sure!) The Board determines when to contact him, and by whom. Only the prez can contact him on his own as per our contract with the attorney.

Despite our size, we do everything that is in Carolyn's HOA including several active committees, very helpful neighbors, etc. About 25% are absentee, and another 11% live here part time, but we still get about 35 to attend monthly board meetings for the whole meeting. We have an open forum for their participation at the beginning and again at the end of the Board meeting. I'm trying to say that our central downtown high steel/glass/stucco highrise and some around us that I know of have the same warm relationships in them as does Carolyn's.

We just painted the entire stucco potions of our then 18 y.o building two years ago.

I agree with Cathy's various observations in general. Board deiced if they want, say bids of x or y. Then they might assign a director to find some if you PM doesn't do that kind of work. For a director to approach vendors on their own without board approval can lead to all kinds of pitfalls including vendors thinking they have a potential when they do not, thinking that that director has authority to make decisions, when she does not. Such board get bad reputations among vendors.

I'm glad your critic seems to be backing off Carloyn. I think I, Cathy & Augustin have been very courteous and we all are condo-experinced. Max, a property mgr., is not.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1614


08/11/2021 4:48 PM  
I'm glad your critic seems to be backing off Carloyn. I think I, Cathy & Augustin have been very courteous and we all are condo-experinced. Max, a property mgr., is not.


I believe all three of you need to get a room.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1614


08/11/2021 5:09 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 08/11/2021 4:27 PM
It's really important that board members understand their governing documents, so I was going that Carolyn could cite the portion that says WHO is responsible for the interior of the balconies. That would include the floors, ceilings (stucco?), door to & from, light fixture etc. perhaps vent grills, etc. Whether a balcony is common area or limited use common area (most likely), its elements might be an obligation of the Owner or of the HOA. This should be be in your CC&Rs. Did a qualified HOA attorney help you out with your rewrite of them, Carolyn?

An HOA attorney would not say it's partly common area and partly limited use common area. That, so far as I know, is not possible UNLESS It's spelled out in the CC&Rs. Many condos have an "exhibit" to attach to their CC&Rs that specifies exactly WHO is responsible for what. The dimensions are: clean, maintain, repair, replace. Can you tell us if painting the balcony interiors is on your reserve schedule?

I've served on our HOA Board of 7 in a 200+ high rise for 13 years (took off '19) and we never have needed to call our HOA for an "emergency." I can't even think of what an example would be. (Plumbers sure!) The Board determines when to contact him, and by whom. Only the prez can contact him on his own as per our contract with the attorney.

Despite our size, we do everything that is in Carolyn's HOA including several active committees, very helpful neighbors, etc. About 25% are absentee, and another 11% live here part time, but we still get about 35 to attend monthly board meetings for the whole meeting. We have an open forum for their participation at the beginning and again at the end of the Board meeting. I'm trying to say that our central downtown high steel/glass/stucco highrise and some around us that I know of have the same warm relationships in them as does Carolyn's.

We just painted the entire stucco potions of our then 18 y.o building two years ago.

I agree with Cathy's various observations in general. Board deiced if they want, say bids of x or y. Then they might assign a director to find some if you PM doesn't do that kind of work. For a director to approach vendors on their own without board approval can lead to all kinds of pitfalls including vendors thinking they have a potential when they do not, thinking that that director has authority to make decisions, when she does not. Such board get bad reputations among vendors.

I'm glad your critic seems to be backing off Carloyn. I think I, Cathy & Augustin have been very courteous and we all are condo-experinced. Max, a property mgr., is not.



I am curious, you discuss issues about your community with complete strangers, and possibly and unknowingly, with residents of your complex on this forum and then agree with Cathy on comments like:

Board members who:
* seem to believe this is admirable behavior ...
... are the definition of loose cannons.

You can shove off all your issues and those of a fellow neighbor to a property manager, BUT, what about those HOA's in California that are self managed, who do they shove them off to?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


08/11/2021 6:08 PM  
Do you any advice for Carolyn, Max?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2607


08/11/2021 6:17 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 08/11/2021 3:25 PM
Carolyn

Welcome to the beat up a board members hour. I strongly believe that the attitiude of some here are the reason why HOA's get a bad rep.



Nice try.

But the fact is that some of the board members who post here are the authors of their own misfortunes, and HOAs largely get their bad names through the actions of board members (or PMs) who don't know what they're doing.

If calling stuff what it is gets labeled "beating up the board" - more emotionally loaded language there - then honest answers are off the table in those cases. So why bother? "There, there, dearie" and send them on their way.

I take posters at their word that they want information. And board members are, or should be, thick skinned enough to take "tough love" when appropriate - and if they aren't, they're in for a world of hurt as board members.

I will also point out that Kerry and I have never been guilty of name-calling, ad hominem attacks, off color suggestions, and other uncivil and unprofessional responses we've been treated to by a few posters in other threads. Those who do dish up such things would be well advised to examine their own actions.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1614


08/11/2021 6:34 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 08/11/2021 6:08 PM
Do you any advice for Carolyn, Max?



NOPE, but still waiting for yours!
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1614


08/11/2021 6:37 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 08/11/2021 2:50 PM
Yikes.

Board members who

* don't know whether the exterior portions of the buildings are common elements or not

* don't understand who is responsible for maintaining them

* think it's appropriate to do an end run around the board and organize homeowners to do things that aren't their responsibility

* seem to believe this is admirable behavior ...

... are the definition of loose cannons.

Portraying this approach as friendly and collaborative, and labeling adhering to the CC&Rs and bylaws as "cold and "aloof", is a favorite tactic of loose cannons everywhere who like to justify their actions by using emotionally-loaded language.

This sounds like a chaotic community. Not surprising that board members are squabbling since none of them appears to have their s**** (*) together. Oh well - not my circus, not my monkeys, thankfully.

(* stuff, of course.)



Do you really have any idea how many board members are clueless in regards to the comments you made above?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


08/11/2021 6:57 PM  
Please try to read my post to Carolyn--I have advice in it, Max.

I cannot speak for Cathy, but when I post I'm alway thinking that folks other than the original poster are reading replies. So sometimes, I try to include things I've learned over time that might reach silent others--items that might spark new ideas or clarity or, who knows?

Whether some are "clueless" re: Cathy's most recent comments, in this case, Carolyn has said she facilitated the update of their CC&Rs. She clearly thinks she is knowledgeable. This should mean that she knows what's in them. I hope her Board had help from a qualified HOA attorney.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1614


08/11/2021 7:12 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 08/11/2021 6:57 PM
Please try to read my post to Carolyn--I have advice in it, Max.

I cannot speak for Cathy, but when I post I'm alway thinking that folks other than the original poster are reading replies. So sometimes, I try to include things I've learned over time that might reach silent others--items that might spark new ideas or clarity or, who knows?

Whether some are "clueless" re: Cathy's most recent comments, in this case, Carolyn has said she facilitated the update of their CC&Rs. She clearly thinks she is knowledgeable. This should mean that she knows what's in them. I hope her Board had help from a qualified HOA attorney.


Again, I am curious, on another thread dealing with quorum and proxies, you stated "I don't understand proxies at all", yet you say you wrote the Election Rules for your Association.
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 7:57 PM  
I am not going to respond to this group anymore. There are a few folks that are sincere regarding assisting, but for the most part, there are a bunch of folks that are so caught up in negativity they are like a loaded pistol ready to shoot the first thing in sight.

As I indicated, the CCRs were very ambiguous regarding the definition of "WHO" owned all aspects of the balcony (stucco included). The Association attorney indicated as much when we reached out to him and asked for clarity.

First, you don't read. You take bits and pieces of information to try and prove your point. You are classic examples of "cognitive dissonance" at its worse!!!

I don't plan to justify or dignify some of the crap coming from some of these hotheads, so thank you to those that were very helpful, very thoughtful, and spoke with a sense of authenticity. Thank you to the folks that did not have to assuage their tiny little egos by trying to diminish someone else's. I would challenge you to visit our community any day in the week and you will see a pretty well oiled organization. Some of you really give the HOA Boards a frigging bad name. You are so full of yourselves....you prosthelytize and spew a lot of very non-productive crap.

This experience has been absolutely helpful. Thank you for the reminder to not return.

Thank you to the folks that really gave a damn and tried to provide workable solutions and feedback:

KellyM3
KerryL1
AugustinD

The rest of you folks.....deal with your pettiness and stop pretending that you are authorities on subjects for which you seem to have limited knowledge.

Now, if I can find a way to delete this crap....I will be fine.

Ciao!!
CarolynM3


Posts:0


08/11/2021 8:16 PM  
CathyA3,

You really don't know what you are talking about.

1. The CCRs do not clearly define the boundaries of the LCE vs the CE in the balcony area. That is why we sought an attorney.
2. If the CCRs were clear, then the grey area would not exist. The document from the attorney discussed the need to redefine the elements of the "balcony".
3. Contrary to what you said, this was no damn "end run around the Board". WE have had several collaborations with the owners, i.e., getting dryer vents cleaned. They have been successful and the homeowners responded in kind.
4. THE BOARD MEMBERS ARE NOT SQUABBLING. THIS IS A ONE OFF INCIDENT. WE GET ALONG VERY WELL. WE MANAGE OUR COMMUNITY VERY WELL. WE HAVE AN EXCELLENT RESERVE....FISCALLY SOUND AND WE EXPERIENCE POSITIVE FEEDBACK FROM OUR COMMUNITY. YOU SOUND A BIT JEALOUS....IN MY ESTIMATION.

You are one of the self-serving, full of "yourself" folks that I described below. You take pieces of information to assuage an infantile ego in the hopes of trying to diminish someone else.

Get a life!!
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:794


08/12/2021 4:26 AM  
CarolynM3, I agree with many of your comments regarding the negativity here and it's a shame. Specifically, the frequent pissing matches that Max engages in often hi-jack threads or water them down so much that the meaning of the original posts are lost within the trash talking.

It's become an endless cycle. Someone makes a post and Max then slams it and puffs up his chest to show the world how smart he is. The recipient of Mad Max's rant, only adds fuel to the fire by responding giving Max more ammo. The cycle then repeats itself over and over.

Now in all fairness Max does have a 45 foot RV so what do I know?
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1614


08/12/2021 5:59 AM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 08/12/2021 4:26 AM
CarolynM3, I agree with many of your comments regarding the negativity here and it's a shame. Specifically, the frequent pissing matches that Max engages in often hi-jack threads or water them down so much that the meaning of the original posts are lost within the trash talking.

It's become an endless cycle. Someone makes a post and Max then slams it and puffs up his chest to show the world how smart he is. The recipient of Mad Max's rant, only adds fuel to the fire by responding giving Max more ammo. The cycle then repeats itself over and over.

Now in all fairness Max does have a 45 foot RV so what do I know?



Cathy was out of line and I called her on it.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8734


08/12/2021 9:02 AM  

Re Kerry, Max wrote: "Again, I am curious, on another thread dealing with quorum and proxies, you stated 'I don't understand proxies at all', yet you say you wrote the Election Rules for your Association."

Carolyn's thread has nothing to do with me our my HOA's Election Rules or with Max's "curiosity." This is what JohnT means by Max hijacking threads.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1614


08/12/2021 9:12 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 08/12/2021 9:02 AM

Re Kerry, Max wrote: "Again, I am curious, on another thread dealing with quorum and proxies, you stated 'I don't understand proxies at all', yet you say you wrote the Election Rules for your Association."

Carolyn's thread has nothing to do with me our my HOA's Election Rules or with Max's "curiosity." This is what JohnT means by Max hijacking threads.



Kerry,

This was YOUR statement, "Whether some are "clueless" re: Cathy's most recent comments, in this case, Carolyn has said she facilitated the update of their CC&Rs. She clearly thinks she is knowledgeable. This should mean that she knows what's in them. I hope her Board had help from a qualified HOA attorney."

Or do you have selective memory?
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1614


08/12/2021 9:54 AM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 08/12/2021 4:26 AM
CarolynM3, I agree with many of your comments regarding the negativity here and it's a shame. Specifically, the frequent pissing matches that Max engages in often hi-jack threads or water them down so much that the meaning of the original posts are lost within the trash talking.

It's become an endless cycle. Someone makes a post and Max then slams it and puffs up his chest to show the world how smart he is. The recipient of Mad Max's rant, only adds fuel to the fire by responding giving Max more ammo. The cycle then repeats itself over and over.

Now in all fairness Max does have a 45 foot RV so what do I know?



Bud,

I wasn't the ones beating up on the poster, who has since left. I had been a Board member and president of an association for a couple of years. I would talk to people all the time. While walking my dogs in the evenings, I would get stopped all the time and asked questions, I never once thumbed my nose at anyone. They ask a question and I would give them an answer. If they asked what happened at the meeting three days ago, I would give them an honest answer. I never took action that ever required a board decision.

What do most do, hide behind a property manager. Why, because they live in the neighborhood and these are there neighbor. Why do people come here looking for answers. Many times it's because these board members and property manager are aloft. We have a poster that think they're a lawyer and tell people go get a lawyer. I've managed properties for 13 years and never once have had to use a law firm to force an owner into compliance. Somehow we found solutions.

I never once said I was the smartest kid on the block, and I don't feel it's anyone's place to google every thread that comes up here and the claim you're the expert based on experience. I'll comment where I have the experience. If it is state specific issues, I'll stick with my home state. Am I an expert on California HOA's, pretty much yes, but only because I put in the time, a lot of time.

For some of you, go out and manage a few properties and see what it's really like running one on a day-to-day basis, not just showing up to a board meeting once a month, read a bard packet prepared for you and then making decisions based on work someone else did. Yes, we get paid for our services and the boards are just volunteers. I didn't make the rules.
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