Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Sunday, September 26, 2021











HOATalk is a free service of Community123.com:

Easy to use website tools to help your board
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Major faux pas
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:55


09/04/2021 7:11 AM  
Well, just made what I am calling a major faux pas. Would appreciate any advice.

We as a board have been going down a path that I didn't think would be popular with homeowners, but we hadn't received much feedback. Turns out, due to a passionate social media post, the issue just blew up this weekend. Now many many homeowners are all ticked off at the Board due to the decision that we were likely going to make this week.

Now what? We can walk back the decision (the final decision hasn't been made). Am I done as President? Do I have a future? Homeowners seem really upset.

I didn't join the board to upset everyone.
AugustinD


Posts:1585


09/04/2021 7:21 AM  
-- One, you are volunteering massive amounts of time. Anyone complaining had better be willing to step up and take your place. Despite my concerns about your board not having open meetings, I realize you are getting things done, and the volunteering you do is no day at the beach.

-- Two, do you want to be President? If not, resign as President, but stay as a director.

-- Three, do you want to be on the Board at all? If not, resign as director as well.

-- Four, announce that the vote on the final decision will happen at an open board meeting, with time for every owner to give input, as required by Arizona statutes.

- Five, the law and covenants require a HOA/COA board to act in the best interests of the HOA/COA corporation. This means that a board should often ignore pushback from owners. Why? Because the typical owner has no grasp of the budgets of associations, the need for reserve funding, liability concerns, et cetera. Further, the typical owner is not willing to step up and pull even her or his share of the weight of running a HOA/COA.
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:55


09/04/2021 7:28 AM  
Our meetings are open. They are not well advertised and we don't send out meeting agendas or notices in advance, but any homeowner is welcome to attend. They just need to ask the property manager for the meeting info for the upcoming meeting and we will provide the Zoom link.

Later, if we resume in person meetings, it becomes more difficult. We can't have random homeowners in our living rooms, so that will force us to meet offsite like in the local library or firehouse for our board meetings, which is less convenient for everyone and likely no one will attend.

For this upcoming decision, the meeting is well advertised and any homeowner who wants to talk will be provided a few minutes of open mic to be able to discuss their perspective.

I am in concurrence that there is a divide between the right decision for us to do as a board and the popular decision among homeowners who aren't in a position to have to run a corporation.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4175


09/04/2021 7:37 AM  
What Augustin said.

Ideally, the board would have given the community a heads up as to what was coming. That might not have stopped the social media posting, but at least people would have had the board's information with which to compare.

At this point, is check this posting to see if there's any information that was left out or misinterpreted altogether - making sure people have complete and accurate information is the goal (ignore the personal attacks). Then have your meeting, present everything and then let people ask their ques. They may still disagree, but many will respect the decision if they can see that you considered all options and made what you thought was the best one for the community.

And from this point on, stop wringing your hands over your position. It's ok if you don't want to be president for other reasons such as the work is taking too much time com your family, but understand that some people will go ballistic over some issues. You can't do this job effectively if you're more concerned about keeping your position as president or even a board membet. Do the job as best you can and let the homeowners decide - that's what they'll do anyway.
AugustinD


Posts:1585


09/04/2021 7:43 AM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 09/04/2021 7:28 AM
Our meetings are open. They are not well advertised and we don't send out meeting agendas or notices in advance, but any homeowner is welcome to attend. They just need to ask the property manager for the meeting info for the upcoming meeting and we will provide the Zoom link.
You say that this particular meeting is well advertised. However it sounds to me like the Board and you should give more attention to the Arizona statute on meeting notice:

Az Statute Section § 33-1804 • OPEN MEETINGS; EXCEPTIONS
...
D.
Notwithstanding any provision in the declaration, bylaws or other community
documents, for meetings of the board of directors that are held after the
termination of declarant control of the association, notice to members of
meetings of the board of directors shall be given at least forty-eight hours
in advance of the meeting by newsletter, conspicuous posting or any other
reasonable means as determined by the board of directors.
An affidavit of
notice by an officer of the corporation is prima facie evidence that notice was
given as prescribed by this section. Notice to members of meetings of the
board of directors is not required if emergency circumstances require action
by the board before notice can be given. Any notice of a board meeting shall
state the date, time and place of the meeting.
The failure of any member to
receive actual notice of a meeting of the board of directors does not affect
the validity of any action taken at that meeting.



You say your HOA's Board meetings are open. Yet it's not clear from your other threads that all this chatter by email that is happening should in fact happen at open meetings or be put into the minutes of the open meeting (where 'action without a meeting' is done by email).

Just a week or so ago you posted:
Posted By HenryS6 on 08/30/2021 9:16 AM
We are a thriving association. Parks are looking good. Projects are moving forward. Homeowners are happy and not complaining about dues because they see money being spent in the community. From the homeowner prespective, all is good.
I wonder whether this uproar is partly due to a lack of transparenc? Meaning perhaps too many board decisions are made by email? Or maybe notice for board meetings is not up to the Az statutes' standard?


BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:558


09/04/2021 8:15 AM  
Homeowners aren’t always going to like what the board does and board members need to be able to take that criticism and stand by their decisions.

If you are making this decision in good faith, and believe it is in the best interests of the association, the board needs to buck up. You’ll find out at the next election if this is a minor dust up or the thing that gets you voted out.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8524


09/04/2021 9:07 AM  
Henry has written that he doesn't care whether the Board is following AZ statutes about open meetings. Instead they, as he's written, make "decisions" online. Online meetings are secret meetings. Owners are prohibited from seeing and hearing the Board's deliberative process. This can lead to problems of members withholding trust form the Board.

So, I'm guessing that whatever online discussions the board has had about this topic have been hidden from Owners. Transparency as required by AZ, has been ignored, as Augustin suspects too, Owners in open meeting stats can become very angry when they're suddenly smacked with a decision that they didn't know was being considered because board discussions are behind closed doors. How did the owner who wrote the social media piece get wind of your board's online discussions of this topic?

Is the decision a major financial change, Henry? Or of some other type that will be disruptive to your community? If you're actually seeking advice, it seems we could use a little more detail about the issue.

Owners don't vote for Board presidents, Boards do. Owners certainly do vote for directors and also can recall them.
MaxB4


Posts:1210


09/05/2021 12:31 PM  
This is from California Corporation Code §7211(b)

b) An action required or permitted to be taken by the board may be taken without a meeting if all directors individually or collectively consent in writing to that action and if, subject to subdivision (a) of Section 7224, the number of directors then in office constitutes a quorum. The written consent or consents shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the board. The action by written consent shall have the same force and effect as a unanimous vote of the directors. For purposes of this subdivision only, “all directors” does not include an “interested director” as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 5233, insofar as it is made applicable pursuant to Section 7238 or described in subdivision (a) of Section 7233, or a “common director” as described in subdivision (b) of Section 7233 who abstains in writing from providing consent, where (1) the facts described in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (d) of Section 5233 are established or the provisions of paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 7233 or in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 7233 are satisfied, as appropriate, at or prior to execution of the written consent or consents; (2) the establishment of those facts or satisfaction of those provisions, as applicable, is included in the written consent or consents executed by the noninterested directors or noncommon directors or in other records of the corporation; and (3) the noninterested directors or noncommon directors, as applicable, approve the action by a vote that is sufficient without counting the votes of the interested directors or common directors.

Below is from a Arizona Bylaw

3.5 Action Taken Without a Meeting. The directors shall have the right to take any action in the absence of a meeting which they could take at a meeting by obtaining the written consent of all the directors. Any such written consent shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the Board.

Below is from the Arizona Non Profit Corporation Act

10-821. Action by directors without meeting

A. Unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws provide otherwise, action required or permitted by chapters 1 through 17 of this title to be taken at a directors' meeting may be taken without a meeting if the action is taken by all of the directors. The action must be evidenced by one or more consents describing the action taken, which, in the aggregate, must be signed by each director. The consents and signatures may be in writing or by electronic transmission, and the writing or writings or electronic transmission or electronic transmissions must be included in the minutes or filed with the corporate records. The filing must be in a paper format if the minutes are maintained in a paper format and must be in an electronic format if the minutes are maintained in an electronic format.

B. Action taken under this section is effective when the last director signs the consent, unless the consent specifies a different effective date.

C. A consent signed under this section has the effect of a meeting vote and may be described as such in any document.

D. Any director may revoke a consent by delivering a signed revocation of the consent to the president or secretary before the date the last director signs the consent or consents.

The assertion that Henry is holding "secret online meetings" are false, IF the result(s) of the action are included in the minutes of the next meeting.

I had an instance where a board posted the agenda of a meeting where the only item being voted on was the date of the next election. The agenda was posted 4 days prior and the meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM and adjourned at 7:31:30 PM.

California changed its rule because directors were not following the law. If a member asked for the minutes of a meeting they couldn't attend, it should show the same transparency if they requested the minutes to a meeting they didn't attend, but included the action of the meeting held without a meeting.
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:55


09/05/2021 12:35 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 09/05/2021 12:31 PM

The assertion that Henry is holding "secret online meetings" are false, IF the result(s) of the action are included in the minutes of the next meeting.




Thank you.
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:55


09/05/2021 12:40 PM  
If people want follow up, you might be interested in this thread. It might have something to do with the current thread.

I can't really share more details, sadly.

https://www.hoatalk.com/Search/ForumSearch/tabid/87/forumid/1/postid/309999/view/topic/Default.aspx
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8524


09/05/2021 2:14 PM  
So, Henry, you've said that lots of decisions are made online. Do all of these decisions meet the unanimous voting requirement and gathering of all signatures for inclusion in some minutes? Is this possible when you wrote elsewhere that you as prez make decisions and THEN board members debate them with you. This debate is online it seems. But it sounds like there is no unanimous Consent. Please answer.

Henry is not in CA, (so why cite its Corps Code) but some readers might be:

1. Action without a meeting in CA may only be in cases of emergencies per CA Civil Code, Davis-Stirling Act, which deals with all CA Common Interest Development.

2. Scheduling meetings may be done without an open board meeting and aren't required to have directors' signatures of consent to post with some minutes.

I hope future comments stick with AZ.
MaxB4


Posts:1210


09/05/2021 2:31 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 09/05/2021 2:14 PM
So, Henry, you've said that lots of decisions are made online. Do all of these decisions meet the unanimous voting requirement and gathering of all signatures for inclusion in some minutes? Is this possible when you wrote elsewhere that you as prez make decisions and THEN board members debate them with you. This debate is online it seems. But it sounds like there is no unanimous Consent. Please answer.

Henry is not in CA, (so why cite its Corps Code) but some readers might be:

1. Action without a meeting in CA may only be in cases of emergencies per CA Civil Code, Davis-Stirling Act, which deals with all CA Common Interest Development.

2. Scheduling meetings may be done without an open board meeting and aren't required to have directors' signatures of consent to post with some minutes.

I hope future comments stick with AZ.



Wait a minute, lady, you accused Henry of holding "secret meetings".

If you bother to read other state Bylaws as to Action Without A Meeting, there is a common thread, which I posted, that the actions must be recorded in the next meeting.
BillD16
(Texas)

Posts:21


09/05/2021 3:07 PM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 09/04/2021 7:28 AM

For this upcoming decision, the meeting is well advertised and any homeowner who wants to talk will be provided a few minutes of open mic to be able to discuss their perspective.

I am in concurrence that there is a divide between the right decision for us to do as a board and the popular decision among homeowners who aren't in a position to have to run a corporation.




Caveat: I am new here.

I don’t know the details, but if it hypothetically involved HOA property, safety, and liability, say? I would attempt to work out a solid justification for the decision in terms of dollars and cents and whatever else is relevant - human pain and suffering? - and distill it down to a single page, and circulate it out to the neighborhood.

I understand that many issues aren’t amenable to this. But I’m assuming that you made the decision in good faith and after due diligence, relying upon facts and a minimum of personal opinion or prejudice? A solid reason could perhaps change the tide of public perception. Especially if you can boil it down to death, injury, and financial impact.

Bill
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8524


09/05/2021 4:24 PM  
Well, I can't tell what the big mistake or faux pas is, but it seems to have something to do with the trail that goes through a park on HOA land. With such a big chunk of HOA common area involved, which could serve other purposes, it sounds like a topic that deserves a very open discussion in a very open meeting of the Board . and you've said, Henry, that there will be such a meeting.

Since you've written you have no place to meet on your promise, will your board find a suitable location? This might involve more owners since, if like my HOA, not all owners seem to be able to use Zoom?

This sure does sound like a topic that would require more than on open meeting. You mentioned a "path" towards making a board decision. What this path discussed at open meetings of the Board? Can the Board send, as Bill suggests, a letter to all owners explaining what has transpired (In front of them or not) thus far that might counter the "passionate" Facebook account?
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:55


09/06/2021 6:40 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 09/05/2021 4:24 PM
Well, I can't tell what the big mistake or faux pas is, but it seems to have something to do with the trail that goes through a park on HOA land. With such a big chunk of HOA common area involved, which could serve other purposes, it sounds like a topic that deserves a very open discussion in a very open meeting of the Board . and you've said, Henry, that there will be such a meeting.

Since you've written you have no place to meet on your promise, will your board find a suitable location? This might involve more owners since, if like my HOA, not all owners seem to be able to use Zoom?

This sure does sound like a topic that would require more than on open meeting. You mentioned a "path" towards making a board decision. What this path discussed at open meetings of the Board? Can the Board send, as Bill suggests, a letter to all owners explaining what has transpired (In front of them or not) thus far that might counter the "passionate" Facebook account?




I am curious, Kerry, what the average age of people in your community. If 35 of 300 homeowners attend monthly board meetings, I have a feeling that they must have a lot of time on their hands, so I suspect it is a retirement community. Is this correct?

I will say demographics play an important role in deciding how, when, and where to have meetings. In our neighborhood, we are fully of busy families with children, so people have no time for attending meetings. It's hard enough getting qorum for our annual meeting that we have once per year. We get about 35 homeowners to come out to that meeting and need 65 to get qorum.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11417


09/06/2021 10:43 AM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 09/06/2021 6:40 AM
Posted By KerryL1 on 09/05/2021 4:24 PM
Well, I can't tell what the big mistake or faux pas is, but it seems to have something to do with the trail that goes through a park on HOA land. With such a big chunk of HOA common area involved, which could serve other purposes, it sounds like a topic that deserves a very open discussion in a very open meeting of the Board . and you've said, Henry, that there will be such a meeting.

Since you've written you have no place to meet on your promise, will your board find a suitable location? This might involve more owners since, if like my HOA, not all owners seem to be able to use Zoom?

This sure does sound like a topic that would require more than on open meeting. You mentioned a "path" towards making a board decision. What this path discussed at open meetings of the Board? Can the Board send, as Bill suggests, a letter to all owners explaining what has transpired (In front of them or not) thus far that might counter the "passionate" Facebook account?




I am curious, Kerry, what the average age of people in your community. If 35 of 300 homeowners attend monthly board meetings, I have a feeling that they must have a lot of time on their hands, so I suspect it is a retirement community. Is this correct?

I will say demographics play an important role in deciding how, when, and where to have meetings. In our neighborhood, we are fully of busy families with children, so people have no time for attending meetings. It's hard enough getting qorum for our annual meeting that we have once per year. We get about 35 homeowners to come out to that meeting and need 65 to get qorum.




Henry

Do not forget, one could gather Proxies that will count toward Quorum. Without Proxies, we would not make Quorum at our Annual Metting.
MaxB4


Posts:1210


09/06/2021 10:44 AM  
JohnC

They are not allowed in Arizona.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4175


09/06/2021 2:00 PM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 09/06/2021 6:40 AM
Posted By KerryL1 on 09/05/2021 4:24 PM
Well, I can't tell what the big mistake or faux pas is, but it seems to have something to do with the trail that goes through a park on HOA land. With such a big chunk of HOA common area involved, which could serve other purposes, it sounds like a topic that deserves a very open discussion in a very open meeting of the Board . and you've said, Henry, that there will be such a meeting.

Since you've written you have no place to meet on your promise, will your board find a suitable location? This might involve more owners since, if like my HOA, not all owners seem to be able to use Zoom?

This sure does sound like a topic that would require more than on open meeting. You mentioned a "path" towards making a board decision. What this path discussed at open meetings of the Board? Can the Board send, as Bill suggests, a letter to all owners explaining what has transpired (In front of them or not) thus far that might counter the "passionate" Facebook account?




I am curious, Kerry, what the average age of people in your community. If 35 of 300 homeowners attend monthly board meetings, I have a feeling that they must have a lot of time on their hands, so I suspect it is a retirement community. Is this correct?

I will say demographics play an important role in deciding how, when, and where to have meetings. In our neighborhood, we are fully of busy families with children, so people have no time for attending meetings. It's hard enough getting qorum for our annual meeting that we have once per year. We get about 35 homeowners to come out to that meeting and need 65 to get qorum.




Quorum? Is this a board meeting, annual meeting official homeowners meeting? I understand needing a quorum of homeowners for an annual meeting of certain special homeowner Mart ngs, such as voting against n amendments to the documents, but if you're talking about a regular board neeting, it's about having a quorum of board members, not homeowners.

Yes, everyone's busy with family, eork, caring for elderly parents and what not, but I learned a long time ago, you'll never be able to pick a great time for everyone. Even board members may have to miss a meeting every now and then because they have a life outside the association and some things are more impoe.

That said, everyone gets 24 upheaval day and have to re ice the best Waggoner it. You said you have open meetings, so if it was important enough for 35 homeowners or whatever to attend, they do it. All the board can do is make the best decisions you can and explain to the homeowners what's going on and why. That's not a faux pas if you keep people informed, so there s sounds like you're afraid of the blowback.


JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11417


09/06/2021 2:48 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 09/06/2021 10:44 AM
JohnC

They are not allowed in Arizona.



Foolish of them.
AugustinD


Posts:1585


09/06/2021 3:51 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 09/06/2021 10:44 AM
They are not allowed in Arizona.

Az Statute section 33-1812
Notwithstanding any provision in the community documents, after
termination of the period of declarant control, votes allocated to a unit may
not be cast pursuant to a proxy. The association shall provide for votes to
be cast in person and by absentee ballot and, in addition, the association
may provide for voting by some other form of delivery, including the use of
e-mail and fax delivery. ...
MaxB4


Posts:1210


09/06/2021 4:07 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 09/06/2021 3:51 PM
Posted By MaxB4 on 09/06/2021 10:44 AM
They are not allowed in Arizona.

Az Statute section 33-1812
Notwithstanding any provision in the community documents, after
termination of the period of declarant control, votes allocated to a unit may
not be cast pursuant to a proxy. The association shall provide for votes to
be cast in person and by absentee ballot and, in addition, the association
may provide for voting by some other form of delivery, including the use of
e-mail and fax delivery. ...



???
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:254


09/06/2021 5:03 PM  
Henry, our Association sends out to each homeowner, a Board agenda a few days in advance. We do zoom meetings so members of the Association can listen in to any or all of the meeting. There is a line item called homeowner input that they can comment or ask questions. All of our Board meetings and times are listed on our website for the year.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8524


09/06/2021 6:26 PM  
I'm talking about board meetings. With Shelia, I’m thinking there may be some confusion between meetings of the Board and meetings of the members. Board meetings are required in AZ to be open with the time, date, etc. posted in a prominent place 48 hours in advance so that owners know about them. Michael show how easy this is. Does you PM do this, Henry, when you do have open board meetings? Or do you?

I hope you noticed per Augustin, Henry, that to get quorum at a members meeting, say, an election, owners must be permitted to mail in absentee ballots, or even MAY vote electronically. This is why we also make quorum for elections. Does your HOA conduct elections using those tools? I assume it’s the PM’s job to set up your annual meeting & election?

So, Henry, since you asked: we have 200+ condos and about 70% of our resident owners are over 55 y.o. We have regular (last Tues of each mo.) open board meetings once a month in the evening so people who are offsite at work usually can attend or via Zoom. Zoom meetings did increase our attendance. Lately, we've had two open board meetings almost every month. The meetings rarely exceed 1-1/2 hours.

I guarantee that in-person or Zoom BOARD meetings can take the burdens of overwork off of you, the president. Unless you have emergencies, most your Board’s business decisions in AZ should be conducted at open meetings. Simply do not initiate or accept non-emergency potential Board decisions online. Write: “That’s a good agenda item. Please submit it and your background materials by [date] and we’ll make sure it’s on our next agenda and in your directors report for the meeting.

As one of our regulars posted elsewhere on roughly the same topic, having emails going back & forth among, say, 5 directors, can be very time-wasting. And if just one refuses to reply or will not approve a decision, the Board in AZ must make it in an open meeting anyway. AND, sometimes, you’ve written your fellow directors simply don’t reply.

A second positive function of open meetings, is owners can see and hear who on the Board contributes, who seems glued to a pet topic, who says and knows nothing, etc. This helps owners make decisions about for whom to vote when you do have a members meetings for elections. The owner who wrote the passionate, but problem Facebook post, may be exactly the type who attends Board meetings and who can spread the word about knowledgeable active directors vs. dull-minded deadwood. Don’t worry about how many attend board meetings—the proceedings, tone, etc., gets out.

Btw, when your Board DOES make decisions online, as you've posted often happens, is the vote always unanimous and do all directors sign that they voted to approve the matter? And the approved motion and signatures recorded in minutes?
ND
(PA)

Posts:631


09/07/2021 6:47 AM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 09/04/2021 7:11 AM
Well, just made what I am calling a major faux pas. Would appreciate any advice.

We as a board have been going down a path that I didn't think would be popular with homeowners, but we hadn't received much feedback. Turns out, due to a passionate social media post, the issue just blew up this weekend. Now many many homeowners are all ticked off at the Board due to the decision that we were likely going to make this week.

Now what? We can walk back the decision (the final decision hasn't been made). Am I done as President? Do I have a future? Homeowners seem really upset.

I didn't join the board to upset everyone.



You don't elaborate at all on the decision to be made or the extent to which you requested or provided opportunity for homeowner feedback which might be helpful info to understand to be able to provide better feedback, but here are some thoughts . . .

Unless it's a decision that you absolutely must make ASAP, then simply hold off on making the decision. (If it's not a decision impacting the safety, health, welfare of the HOA or it's members, then you probably don;t need to rush to a decision.) Allow for additional homeowner feedback to be collected and analyzed, and then rethink the decision to be made. Since it's not happened yet, you've got time to actually consider what homeowners have to say and how they feel before making a decision that might have significant/lengthy repercussions.

Maybe you technically don't need to solicit homeowner feedback. Many/most Board decisions wouldn't require that (that's why the Board exists . . . to make decisions on behalf of the rest of the HOA); however, it seems like the topic being decided is of enough importance that folks have become outspoken with their input for one reason or another.
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:55


09/07/2021 7:39 AM  
Basically, we have a private HOA park and behind the park is county land. Many years ago trail builders illegally built an unapproved trail on the county land and used the HOA park to access the trail. It's popular so we have a ton of mountain bikers and members of the public that ride bikes through the HOA park as part of the trail.

The board didn't like this, and asked me to work with the county to see if the trail could be relocated. I spent months discussing with the county, but negotiations were unsuccessful. The idea was to move it so the trail was squarely on county land.

We had also tried to get a local mountain bike trail builder / advocacy group involved.

Since the county is the 800 lb gorilla, one has to play hardball to get them to move. Thus, we were preparing to ask them to close the trailhead, remove it from the county-provided maps, etc. Leave the trail itself in place, but just close the access.

Unfortunately, the trail advocacy group jumped the gun and sent out a mass e-mail trying to rile up it's members. It went viral, and I personally got blasted and attacked on social media, and now I am the bad guy here.

We clearly cannot close or relocate the trailhead due to the outcry of our homeowners, but the pounding on social media continues.

At this point, I am wondering if I will be forced to resign as president or recalled as a director. It's very hard to recall directors so I don't think that will happen but may lose my presidency over this.
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:55


09/07/2021 7:40 AM  
Darn, I can't edit. The idea with asking the county to close the trailhead was to force the county to find funding to relocate the trailhead to an adjacent county owned property. We want the trail to remain open and accessible, just relocated. They refused for a variety of rather silly reasons.
AugustinD


Posts:1585


09/07/2021 7:55 AM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 09/07/2021 7:39 AM
Since the county is the 800 lb gorilla, one has to play hardball to get them to move. Thus, we were preparing to ask them to close the trailhead, remove it from the county-provided maps, etc. Leave the trail itself in place, but just close the access.
As long as the facts and law are on the HOA's side, I believe playing hardball means lawyer-ing up. I am not persuaded the county has a legal obligation to do as your HOA asks. The county likely met its obligation to taxpayers by refusing your HOA's 'request.'

If a mountain biker plows into some kiddo on the basketball court, I guess the HOA or its insurer might try to argue that the county's refusal to move the trailhead contributed to causing this accident. But by far I think the HOA would be negligent in not fencing off the basketball court. To me the HOA's refusal to fence, knowing full well that the mountain bikers are interfering with the kids' play as we speak, is the real 800 lb gorilla.
AugustinD


Posts:1585


09/07/2021 7:57 AM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 09/07/2021 7:39 AM

We clearly cannot close or relocate the trailhead due to the outcry of our homeowners, but the pounding on social media continues.

At this point, I am wondering if I will be forced to resign as president or recalled as a director. It's very hard to recall directors so I don't think that will happen but may lose my presidency over this.
-- What is it the owners want the board to do?

-- Have you explained that the county is the problem, and people should write their county commissioner (not that this would make any difference given the facts here)? Have you proposed fencing the basketball court?
ND
(PA)

Posts:631


09/07/2021 8:20 AM  
Sounds like a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication that could be discussed and possibly resolved in an open forum that involves all stakeholders thoughts and opinions being heard. A perfect opportunity to step back, gather more input, and then make a more informed decision.

Sounds like perception is that you/the HOA Board want the trail/trailhead closed, and the "trail advocacy group" (which I assume contains several/many members of your HOA) want the trail/trailhead open. I can understand that you've been working behind the scenes to try and make the right things happen for everyone, but you've encountered roadblocks and feel like you have no other choice.

And while it's confrontational at this point, it doesn't need to be. You just need to make it obvious to all that you're holding off on the decision, wish for your thoughts/experiences/and activity to-date to be heard, and will allow for other input to be heard. I see this also as an opportunity to invite more ideas and/or community-involvement in finding the best solution (whereas you've been fighting the battle mostly on your own to this point).

I think when it comes down to it, everyone would want the same things: for HOA property to be respected; HOA members be able to use amenities w/o fear of being struck by a bike; the bike trail to remain open and accessible to the biking community; and liability for all things to be appropriately placed on those who should burden that liability. There are likely ways for all of this to occur and now that there is a lot of interest, you can use that momentum to set the record straight and work to make things happen.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8524


09/07/2021 8:56 AM  
What good ideas from ND & Augustin..

Two things:

1. I think you wrote elsewhere that the trial is used any about 10% of your owners. So they must have loud voices.

2. I believe that if the public has been permitted to use, say, a trail for many years that's on private property, it becomes a public easement or right of way. I'm really reaching waaaaay back. A layer will know and I think your board needs one to protect your HOA's property and to get advice about liability

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4175


09/07/2021 9:31 AM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 09/07/2021 7:39 AM
Basically, we have a private HOA park and behind the park is county land. Many years ago trail builders illegally built an unapproved trail on the county land and used the HOA park to access the trail. It's popular so we have a ton of mountain bikers and members of the public that ride bikes through the HOA park as part of the trail.

The board didn't like this, and asked me to work with the county to see if the trail could be relocated. I spent months discussing with the county, but negotiations were unsuccessful. The idea was to move it so the trail was squarely on county land.

We had also tried to get a local mountain bike trail builder / advocacy group involved.

Since the county is the 800 lb gorilla, one has to play hardball to get them to move. Thus, we were preparing to ask them to close the trailhead, remove it from the county-provided maps, etc. Leave the trail itself in place, but just close the access.

Unfortunately, the trail advocacy group jumped the gun and sent out a mass e-mail trying to rile up it's members. It went viral, and I personally got blasted and attacked on social media, and now I am the bad guy here.

We clearly cannot close or relocate the trailhead due to the outcry of our homeowners, but the pounding on social media continues.

At this point, I am wondering if I will be forced to resign as president or recalled as a director. It's very hard to recall directors so I don't think that will happen but may lose my presidency over this.



I don't see why you would get axed over something that isn't your fault. You don't say how long you've lived in the community, but if this trail has been here for "many years," it seems to me previous boards and the homeowners themselves would have pressured the people who built this thing and the county into fixing the mistake.

As for the trail advocacy group, do any of their members live in your HOA? If not, they can kick rocks. I don't mind trails, but if the biking has lead to trash and noise, they could have come up with suggestions on how to reduce that.

I really don't think you have anything to worry about - if the board elects officers from among its members, I would think your colleagues would have to have a better reason to replace you, so take a look at the totality of your performance. If this is the only dustup that comes from people who don't even live in your community, calm down. Heck if your colleagues think someone else can do the president's job better, I'd hand it to them on a silver platter. You did say in another post that people are demanding you do this and that and the work's well beyond the president's job description in your documents - sometimes, you have to fling people BS right back at them. When they see it really does stink, they'll calm down.
AugustinD


Posts:1585


09/07/2021 9:34 AM  
Posted By SheliaH on 09/07/2021 9:31 AM

As for the trail advocacy group, do any of their members live in your HOA? If not, they can kick rocks.
Ha, hikers "kicking rocks." Good one.
BillD16
(Texas)

Posts:21


09/08/2021 10:28 AM  
Posted By ND on 09/07/2021 8:20 AM

I think when it comes down to it, everyone would want the same things: for HOA property to be respected; HOA members be able to use amenities w/o fear of being struck by a bike; the bike trail to remain open and accessible to the biking community; and liability for all things to be appropriately placed on those who should burden that liability.



I think this is Pure Gold. I’m sure it’s a complicated state of affairs, but a simple, clear statement of goals like this can be invaluable in cutting through the BS.

Bill
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).



Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement