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Subject: What actually is my role as President?
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HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:55


09/05/2021 11:51 AM  
I'm the President of my association and have been since March. I'm a little stumped about my role as President of the association.

Per the by-laws, I preside over the meetings as my role as an officer of the board. I get that I should prepare for meetings, prepare the meeting agenda, and run the meeting. In addition, I am a regular director so I keep doing what I would normally do as a Director.

Thing is, other board members treat me more like I'm the property manager. They want me to prepare weekly summaries of what happened each week so the other board members can debate on whether I took the correct actions. (They see me more as a CEO where I make decisions independently that are then reviewed by the other board members). I don't really like that, as I will never make every decision exactly the way the other board members think is the right way to handle things.

The other board members complain about too many e-mails, so the property manager just comes to me as her contact when she needs board direction, and then either I respond to her or circulate to the board if I feel that is necessary and appropriate.

I do about 90% of the work on the association, which is fine, but I feel I have a peanut gallery of people who have lots of opinions about what I do, but don't do any work of their own. I don't really care for that so much. Either they need to be on board to do more of the work, or they need to stop complaining about the work that I do.

How does an effective President go about executing their duties as they hold the Office of President?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8524


09/05/2021 12:09 PM  
Short answer: The president executes her/his duties at an open meeting of the board in AZ.

Say, Henry. You've asked a very similar question previously. and you very recently asked another which generated some feedback, but you haven't followed through by responding?

I'm going to stick with earlier advice, but first, presidents of HOA boards do not "decide" or "take action." Now, of course, there may be minor or emergent matters that are decided by the president IF the board has given you that authority. How? At an meeting with their votes. And in AZ, votes must occur at open meetings except for rare exceptions. The president making decisions "independently, and THEN the board debated the decisions is completely wrong.

It is NOT the president's job to "decide" what actions he can authorize "when appropriate or necessary" except in limited cases.

So I go back to my manta. Discuss & debate topics at open meetings of the board. Sure, via Zoom, since your HOA doesn't seem to have a meeting place. Make sure owners are noticed per the statute that Augustin cited in your must recent post. At open meetings, owners can see and hear which directors are contributors to the benefit of your Assn., and which are deadwood, who can be voted out via recall or at an election.
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:55


09/05/2021 12:19 PM  
My question isn't about open versus closed meetings or things like that. Let's stay on track.
AugustinD


Posts:1585


09/05/2021 12:23 PM  
HenryS6, I would be steamed. I think it's important to tell the directors, calmly with a cheerful demeanor, that since the other directors are critical of your actions, you are asking them to step up and take on some of the responsibilities. See if you can come up with a concise chart of chores that can be assigned.

It's a tough situation. I think it happens a lot, unfortunately.
MaxB4


Posts:1210


09/05/2021 1:14 PM  
Excuse the French, but for the other board members it's either shit or get off the pot.

I was president of my association for a couple of years, back in 2010-2012. I've managed a number of HOA's and ours required someone different from the norm. Our MC handled all the financials, collections, storing of records, taking meeting minutes, so for VP, Secretary, Treasurer there wasn't much on the day to day to do. The Secretary wanted to be president, but only to run the meetings, so I compromised, he ran the meetings every other month. Happier than a pig in heat.

Our biggest issue, among many, was water. The management company couldn't/wouldn't handle it, so we had to. Monthly water/sewer bills averaged $100K monthly between two associations. Each association had to bill their individual owners for the owner's use of water. Our association had to bill the other association for their use. The other association used a billing company to handle owner accounts, we used our gardeners to read the meters, and then we did the billing. Our billing statements had to be done prior to owner's assessments went out, so we had the task of coordinating the two.

With Facebook, we had so much misinformation going on, it was impossible to run the organization. Former board members demanded the MC handle the water, even though they stated they wouldn't.

I probably did 90% of the work the management company didn't do, but I really enjoyed it. Not the nonsense, though, especially when no one else would do it. We happen to have had a bad management company and worse attorneys.

Two things happened because of that experience, one I started a HOA management company two years later, and second, made the decision not to ever live in an HOA again.

Henry, my advice, offer any of the other the presidency, and if they refuse, politely tell they to get the hell out of your way.

CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2393


09/05/2021 1:19 PM  
Don't your bylaws spell out the duties of each officer?

It can help to view officers' duties as a job description. All directors have equal authority as far as voting goes, but each has a separate set of responsibilities as officers. Your bylaws should also state somewhere that these areas of responsibility can be delegated, usually to a property manager but often to a non-director who has skills that the board members may lack (Treasurer is a common example).

If you're doing 80% of the work, then the other directors/officers aren't doing their jobs. This is unfortunately common. Sometimes a board president views the position as Dictator/God and runs roughshod over the rest of the board. And sometimes you have one director doing most of the work while the rest of them twiddle their thumbs.

If you can't get the lazy bums to shift their hinders and start doing their jobs (ask them! delegate!), then the solution is to replace them. If you don't, you'll end up resigning because you're so burned out that you can't see straight. If the problem is that you're the only one in the community who's willing to do the work, and replacing your current colleagues will just give you another set of thumb twiddlers, maybe it's time the community has a wake-up call.
MaxB4


Posts:1210


09/05/2021 2:05 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 09/05/2021 1:19 PM
Don't your bylaws spell out the duties of each officer?

It can help to view officers' duties as a job description. All directors have equal authority as far as voting goes, but each has a separate set of responsibilities as officers. Your bylaws should also state somewhere that these areas of responsibility can be delegated, usually to a property manager but often to a non-director who has skills that the board members may lack (Treasurer is a common example).

If you're doing 80% of the work, then the other directors/officers aren't doing their jobs. This is unfortunately common. Sometimes a board president views the position as Dictator/God and runs roughshod over the rest of the board. And sometimes you have one director doing most of the work while the rest of them twiddle their thumbs.

If you can't get the lazy bums to shift their hinders and start doing their jobs (ask them! delegate!), then the solution is to replace them. If you don't, you'll end up resigning because you're so burned out that you can't see straight. If the problem is that you're the only one in the community who's willing to do the work, and replacing your current colleagues will just give you another set of thumb twiddlers, maybe it's time the community has a wake-up call.



I will disagree with you as it pertains to a HOA that has contracted with an MC for full service management. I have attached the duties of President, Secretary and Treasurer of a HOA. The roles and duties of a Secretary and Treasurer are pretty much eliminated with a full service MC. The role of a Treasurer could change if they had a Finance or Budget Committee.

Much also will depend on the actual size and complexity of the HOA. The president could be left with 90% of the duties. If you have people you can delegate to, GREAT. But, that isn't always the case. If you can't delegate, who do you give it to? You're a three-person board and no one wants to step up, and the owners don't want any part of it as they already found some idiot to do their work, until they complain.

Section 5.4 - President. The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Association and shall, subject to the control of the Board, have supervision, direction and control of the business and officers of the Association. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Members and at all meetings of the Board. The President shall be, ex-officio, a member of all standing committees, including the executive committee, if any, and shall have the general powers and duties of management usually vested in the office of the President of a California non-profit corporation, and shall have such powers and duties as may be prescribed by the Board or by these Bylaws.

Section 5.6 - Secretary. The Secretary shall keep or cause to be kept, the corporate seal of the Association in safe custody, and a book of minutes at the Association’s principal office or such other place as the Board may order, of all meetings of directors and Members, with the time and place of holding, whether regular or special, and if special how authorized, the notice thereof, give the names of those present or represented at Members' meetings and the proceedings thereof. The Secretary shall keep or cause to be kept, at the principal office of the Association, a membership register of the following: (i) the names and addresses of all members of the Board, (ii) the names and addresses of all Members, including the Residential Units owned by such Members, (iii) the number of votes represented by each Member. The Secretary shall give, or cause to be given, notice of all the meetings of the Members and of the Board required by the Bylaws or by law to be given, and shall have such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by the Board or by these Bylaws.

Section 5.7 - Treasurer. The Treasurer shall keep and maintain, or cause to be kept and maintained, adequate and correct accounts of the property and business transactions of the Association, including accounts of its assets, liabilities, receipts, disbursements, gains, losses, capital and surplus. The books of account shall at all times be open to inspection by any director. The Treasurer shall co-sign all checks and promissory notes of the Association and shall deposit all monies and other valuables in the name and to the credit of the Association with such depositories as may be designated by the Board. The Treasurer shall disburse the funds of the Association as may be ordered by the Board, shall render to the President and directors, whenever they request it, an account of all of the Treasurer’s transactions as chief financial officer and of the financial condition of the Association, and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board or the Bylaws.

BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1003


09/05/2021 2:39 PM  
It is frustrating when people, who are not willing to do any work, complain but that is the nature of the job. Regardless, the other directors and the owners have a right to hold the president accountable.
MaxB4


Posts:1210


09/05/2021 2:46 PM  
Posted By BenA2 on 09/05/2021 2:39 PM
It is frustrating when people, who are not willing to do any work, complain but that is the nature of the job. Regardless, the other directors and the owners have a right to hold the president accountable.



And if the incompetence happens with a sports team, whose head gets chopped, the guy making $20M a year or the one making $100K?
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:55


09/06/2021 6:49 AM  
Posted By BenA2 on 09/05/2021 2:39 PM
It is frustrating when people, who are not willing to do any work, complain but that is the nature of the job. Regardless, the other directors and the owners have a right to hold the president accountable.




Ben,

I think you might mis-understand the role of president. The only special thing the president does, in a HOA board of directors, is preside over meetings. He is not the CEO or the man in charge of the association. He is simply the one who runs the meetings. As such, it's unfair to say that the president is supposed to do 90% of the work and the only role of the other directors is to hold the president accountable. Nobody gets paid and there is no reason that the president has to do 90% of the work.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1003


09/06/2021 6:57 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 09/05/2021 2:46 PM
Posted By BenA2 on 09/05/2021 2:39 PM
It is frustrating when people, who are not willing to do any work, complain but that is the nature of the job. Regardless, the other directors and the owners have a right to hold the president accountable.



And if the incompetence happens with a sports team, whose head gets chopped, the guy making $20M a year or the one making $100K?



I miss your point. The remedy for an incompetent board is to vote them out. There really is no head to chop since the directors are all elected and equals in running the association.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2393


09/06/2021 7:48 AM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 09/06/2021 6:49 AM
Posted By BenA2 on 09/05/2021 2:39 PM
It is frustrating when people, who are not willing to do any work, complain but that is the nature of the job. Regardless, the other directors and the owners have a right to hold the president accountable.




Ben,

I think you might mis-understand the role of president. The only special thing the president does, in a HOA board of directors, is preside over meetings. He is not the CEO or the man in charge of the association. He is simply the one who runs the meetings. As such, it's unfair to say that the president is supposed to do 90% of the work and the only role of the other directors is to hold the president accountable. Nobody gets paid and there is no reason that the president has to do 90% of the work.



In my community it's more than just presiding over meetings.

According to my bylaws, "the President shall preside at all meetings of the Board, shall have the authority to see that orders and resolutions of the Board are carried out, and shall sign all legal instruments on behalf of the Association." These duties fall to the Secretary/Vice President in the President's absence or refusal to act.

The duty to see that all orders and resolutions of the Board are carried out really does put the burden on the President if there is no PM and the other board members are coasting. (The business with signing all legal instruments is why you don't want the President and Treasurer to be the same person.)
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2393


09/06/2021 7:56 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 09/06/2021 7:48 AM
... snip ...

In my community it's more than just presiding over meetings.

According to my bylaws, "the President shall preside at all meetings of the Board, shall have the authority to see that orders and resolutions of the Board are carried out, and shall sign all legal instruments on behalf of the Association." These duties fall to the Secretary/Vice President in the President's absence or refusal to act.

The duty to see that all orders and resolutions of the Board are carried out really does put the burden on the President if there is no PM and the other board members are coasting. (The business with signing all legal instruments is why you don't want the President and Treasurer to be the same person.)



Forgot to mention, elsewhere in my bylaws there is another article that spells out the duties of the board as a whole, many of which are often passed to the PM. With no PM, then it's up to the board to carry out these duties regardless of their roles as officers. If you have one busy board member plus lots of dead weight, then it's very easy for that one person (usually the president) to end up doing 90% of the work. It isn't right, it isn't sustainable, and it's counterproductive in the long run - but it happens more often than it should.
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:55


09/06/2021 9:03 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 09/06/2021 7:56 AM
Posted By CathyA3 on 09/06/2021 7:48 AM
... snip ...

In my community it's more than just presiding over meetings.

According to my bylaws, "the President shall preside at all meetings of the Board, shall have the authority to see that orders and resolutions of the Board are carried out, and shall sign all legal instruments on behalf of the Association." These duties fall to the Secretary/Vice President in the President's absence or refusal to act.

The duty to see that all orders and resolutions of the Board are carried out really does put the burden on the President if there is no PM and the other board members are coasting. (The business with signing all legal instruments is why you don't want the President and Treasurer to be the same person.)



Forgot to mention, elsewhere in my bylaws there is another article that spells out the duties of the board as a whole, many of which are often passed to the PM. With no PM, then it's up to the board to carry out these duties regardless of their roles as officers. If you have one busy board member plus lots of dead weight, then it's very easy for that one person (usually the president) to end up doing 90% of the work. It isn't right, it isn't sustainable, and it's counterproductive in the long run - but it happens more often than it should.




Cathy,

I'm fine with doing the majority of the work. I'm not fine with others thinking their role is just to review and criticize my actions if they disagree.

I don't need the peanut gallery of armchair experts. Either they need to contribute, or stop criticizing.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2393


09/06/2021 9:18 AM  
Posted By HenryS6 on 09/06/2021 9:03 AM
... snip ...

Cathy,

I'm fine with doing the majority of the work. I'm not fine with others thinking their role is just to review and criticize my actions if they disagree.

I don't need the peanut gallery of armchair experts. Either they need to contribute, or stop criticizing.



Unfortunately that's HOAs/COAs in a nutshell, and you need to learn to tune it out while at the same time listening with half an ear in case there is something worthwhile mixed in with all of the rest. Anything looks easy when you don't understand all the moving parts.

This is one of the reasons that our attorneys strongly recommend that associations avoiding Facebook and other social media - among other things it gives the uninformed a platform for spreading their misinformation. If the HOA provides plenty of factual info via a community website, newsletters and other channels, the peanut gallery will discredit themselves. They'll never pipe down completely, but the noise level will diminish.
MaxB4


Posts:1210


09/06/2021 9:37 AM  
Posted By BenA2 on 09/06/2021 6:57 AM
Posted By MaxB4 on 09/05/2021 2:46 PM
Posted By BenA2 on 09/05/2021 2:39 PM
It is frustrating when people, who are not willing to do any work, complain but that is the nature of the job. Regardless, the other directors and the owners have a right to hold the president accountable.



And if the incompetence happens with a sports team, whose head gets chopped, the guy making $20M a year or the one making $100K?



I miss your point. The remedy for an incompetent board is to vote them out. There really is no head to chop since the directors are all elected and equals in running the association.



What I mean to say, was the manager is the one that takes the blame for a team's failures. Most owners actually don't know how a governing body of an HOA works and tend to blame a president for their view of failures.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1775


09/07/2021 12:34 PM  
Henry,

I don't think this has been asked but how much HOA board experience do you have in your community?

We know you became president in March 2021 (right?). What's your overall board tenure or experience?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11417


09/07/2021 1:09 PM  
We have a BOD of five. We have an MC that handles all the money and sends out violation notices. Other then that, the Pres and myself (VP & Treasurer) do all the work. We chat on the phone and use Email. Fortunately the other BOD members agree with our actions/decisions.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8524


09/07/2021 1:48 PM  
The thing is, JohnC, decisions made by 2 board members on the phone are not permitted in AZ as mentioned previously. Decisions should be made in open board meetings. But if thy can't, all directors must Conset to the decisions and their signatures must be made for meeting minutes. I've asked Henry if this is done for their , according to him, mayo nine decision, and he won't reply.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11417


09/07/2021 2:07 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 09/07/2021 1:48 PM
The thing is, JohnC, decisions made by 2 board members on the phone are not permitted in AZ as mentioned previously. Decisions should be made in open board meetings. But if thy can't, all directors must Conset to the decisions and their signatures must be made for meeting minutes. I've asked Henry if this is done for their , according to him, mayo nine decision, and he won't reply.



Kerry what the Pres. and I do is lineup everything up for the BOD to take action on...wink....wink....wink
MaxB4


Posts:1210


09/07/2021 2:38 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 09/07/2021 2:07 PM
Posted By KerryL1 on 09/07/2021 1:48 PM
The thing is, JohnC, decisions made by 2 board members on the phone are not permitted in AZ as mentioned previously. Decisions should be made in open board meetings. But if thy can't, all directors must Conset to the decisions and their signatures must be made for meeting minutes. I've asked Henry if this is done for their , according to him, mayo nine decision, and he won't reply.



Kerry what the Pres. and I do is lineup everything up for the BOD to take action on...wink....wink....wink



Extra emphasis on the wink.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1775


09/07/2021 8:29 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 09/07/2021 2:07 PM
Posted By KerryL1 on 09/07/2021 1:48 PM
The thing is, JohnC, decisions made by 2 board members on the phone are not permitted in AZ as mentioned previously. Decisions should be made in open board meetings. But if thy can't, all directors must Conset to the decisions and their signatures must be made for meeting minutes. I've asked Henry if this is done for their , according to him, mayo nine decision, and he won't reply.



Kerry what the Pres. and I do is lineup everything up for the BOD to take action on...wink....wink....wink




John,

My bet is that you and the Treasurer are lining up business action items that board majority agrees with or you've discussed with them in other meetings, thus making the decisions much easier.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:254


09/20/2021 4:18 PM  
Set a tone for the Board to do their jobs and help guide the Association effectively.
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