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Subject: Director Emeritus
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Author Messages
HenryS7
(Arizona)

Posts:5


09/12/2021 12:08 PM  
How many of you have one or more director emeritus? In other words, a long time experienced former board member that hangs around the board to provide direction to the current board, but never actually does anything besides telling others what to do and how to do their job? I've heard this is a common thing with many boards.

How do you handle them?
AugustinD


Posts:1585


09/12/2021 12:17 PM  
Posted By HenryS7 on 09/12/2021 12:08 PM
In other words, a long time experienced former board member that hangs around the board to provide direction to the current board
Hangs around in what sense?

Such a person should have exactly the same access to the board as all other owners who are neither directors nor officers. If this person expects more, then I would have concerns that he/she was never much of a director.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11417


09/12/2021 12:34 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 09/12/2021 12:17 PM
Posted By HenryS7 on 09/12/2021 12:08 PM
In other words, a long time experienced former board member that hangs around the board to provide direction to the current board
Hangs around in what sense?

Such a person should have exactly the same access to the board as all other owners who are neither directors nor officers. If this person expects more, then I would have concerns that he/she was never much of a director.



I agree. If they want a say, get on the BOD.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2393


09/12/2021 2:38 PM  
It hasn't been common at all in my community - past directors usually say "yippee" and go off to enjoy their leisure time.

A former director who's available for questions is good. Unsolicited advice may or may not be good - it depends on how serious the issue is, how capable the former director is and whether or not they know how to stay in their lane. My normal reaction to unsolicited advice is to say "thank you for your comments", and depending on the source I'll listen in case I'm missing something.

From the former director's perspective, it can be difficult to watch some newbies flail around and make mistakes. It's also hard to be in a comparative info desert after knowing what's going on. I agree that someone who can't stand to be out of the loop needs to stay on the board or at least a committee.




SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4175


09/13/2021 6:02 AM  
When people left our board, they were out, although they were also more likely to attend the annual meeting than most homeowners. When I stepped down, I did the same, although I will go to a meeting once in awhile if there's something that I'm really concerned about.

It's ok to use former board members As a resource if you're looking for ideas on how to approach an issue, provided you don't disclose sensitive information and they understand that they are no longer board members - give you opinion and make suggestions, but get out of the way so the board can do its job - that may not happen if you keep interfering.

in reading some of your posts, I get the feeling you have a problem asserting yourself - you don't seem to know what to do when people criticize you or try to step over you. Being a HOA board member isn't easy, but it's not something for folks who can't speak their truth to power.

I'm not saying you should leave the board or step down as president, but you should focus on the job at hand and learn how to ignore the noise. It's said you teach people how to treat you, so if you keep wringing your hands over "I don't want people and at me", you won't be as effective as you can be.
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:55


09/13/2021 7:57 AM  
Posted By SheliaH on 09/13/2021 6:02 AM
When people left our board, they were out, although they were also more likely to attend the annual meeting than most homeowners. When I stepped down, I did the same, although I will go to a meeting once in awhile if there's something that I'm really concerned about.

It's ok to use former board members As a resource if you're looking for ideas on how to approach an issue, provided you don't disclose sensitive information and they understand that they are no longer board members - give you opinion and make suggestions, but get out of the way so the board can do its job - that may not happen if you keep interfering.

in reading some of your posts, I get the feeling you have a problem asserting yourself - you don't seem to know what to do when people criticize you or try to step over you. Being a HOA board member isn't easy, but it's not something for folks who can't speak their truth to power.

I'm not saying you should leave the board or step down as president, but you should focus on the job at hand and learn how to ignore the noise. It's said you teach people how to treat you, so if you keep wringing your hands over "I don't want people and at me", you won't be as effective as you can be.




To be real honest, I am not sure that I am the best presidential material for the board. I tend to be introverted, a bit shy, and no, I don't care to offend others and my skin is not that thick. We have quite a cadre of former board members who love to express opinions about the current board at the bus stop (waiting for their kids) etc. However, I happen to be the one who stepped up to the plate this time and I'll be the president until our next annual meeting next spring. The directors are welcome to select a different president if someone feels that they can do a better job than me.

Part of what interests me in the board is that it brings me out of my shell and forces me to do things that are slightly uncomfortable for me. For example, to ensure we met quorum last spring, I had to knock on a bunch of doors to get 25 or so proxy forms filled out. Definitely uncomfortable but we met quorum that way which was nice. There are many other examples as to how I am trying new things and expanding my comfort zone which is nice.

Our HOA truly has a lack of people interested in being involved in the HOA. When I joined, we had 2 vacancies (I filled one), and then a directory promptly resigned, and soon after the president resigned, leaving us with 3 directors and two unfilled positions. We had no ACC or other committees. Little was getting done in the neighborhood and it was starting to look a bit rundown. Since joining the board, I have reinvigorated things. We now have a full plate of directors, an ACC committee, and recently were told that we should form a volunteer committee because we have interested volunteers in the neighborhood who would like to help out. It's been a 180 degree turnaround in the board under my leadership.

At the same time, the naysayers are starting to show up so I get to deal with that as well.

KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1775


09/13/2021 12:01 PM  
Henry,

Everyone you've mention at the old bus stop is, in effect, a "director emeritus." I oppose old board members officially hanging around when they could easily rejoin the board, especially in your case where there appears to apathy to volunteering (but not apathy towards critique).

Dial back the activities and better structure HOA deliberations around meetings and you'll be happier.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:254


09/13/2021 1:25 PM  
How would I handle them? Not have them. Why should this person have more access and input than any other owner?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11417


09/13/2021 1:53 PM  
Henry
If you have a former BOD Member who is willing to help rather then bytch and try to control the BOD, use him for projects. Define the project and his involvement. Get at least one thing off your shoulders.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17710


09/14/2021 2:17 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 09/13/2021 1:53 PM
Henry
If you have a former BOD Member who is willing to help rather then bytch and try to control the BOD, use him for projects. Define the project and his involvement. Get at least one thing off your shoulders.




excellent advice.


When I was President, I would often tell those who brought an issue (project type, not violation type) to the board that we simply didn't have time to thoroughly look into it and if they were willing to do the work the board would be happy to see what can be done. Sometimes they would say yes, sometimes they would say no. If they said no, the board would often simply table it as we simply didn't have the time.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:197


09/14/2021 6:15 AM  
We haven't had any back seat drivers. However all of our previous Board members have been very helpful answering questions from the current Board. Fortunately on community issues that date back many years.

Per our governing documents, our entire Board is up for election EVERY YEAR! Imagine a new Board taking 3-4 months to figure out everything, 3-4 months to discuss everything in ad nauseam, and perhaps 2 months to vote for everything that was discussed to be handled over to a newly elected Board! All of whom feel that they know better and never seek information from the previous Board. And the cycle of never getting anything done continues. Been there, done that. We have lots of issues. We are over 40 years old!

Many previous Board members possess a wealth of information. Assist the previous Director into an area where they can be helpful. They are still owner's. Ask them for assistance as others have suggested.

Perhaps they were a great Director and lost the popular vote. Don't alienate them. You never know when you may need them.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2393


09/14/2021 6:40 AM  
Posted By PatJ1 on 09/14/2021 6:15 AM
... snip ...

Per our governing documents, our entire Board is up for election EVERY YEAR! Imagine a new Board taking 3-4 months to figure out everything, 3-4 months to discuss everything in ad nauseam, and perhaps 2 months to vote for everything that was discussed to be handled over to a newly elected Board! All of whom feel that they know better and never seek information from the previous Board. And the cycle of never getting anything done continues. Been there, done that. We have lots of issues. We are over 40 years old!

... snip ...



Wow, that's really... unusual and counterproductive. Have you considered amending your bylaws, especially since your community is older and thinking has changed during this time? Bylaws are often easier to amend than CC&Rs.

My condo community has 3 board members who serve staggered 3-year terms. From what I've seen, inexperienced board members spend their first year getting their feet under them (and panicking when they discover how much they don't know and how nasty some homeowners can be). They start to hit their stride in the second year, and they start firing on all cylinders in their third year.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:197


09/14/2021 7:39 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 09/14/2021 6:40 AM
Posted By PatJ1 on 09/14/2021 6:15 AM
... snip ...

Per our governing documents, our entire Board is up for election EVERY YEAR! Imagine a new Board taking 3-4 months to figure out everything, 3-4 months to discuss everything in ad nauseam, and perhaps 2 months to vote for everything that was discussed to be handled over to a newly elected Board! All of whom feel that they know better and never seek information from the previous Board. And the cycle of never getting anything done continues. Been there, done that. We have lots of issues. We are over 40 years old!

... snip ...



Wow, that's really... unusual and counterproductive. Have you considered amending your bylaws, especially since your community is older and thinking has changed during this time? Bylaws are often easier to amend than CC&Rs.

My condo community has 3 board members who serve staggered 3-year terms. From what I've seen, inexperienced board members spend their first year getting their feet under them (and panicking when they discover how much they don't know and how nasty some homeowners can be). They start to hit their stride in the second year, and they start firing on all cylinders in their third year.




Changing the By-Laws when you are working with 3 of 5 Directors with over 50% rentals and only 10% of the owners attending the Annual Meeting just adds to the list of things that need to be done.

No one here wants to serve on the Board and the present Board been at it for over 7 years now. Two of us are investors and live off property.

Survived many years with 2 Board members. Nothing got done. We 3 are now elected because we pushed for a monthly dues increase 5 years ago. We got the increase after several months of hard work and the election was part of it. For 15+ years before that every Board member was appointed. "Appointed meaning any breathing person that will step up".

Very few owners even know what governing documents are and have never heard of By-Laws and how they apply to their homes.

Investor's and owner's don't know what they signed up for. Even I didn't at the time I bought here. Since then I've educated myself, gotten involved and spend endless hours a month securing my investment.

Investor's are quicker to just sell. Our resident owner's just vote down everything because it might increase their monthly dues. When seeking the increase an 18% of monthly dues, we had 11 "no" votes. Each and every one was from a resident owner, who actually had the most to lose. Those owner's comments included, "I don't like the landscaping, why should I pay more?" to "I didn't know the HOA paid for water".

We are stuck with "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink".

People can't comprehend how the dumpsters overfill when many throw empty boxes into it when we post to break them down for re-cycle to pick up. Good luck explaining governing documents to them.

Just trying to work with what we have and get things done. Right now I can't move and I still have a good fight left in me.









Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
WayneG1
(California)

Posts:16


09/15/2021 8:09 AM  
Not sure what you mean hang around the board. Do you mean
At Board meetings? In the executive session only
Current board members Are allowed. At the end of the meeting there is a
homeowners session Where owners are allowed two minutes
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