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Subject: Forming a committee
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JanineR
(Tennessee)

Posts:219


11/02/2021 9:55 AM  
So far so good with this new board. Touch wood.

They have been very aggressive, in a positive way, to turn our property around, make it safe, and be transparent.

We have structural issues on some of our limited common areas that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Since this is a big deal, we created an ad hoc committee to move full steam ahead.


This is just a formality question on creating committees:

When creating a committee, does someone formally motion to create the committee, and then a vote, or is a motion not needed?

It came up in our board meeting, and someone said we don't have to motion to create a committee, and she is well read.

We motioned on it anyway, just to cover our bases.


Since we will need to create a few more committees in order to improve our association, what is the formal way of doing so?


Tennessee condos

------------------------------------------------------------------
Bylaws below:
------------------------------------------------------------------
Specifically included in the foregoing general powers of the Board of Directors
are the following powers and duties, which are listed by way of enumeration
and not by limitation:

(8) To appoint committees of the Board and to delegate to such
committees the Board's authority to carry out certain duties of the Board
of Directors;






AugustinD


Posts:1905


11/02/2021 10:11 AM  
I say:

-- Appointing a committee is an enumerated power of your Board (per the Bylaw you graciously, helpfully, and ever intelligently(!) provided)

-- Appointing a committee is a board action.

-- Best practices for Minutes are to record board actions.

-- Board actions occur via a motion, second, discussion and vote.

-- A record, via the Minutes, of Board actions is highly advisable, if only to keep everyone on the same page.

Advice on committees:
Man, they are more often than not a losing proposition. Limit them to one to three carefully chosen people. Let them know that they have no legal power and are strictly advisory. Let them know that it's possible the board will disregard their advice.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11659


11/02/2021 10:31 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 11/02/2021 10:11 AM
I say:

-- Appointing a committee is an enumerated power of your Board (per the Bylaw you graciously, helpfully, and ever intelligently(!) provided)

-- Appointing a committee is a board action.

-- Best practices for Minutes are to record board actions.

-- Board actions occur via a motion, second, discussion and vote.

-- A record, via the Minutes, of Board actions is highly advisable, if only to keep everyone on the same page.

Advice on committees:
Man, they are more often than not a losing proposition. Limit them to one to three carefully chosen people. Let them know that they have no legal power and are strictly advisory. Let them know that it's possible the board will disregard their advice.



I agree.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


11/02/2021 12:21 PM  
Your Bylaw says the board appoints committees. That mean, yes, the formation of the committee is on the Board's agenda and directors vote to approve it.

If your bylaws don't say much else about committees, read your state's corporations codes (assuming you're incorporated) to learn more. The main thing is that the Board is completely responsible for committees so may form them, dissolve them, vote to approve members; vote to kick members off, vote for the committee chair (usually recommended by committee members)

I urge your board to have the potential committee write a charter stating its duties, goals etc. The board can adjust this. Do not permit the Committee to have any decision-making power. It should be advisory only. I do not think you'll want it to have the power to seek contractors, etc.

"Structural issues on limited common areas" sounds serious. IMO you'll need an HOA attorney for advice along the way. I would not let the committee seek this advice -- but the board should.
DavidG45
(Delaware)

Posts:144


11/02/2021 2:19 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 11/02/2021 10:11 AM
I say:

Advice on committees:
Man, they are more often than not a losing proposition. Limit them to one to three carefully chosen people. Let them know that they have no legal power and are strictly advisory. Let them know that it's possible the board will disregard their advice.




While I disagree they are a losing proposition, because if managed correctly they can be very helpful, the last part deserves emphasis. If it is not explained to them very plainly from the start that they have no official power and that their advise may or not be accepted, they can easily start to think they are in charge of things.

Because I'm the only resident board member in a growing community with all kinds of growing pains, it has been invaluable to have committees to take a lot of the busy work off of my hands. But absolutely they can get VERY offended as soon as you don't take their advice on something.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11659


11/03/2021 10:44 AM  
Posted By DavidG45 on 11/02/2021 2:19 PM
Posted By AugustinD on 11/02/2021 10:11 AM
I say:

Advice on committees:
Man, they are more often than not a losing proposition. Limit them to one to three carefully chosen people. Let them know that they have no legal power and are strictly advisory. Let them know that it's possible the board will disregard their advice.




While I disagree they are a losing proposition, because if managed correctly they can be very helpful, the last part deserves emphasis. If it is not explained to them very plainly from the start that they have no official power and that their advise may or not be accepted, they can easily start to think they are in charge of things.

Because I'm the only resident board member in a growing community with all kinds of growing pains, it has been invaluable to have committees to take a lot of the busy work off of my hands. But absolutely they can get VERY offended as soon as you don't take their advice on something.



Well said.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:300


11/03/2021 11:13 AM  
What is the involvement of the Architectural Committee or the Maintenance committee with your concerns?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11659


11/03/2021 11:47 AM  
Our lawyer advised against committees saying as the BOD has the final say, let the BOD also be the ARC. All well and good for our HOA but I do believe in committees when needed. The one thing they have to understand is the BOD ruling(s), not theirs, is final. Also that each person is appointed by the BOD and they can be removed by the BOD.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2588


11/03/2021 12:50 PM  
I agree with others on the importance of managing your committees.

In addition to choosing members wisely and making sure they understand that they are not board members and serve at the pleasure of the board, the board should create some version of a charter for that committee. For example: "Committee X was formed for this purpose, here is the list of tasks they will perform, here is the desired end point (time-wise and results-wise), and written minutes and reports to the board will presented at board meetings."

My bylaws require at least one board member to sit on any committee, although the board member doesn't necessarily need to be a voting member of the committee.

(Like some others, our committees were more trouble than they were worth: most of them got nothing done, didn't stay in their lanes, and created more work for the board. The one successful one (Nominating committee) is required by our bylaws - and at our lawyer's suggestion, the three board members make up the committee unless they're planning to run for re-election, in which case they step down and pull in homeowners as needed. It's basically jumping through hoops...)
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2588


11/03/2021 12:53 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 11/02/2021 12:21 PM
... snip ...

"Structural issues on limited common areas" sounds serious. IMO you'll need an HOA attorney for advice along the way. I would not let the committee seek this advice -- but the board should.



That did give me pause. I have to wonder if anyone, including the board, has enough knowledge to evaluate these things. It sounds like work for a professional.
JanineR
(Tennessee)

Posts:219


11/03/2021 4:42 PM  
All very good advise. Thank you! And it seems that so far all are leaning towards that a motion should be made to create a committee.

...
As for the structural issues. Most definably this is for professionals and not for a committee.
Before being on the board, I have been classed as a 'difficult owner' or even an "ankle biter" on this forum in stressing that there are major structural safety issues in our condominium that need to be addressed by a structural engineer.

It took a year and a half, but finally a structural engineer was paid for by the Association. And yes, unfortunately, there are major issues, some limited common areas need to be closed, and we don't have the reserve funds to tackle all the repairs.

The new committee is mostly to address communication to the owners regarding this major issue, and to engage in raising revenue. But we have a professional structural engineer reporting to the Board.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4284


11/22/2021 9:18 AM  
I don't know why you need a special committee to communicate to the owners regarding the structural issue - I would think that's the Board's job. Ditto for raising revenue, although the committee could weigh the pros and cons of the association getting a loan vs. a special assessment vs. increasing the assessments (a lot) or a combination.

That, plus the committee working with the structural engineer to put together a report explaining what problems were found, what needs to be done to fix them, and an estimate on how much that will cost. That report should go to the board and perhaps a special homeowner's meeting can be called with the engineer attending to explain the highlights of his/her findings.
MichaelS56
(Minnesota)

Posts:300


11/22/2021 2:05 PM  
The comments that committees are losing proposition are most unfortunate. Our Association has had well-functioning committees for 25 years. The committee members are residential volunteers who have an interest to serve and assist the Board. We have the following committees:

Welcome committee
Landscape committee
Architectural committee
Maintenance committee
Social committee
Care and Concern committee
Nominating committee
Light committee
Association garden committee

Hopefully, soon we will have an Association website committee.

MarshallT
(New York)

Posts:179


11/26/2021 6:44 AM  
Hi,

This article may be helpful: https://www.condocontrolcentral.com/template/hoa-committee-charters/
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