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Subject: Budget Approval Meeting
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Author Messages
RichardE10
(California)

Posts:18


11/02/2021 9:56 AM  
We're in California and will conduct an open meeting specifically to approve our 2022 budget. I am certain there will be discussion by board members(I am one of them) amongst themselves about the forecast being presented. Since it's an open meeting, some non-board owners will be present. My understanding is that they don't participate in these discussions. Is that correct? If they are allowed to participate, this could be a two hour meeting or more since most owners haven't a clue on HOA finances or even finance in general. It took me 1:45 hours just to present a first draft of the budget to the board. Our ByLaws states "Board to approve the budget in an open meeting", it is silent on questions and discussions from non Board members. Our agent has stated only the board discusses the budget, if necessary, before voting on it.
AugustinD


Posts:1903


11/02/2021 10:14 AM  
California statutes require HOAs/COAs/CIDs to have an open forum segment for any non-executive session board meeting. Which this budget approval meeting would be. See https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/H/HOA-Board-Meeting-Open-Forum
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11659


11/02/2021 10:29 AM  
Richard

I should not talk about CA but here goes. Typically owners are allowed to speak at a BOD Meeting. That said, you can limit the amount of time they talk and when they talk. They cannot interrupt nor talk outside of this time. My self, I would allow a Q & A session before the BOD votes on the rare chance someone might have a good idea that should be discussed and/or incorporated in the Motion prior to voting.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


11/02/2021 12:00 PM  
As Augustin points out, all open board meetings must include an Open Forum in CA.

Our Board just had its '22 budget & reserves discussion & vote last week. Although we offer two open forums--one at the beginning and one at the end of the open meetings, we occasionally permit Owners to speak during our deliberations of other agenda items. We invited them to speak last week and it was very fruitful.

It's worked very well for us to have written guidelines on Owner participation in open forum. We limit remarks to 2 minutes and only permit one topic at a time by a given owner. It also has worked out best for us to, as a Board, reserve our replies or responses until all owners have contributed. One reason is to avoid the time-wasting back & forth that can occur between an owner & a director.

One matter that owners help us director decide was whether to start two really major projects almost simultaneously or sequentially. This does have an effect on the '22 budget & reserves. Everyone know the projects are going to be loud, dirty and expensive. But owners who address the issue said they'd rather have it all at one time rather than storing out all year. There also w are financeial reason to do them together.

It sounds like you already presented the budget to the board alone? that implies an executive session. That's not legal in CA as the budget should only be discussed in an open meeting. Please check Augie's citation for open meeting laws in CA. that website in invaluable especially for new directors.

I'm also curious why it took 1-3 /4 hours? You've written elsewhere your HOA is small. In addition, what is your "agent?"
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/02/2021 12:19 PM  
You would be surprised at how smart owners are, as smart if not smarter than the board, just don't want to be board members.

Open forum is a requirement at all Open Meetings in California, and should be at the beginning. The process of a discussion and possible approval of the budget must be on an agenda available to owners 4 days prior to the meeting. The purpose of itemizing the discussions is so an owner can decide, based on the topic, whether, or not to attend, and also if they wish to be heard. Having the open forum prior to the discussion is important. I like having copies of a proposed budget available to those that attend.
RichardE10
(California)

Posts:18


11/02/2021 1:01 PM  
A recently elected board member needed to see how our HOA arrived at its financial position of today. This required that I show her history from 2008-2017 before I joined the board. I am an original owner, from 2007, and have accumulated and saved lots of old documents. The previous boards took two actions which placed our HOA's finances in peril. One, they reduced contributions to reserves drastically in several budgets in order to maintain dues where they were. Two, they deferred common area maintenance for several years. We've been playing catch up since budget year 2018 relative to dues and updating landscape and other infrastructure. It's been quite dizzying.


I like the format your outlined and will adapt it to our meeting. Thank you.
RichardE10
(California)

Posts:18


11/02/2021 1:01 PM  
A recently elected board member needed to see how our HOA arrived at its financial position of today. This required that I show her history from 2008-2017 before I joined the board. I am an original owner, from 2007, and have accumulated and saved lots of old documents. The previous boards took two actions which placed our HOA's finances in peril. One, they reduced contributions to reserves drastically in several budgets in order to maintain dues where they were. Two, they deferred common area maintenance for several years. We've been playing catch up since budget year 2018 relative to dues and updating landscape and other infrastructure. It's been quite dizzying.


I like the format your outlined and will adapt it to our meeting. Thank you.
AugustinD


Posts:1903


11/02/2021 2:42 PM  
Posted By RichardE10 on 11/02/2021 1:01 PM
AThe previous boards took two actions which placed our HOA's finances in peril. One, they reduced contributions to reserves drastically in several budgets in order to maintain dues where they were. Two, they deferred common area maintenance for several years.
Bustards.

Have all owners critical of contributing to reserves repeat the following before being allowed to speak:

Champlain Towers South?
Champlain Towers South.
Champlain Towers South!
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


11/02/2021 7:30 PM  
Not sure who you're addressing in your last post, Richard. Anyhoo, there's no requirement in Ca that open forum be at the beginning of an open board meeting.

We offer one at the end too to get owners' impressions of our decisions and for items they may not have thought of at the first open forum. Also, about once a year, an Owners will ask that the board reconsider a decision made that evening, and we sometimes have reconsidered and changed it.

It's best in your Open Forum guidelines to remind owners that maintenance requests should go to the Port. mgmt is you have one or to the relevant board members after the meeting.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/02/2021 7:35 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 11/02/2021 7:30 PM
Anyhoo, there's no requirement in Ca that open forum be at the beginning of an open board meeting.


When in the hell are you going to stop your child like behavior?
BillC17
(Texas)

Posts:15


11/03/2021 1:19 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 11/02/2021 7:35 PM
Posted By KerryL1 on 11/02/2021 7:30 PM
Anyhoo, there's no requirement in Ca that open forum be at the beginning of an open board meeting.


When in the hell are you going to stop your child like behavior?




Didn't seem at all 'child like' to me. I'm on the board of our HOA and we have open forum near the end of the meetings - for good reason. We've found that people frequently don't even read the meeting agenda, their issue of concern was already on there. Also we generally have a lot of ground to cover and that takes precedence. We can't afford to have someone hog up our time at the beginning of the meeting.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/03/2021 2:36 PM  
When I first a board member our MC would have open forum to essentially silence them, this came from the attorney's email. When I became president we had it moved to the beginning for specific reason. While it is our meeting, it is their association. Our meeting generally ran pretty smoothly. I still continue that practice today.

In reference to the child like behavior, it seems Kerry, out of the blue, has to make some derogatory comment like she knows the law better than i do. If you review qhag I posted, i stated that open forum is a requirement in California, i. Ever said where in the meeting it needed to be placed. She does it at the beginning ans the end. The end is so the audience can praise them for such a fine meeting the board conducted.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


11/03/2021 5:27 PM  
Can someone translate Max's sentence? "When I first a board member our MC would have open forum to essentially silence them [who is "them"?], this came from the attorney's email." I can't figure out what his HOA's attorney's email said.

Say, Richard, I can paste our Owner Conduct page here if you like. It's on the back of the hard copy agent that Owners receive when they attend. Let me know.

Max wrote: "Open forum is a requirement at all Open Meetings in California, and should be at the beginning." Newer posters may define "should be" as "must," so clarification" seemed like it'd be helpful to Richard.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/03/2021 6:08 PM  
Kerry

I was actually typing from my phone and didn't have my glasses, so actually I think I did a damn good job.

The association's attorney at the time, wrote in an email to the PM, to hold open forum at the end, "to silence any critics" from what the board and PM were actually doing. Not my words, theirs.

So Kerry, if you remember, agendas had to be changed to itemize what was being discussed, under old business and new business. The reason was so that owners could see what was actually being discussed an d what actions the board might be taking in order to determine whether or not they wanted to attend.

You hold yours at the beginning and the end. You haven't spoken why you hold them at the beginning. I have held mine in the beginning for two reasons, one, that owners can speak to the items on the agenda prior to a discussion and vote. The other reason is they may want to go home after comment period is over, and many have.

When you post a gaf, I WILL post it.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


11/03/2021 7:25 PM  
We hold open forum at the beginning of the meeting in case owners have any remarks or questions about agenda items or other Assn. matters. Only once in a dozen years has an owners made remarks at this time and then left the meeting. And this was last week.

Even when we had abusive, secretive boards in '18/'19, whom we voted out at the end of '19, they still held open forum at the end, too. As I wrote above, the open forum at the end of the meeting gives owners a chance to gain clarity of some of the agenda items we approved (or not). Occasionally, we have reconsidered and even changed a decision made during the open meeting in response to Owner's reasoned pleas.

I don't see how such a forum could possibly silence Owners!?? I know, of course, that agenda items must be posted 4 days in advance of open meetings. that's been a statute in CA for years!
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/03/2021 7:40 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 11/03/2021 7:25 PM
I don't see how such a forum could possibly silence Owners!??


Of course you wouldn't.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


11/04/2021 9:48 AM  
You're right. I apparently don't know how to read with comprehension. Please try to use simple words & short sentences with me:

Please explain how an open forum at the end of a board meeting can "silence" owners. That hasn't happened in 12 years in my HOA. Why would it happen in other HOAs?? Why would any board WANT to "silence" owners?
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/04/2021 10:07 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 11/04/2021 9:48 AM
That hasn't happened in 12 years in my HOA. Why would it happen in other HOAs?? Why would any board WANT to "silence" owners?


Good for you, and REALLY?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11659


11/04/2021 1:22 PM  
Max
Stop being a wise ass and answer the question.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/04/2021 1:51 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 11/04/2021 1:22 PM
Max
Stop being a wise ass and answer the question.



Asked and Answered!
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


11/04/2021 2:28 PM  
Max, you have not answered why an HOA attorney would advise an Open Forum at the end of a board meeting. Well, you wrote to silence Owners. Why did s/he think such an action would silence any critics? Why did s/he WANT your Board to silence owners?
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/04/2021 2:39 PM  
Ok, John, just for you.

Why would an HOA want to "silence" their membership? Good question, wish I had the answer. But they do. Why do you think this forum exists, and what types of questions are being asked? Most of the posters coming here are not on a Board, they're homeowners who are frustrated by the lack of transparency their board or PMC offers.

Some boards will put their open forum at the end, so that owners cannot comment before a board discusses and takes action. That is reality, whether you believe it or not. When I got on my board and got the emails between the board, PM and attorney I was in shock, that this type of behavior was acceptable. We had a $250K, owner to owner dispute that the PM illegally pursued, never board approved, or there were no records. PM using our attorney as their legal counsel and our association flipping for the bill. Owners being denied records and the attorney standing behind that decision. Some boards do not like confrontation.

I know there are well run associations out there, I won't deny that. If Kerry's is one of them, so be it, but it's not the norm, especially being on this forum for 13-14 years. If Kerry thinks she can do a better job than me, I'll be having dinner with my wife up the street from her and I can drop off a job application. Otherwise, I'll have my wife wave or do whatever she feels is appropriate.

Kerry comments how terrible the HOA's I manage must be in. For the record, all 50 have had annual meetings and elections in the past two years, they hold regular meetings, take minutes, have web portals for all owners to view, all escrows are handled same day, document requests same day, phone call and emails from board members or owners handled with 24 hours, delinquencies below industry standards, outside of one association, reserves are over 70%. If a board dances around or ignore the law, I advise them they might be a better suit for another management company. I work for an association, not the board. Outside of the signatures, nowhere is the board mentioned. I am completely transparent with both the board and the members.

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


11/04/2021 6:11 PM  
Max often has complained about the boards of the HOAs he manages. He's also written he must preside over the board meetings of many of them. I can't recall if he said they're too stupid or too lazy to preside themselves. He's the one who's complained about his accounts' directors' poor quality. He's bragged many times, however, about what a fine job he does with the HOAs themselves. Good!

I don't think he can generalize about all boards any more than I can having experienced only one (for 14 years). His sample is unique in that they all are his clients and probably share certain characteristics.

I now get why his former HOA of MANY years ago had a sleazy attorney who apparently advised the Board to ONLY have one open forum and to have it at the end. Owners wouldn't be able to chip in their ideas about certain agenda items in advance. But even at the end, they still can give their opinions and ask questions so I fail to grasp how they necessarily will be "silent."

Hope you're not dining at the old folks' fave, Morton's. EddyV's is far more interesting and has live jazz in their lovely lounge every evening.

MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/04/2021 7:10 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 11/04/2021 6:11 PM
Max often has complained about the boards of the HOAs he manages. He's also written he must preside over the board meetings of many of them. I can't recall if he said they're too stupid or too lazy to preside themselves. He's the one who's complained about his accounts' directors' poor quality. He's bragged many times, however, about what a fine job he does with the HOAs themselves. Good!

Hope you're not dining at the old folks' fave, Morton's. EddyV's is far more interesting and has live jazz in their lovely lounge every evening.



I have never said the boards of the HOA's I manage were either stupid or idiots, nor do I complain about them. They pay our salaries and I live off the escrows that the number of doors provide. Sorry, but there are boards that don't like conducting their own meetings. I have no problem with that. In some ways, that is why we were hired. Some boards refuse to do violations, so they hire a management to do the dirty work. That's life. If you feel running associations in a successful is an issue, I'm not here to change your feelings.

My wife doesn't care for the Chilean Sea Bass at either Eddy V's or Morton, way too salty. We have a place in Little Italy we go to all the time.
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