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Subject: Association Funds
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RMariani


Posts:0


11/21/2005 6:21 AM  
Can the Board of Director's use Association funds to pay for hydrilla in a lake? The President is an avid skier and uses the private lake daily and lives lakefront. Bylaw & Covenants, Restrictions, do not address lake upkeep because the lake is state owned. There are no provisions in bylaws that address lake upkeep. That would be a state issue. There is no public access to lake. Of our 144 homes, only six are lakefront, there are many other homes outside the association who are lakefront also.

Our president is preparing to pay $14,000 of Association Funds to have the hydrilla sprayed and he doesn't want the homeowners to know until AFTER the fact.

I think this is wrong. Any suggestions?
JimR
(Colorado)

Posts:21


11/23/2005 4:02 PM  
Depending on your associations legal documents, I would say that the President is wrong. First statement that I'll make regarding this is that if the lake is state owned and is not a physical common ownership of the association, he can not spend association money for the lake. Second statement would be that unless there is money allocated by a line item in the ratified budget of the association, he probably can not spend a cent or up to some type of spending limit for a non-line item expenditure. He probably needs the associations members approval at a Special meeting of the members to obtain such an approval for the expenditure.
AudreyB
(Florida)

Posts:104


11/25/2005 4:06 PM  
Hi RMarianion,

You don't say what state you live in.

You're right! It's very wrong!!!

The President taking $14,000 from the Association without anything in writing for the lake up keep is embezzlement. The homeowner's should unite to inform the President, that if the $14,000 or any of the Association's money is used for spraying the hydrilla so he/she could have a better fun time on the lake, the homeowner's will procecute. It's a heck of a way to get rid of the President.

Wherever you live, immediately contact your state Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife, about your Presidents intentions to hydrilla in the name of the lake and location, and get their answer to back to you in writing. Have them fax it to if possible.

Let other homeowner's know what you find out, have them get involved, and unite against your BOD's and stand firm on this issue. The homeowners are not responsable for paying for the spraying of hydrilla, and every homeowner needs to say they do not want any part of paying for the hydrilla. The President is embezzlement money from the Association to pay for something that is not the Association's responsibility.

If the President is so upset about the hydrilla he is pay for it from his personal pocket not yours. It's considered embezzlement, if he does not have every homeowner's blessings to spray the hydrilla in his precious lake.

A Special Meeting should be called to speak, to vote "NO" against this.

First of all, lets get educated as to what a hydrilla is that has this President upset about the lake:

Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) is considered the most problematic aquatic plant in the United States. This plant is native to Africa, Australia, and parts of Asia but was introduced to Florida in 1960 via the aquarium trade. In the 1990s hydrilla is now well-established in the southern states where control and management costs millions of dollars each year. Florida spent $56 million dollars for hydrilla control during a ten-year period and, during this time, the acreage of hydrilla doubled. On the West Coast, hydrilla has been introduced into California and Washington. California has an eradication policy for hydrilla infestations because hydrilla can severely impact water delivery systems. The Washington hydrilla infestation, discovered in 1995, is the only known occurrence of hydrilla in the ****Pacific Northwest and eradication efforts are ongoing.****

Growth Habit:
Hydrilla forms dense mats of vegetation that interfere with recreation and destroy fish and wildlife habitat. Unlike other problem aquatic plants, like Brazilian elodea, that reproduce only by fragmentation, hydrilla spreads by seeds, tubers, plant fragments, and turions (overwintering buds). One square meter of hydrilla can produce 5,000 tubers. Once hydrilla becomes established, it is readily spread by waterfowl and boating activities.

Hydrilla has several advantages over other plants. It will grow with less light and is more efficient at taking up nutrients than other plants. It also has extremely effective methods of propagation. Besides making seeds (seedlings are actually rarely seen in nature), it can sprout new plants from root fragments or stem fragments containing as few as two whorls of leaves. Recreational users can easily spread these small fragments from waterbody to waterbody.

Unlike other problem aquatic plants, like Brazilian elodea, that reproduce only by fragmentation, hydrilla spreads by seeds, tubers, plant fragments, and turions (overwintering buds). One square meter of hydrilla can produce 5,000 tubers. Once hydrilla becomes established, IT IS READILY SPREAD BY WATERFLOWL AND BOATING ACTIVITIES.

However, hydrilla's real secret to success is its ability to produce structures called turions and tubers. (Presence of these structures is also a characteristic which distinguishes this plant from similar looking plants.)

Turions are compact "buds" produced along the leafy stems. They break free of the parent plant and drift or settle to the bottom to start new plants. They are 1/4 inch long, dark green, and appear spiny. Tubers are underground and form at the end of roots. They are small, potato-like, and are usually white or yellowish. Hydrilla produces an abundance of tubers and turions in the fall. Tubers may remain dormant for several years in the sediment. The hydrilla variety found in Washington will also make tubers in the spring and will produce nondormant turions throughout the growing season. Tubers and turions can withstand ice cover, drying, herbicides, and ingestion and regurgitation by waterfowl

Hydrilla IS NOT being sold today, but it was recently introduced to California as a contaminant of water lily rhizomes. The hydrilla discovered in Washington was growing in two interconnected privately-owned lakes near Seattle. Because introduced water lilies are common in these two lakes, we suspect that that water lilies may have been the method of hydrilla introduction to these lakes. A diver survey of nearby lakes showed that hydrilla remained confined to the two-lake system, and since the hydrilla discovery in 1995, no other hydrilla populations have been discovered in Washington.

IDENTIFICATION:
Hydrilla closely resembles two other plants found in Washington: The nonnative plant Brazilian elodea (Egeria densa) and native American waterweed (Elodea canadensis).

Hydrilla can be distinguished from these two plants by the presence of tubers (0.2 to 0.4 inch long, off-white to yellowish, potato-like structures buried in the sediment).

Other characteristics to look for include:

Leaves in whorls around the stem (generally five leaves per whorl).
Serrations or small spines along the leaf edges.
The midrib of the leaf is often reddish when fresh.
We are especially concerned about new introductions of hydrilla in the Pacific Northwest. If you think that you have seen hydrilla growing in Washington, please contact Kathy Hamel ([email protected]) or Jenifer Parsons ([email protected]) immediately.

The hydrilla line drawing is the copyright property of the University of Florida Center for Aquatic Plants (Gainesville). Used with permission.

===============================================
ALSO,

Hydrilla has been listed by the U.S. government as a Federal Noxious Weed. With this designation, it is illegal to import or sell the plant in the United States. However, it is likely that internet sales still occur.

Like all invasive species, the key to preventing their spread is knowledge! You can also help by practicing a few good techniques to stop the spread of hydrilla and other aquatic invasive plants.

Rinse any mud and/or debris from equipment and wading gear and drain any water from boats before leaving a launch area.
Remove all plant fragments from the boat, propeller, and boat trailer. The transportation of plant material on boats, trailers, and in livewells is the main introduction route to new lakes and rivers.

Do not release aquarium or water garden plants into the wild, rather seal them in a plastic bag and dispose in the trash.

Consider using plants native to Indiana in aquariums and water gardens.

***If you detect this plant in a lake, pond, or stream, IMMEDIATELY CONTACT the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife. ***
=======================================================

Since the President is considering the Association to pay $14,000 for Hydrilla in the lake, just because he/she is the President, doesn't give him/her the power to do whatever they want. Say the word embezzlement like a broken to your President, and inform him/her the homeowner's will procecute him/her.

Good luck with this matter, and let me know what happens.

Happy Holidays,
Audrey
AudreyB
(Florida)

Posts:104


11/27/2005 10:20 PM  
Hi RMarianion,

I also had a thought, with some humor: You might want to tell your President, instead of being part of the problem, by spreading the seeds of the hydrilla plants in the lake, which is caused by boating and skiing, he/she might want to be part of the solution by staying off the lake!

That should save your Association from spending $14,000 to spray the problem he/she has helped caused.

Still call Fish and Wildlife quickly about this problem.

Thanks,
Audrey
WinnieR
(Washington)

Posts:1


01/24/2006 10:20 PM  
Hi, I live in the state of Wa. and I am a board member VP. We have 5 boardmembers with votes. Our CC&R's state that if we need to spend $5000. or more we need to have a vote by our Homeowners. We also have hydrilla in some of our lakes. The city or Homeowners have to pay to have it taken care of. If this is a private lake sounds like the Homeowners have to ALL take of it. I would not want to find out that our Pres. spent all that money with out asking ME first. Your President is only ONE VOTE, or are you scared of this person and do what every they want?
Good luck win...
EdR
(Texas)

Posts:170


01/25/2006 8:24 AM  
WOW! Sounds like some of these directors/presidents are cloned. There has got to be an agency/organization somewhere to report these corruptions to. I cannot imagine a board allowing a president to do such a thing, but then ___ happens! The president of our HOA gives the association's pool to the swim team at a whim and closes it to members for a ST meet when 1/3 of the ST are from outside of the association (against the assn's wishes to begin with) -- without ever speaking to the rest of the board, much less any of the members (the president's children are on ST too)! What's up with all this? I'll answer it myself--power trips, favoritism, nepotism and corruption! The president of our HOA and the sports committee person just spent $50K on renovating a pool mainly for their ST cronies, but that wouldn't need renovating in the first place if not for the extra wear and tear from too many outsiders using it. $75K was spent on it last year too. Further, unfortunately, the management company (MC) is (I'd like to say apparently) in cahoots with our president. They protect her from the laws and she protects them by keeping them so they can protect her. She signed a contract with them for another year without consulting the board and the MC, in return, donate to the swim team and protect her by ignoring complaints from the homeowners where they are supposed to be buffers. The MC threatens any member who complains about them, and in fact, claim this is why we cannot get a new MC (because they found out the board was interviewing other MCs)and claimed it was because the information leaked out and they weren't included in getting to bid. They, and the president worked out a deal for them to stay (obviously not because they are competent) and she signed the contract. She did not check with every director because one director reported it to the membership (they threatened this director for telling the membership what was going on), but the rest of the board and membership apparently think their hands are tied. It is serious when you have a corrupt president working with a desperate MC, or vice versa. I consider, that even though it's time being stolen from the members and fraud by dealing a contract without a vote, it's still embezzlement.

BTW, does anyone know the rules about management companies and how to get them to let go of an association when they are no longer (nor ever have been) effective? They will not resign--they are desperate for the job--but they have illegally handled our election (opened and counted ballots and the bylaws state they are to be "written and sealed"), not deposited member's dues until after election and then will not provide them with documentation to show whether or not their vote was counted, nor provide ANY of the members with requested documents of any kind, illegally involved with insurance claims, opening director's mail (and publishing it without the director's consent), will ONLY TALK TO THE PRESIDENT (duh!), even though the board asked them to deal with the whole board, continue to donate to select interest groups for apparent favoritism and nepotism, do not follow the contract that was originally signed anyway, do not help the association enforce covenants that the president doesn't want enforced fairly or legally, retaliate against select residents they do not like, and/or will not handle their complaints (reasonable or not) if they don't like them (more so because the president doesn't like them), state illegal, untrue and unethical things in closed meetings, cannot keep up with paperwork, records, for instance, can't tell even the board the names of new move-ins within a reasonable time (months), constantly lose the approved architectural control forms and then cite the homeowners for violating when they've gotten approval (charging the association for sending out these letters repeatedly), AND WORST OF ALL--THEY HAVE DONE A TERRIBLE JOB OF KEEPING UP WITH FINANCES and the treasurer is incompetent and relies on them, so neither can get the finances straight, YET, when a homeowner complains about any of this, the MC threatens a lawsuit against them and use that leverage to stay contracted. I spoke with an attorney once who used to have her own management company and she informed me that a good board interviews and changes management companies every two to three years just to keep everyone honest. If necessary you can go back to a good MC again, but even in her opinion, there is no such thing as a good management company, just some are better than others. Does anyone know how to pierce these corporate veils or who to report these problems to? Has anyone successfully sued the boards or management companies? It is my understanding that the MCs are indemnified by the assn's insurance and can't be held responsible--is this always the case? If so, this could go on and on with little hope for help.
EdR
LisaS
(Illinois)

Posts:341


01/27/2006 6:05 PM  
Where is the rest of tha Board? I assume it is not run by the President only? No, he should not be spending $14,000 for property that your association does not own.

Make some calls, talk to other association members, and send a certified letter to the President stating the concerns.

Lisa
JimR
(Colorado)

Posts:21


01/28/2006 12:23 PM  
Your association should have in place a maximum dollar amount that can be spent on any non-line item that is not included in your annual budget. Ours is $1000.00, and for the Board to spend $1001.00 for some repair or expense, the Board would be required to call a special meeting of the members for approval of that expenditure. 2004 President of ours spent $6000 on playground engineering, and $3000 on monument lighting repair, prior to this ruling being passed in 2005. We had in 2002 a $500.00 non-line item expenditure rule, but some how all of those records have disappeared conviently. So the members, were not able to prosecute the 2004 president for fraud, but we did have a Capital Reserve account that had earmarked $9000 in funds for the playground and in 2005 we transferred the illigally spent general funds amount from the Capital Improvement account back to the General fund.

Yes any funds illegally spent by the Board or a member of the board can be prosecuted and should be. The important thing here is that the Boards records and standing rules or adopted resoulutions need to be kept in a safe place, so that the members have the documentation necessary for prosecution.

You need to get an attorney involved and cut this president and his cronies off at the knees.
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