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Subject: Bad Board Wants to Return
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Author Messages
NinaR
(Florida)

Posts:26


10/04/2015 6:58 AM  
When we moved to into our neighborhood I decided to get involved in the HOA. In 2012 I got on the HOA Board and discovered that their was $135,000.00 in uncollected assessments owed to the Association. The last board never looked at the financial reports so they had no idea. My board hired a new lawyer and began collecting that money. Some of the money is gone forever, because there were no liens placed on the houses and people moved away. So far my board has collected $65,000.00, and there isn't much more that we can go after.

I looked into suing the last board, but our insurance will not cover the board's neglect. We would have to sue the individual board members. Doing that is not even on the table, we want to be good neighbors and this is a small community.

This year we hired a new property management (PM) company. They are excellent! Always profession and very knowledgeable. Our Pm discovered that we had no ARC guidelines in writing! It took months for us to write an ARC where we included what was already on the property, things like storm doors that were in place. We were careful to not make residents retro fit anything. The rules were sent out to all residents. Our next HOA meeting was like the villagers with pitch forks and torches. These are all people who NEVER come to a meeting. We told them that if you read the guidelines, you'll see that nothing has changed. They just don't want the pages of rules. We told them that if you go to court and don't have it in writing, then it doesn't exist. Word-of-mouth rules don't cover you in court. So basically we were a deed restricted community with no restrictions.

Now the people who were on the bad board that lost all of their money wants to come back to rule by "the will of the people". They are dis-spelling the lost money worries by saying that it was the old PM's job to watch the funds. So many people do not understand the work of a board and so, they believe them! The BOARD is responsible for watching the money. In particular, the Treasurer and President...period!

My question is this: Should they even be allowed to run for board positions? Their "crime" is one of neglect. How would you stop them?
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


10/04/2015 7:10 AM  
Unless they are convicted felons then there is nothing you can do to stop them from running. As to how to beat them, educate your fellow homeowners on the true purpose of the Board.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1343


10/04/2015 7:37 AM  
Is there authority in the C&Rs that grant architectural control? Or is this all in rules and regulations?
JonD1


Posts:0


10/04/2015 8:01 AM  
IMO there would be no grounds to prevent them from seeking a board position.

So that leaves you with the option of making your case in a way the majority of owners understand your position.

The claim the PM was responsible to watch YOUR funds is weak.
Your collection of past due monies is a good selling point.

Clearly, the group ousted wants back in. Now is when the work begins to sell yourselves and what you have accomplished. Politics,Manichaeism requires time, effort and a willingness to do whatever needs to be done. Simply doing the right thing does not guarantee the village idiots will understand or appreciate your efforts. Sometimes you have to do what is best not what is most popular. Whether the rest get it or not....
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9130


10/04/2015 9:11 AM  
Am I missing a step here? Seems they have to be VOTED into office before they come on to the board. Who is going to vote for someone with their record? Seems to me the issue is how people are elected to your board. Is it just because they want it or do you all vote them in? Once elected do the board then elect within who gets what positions? In our HOA once elected to the board, it's the board's vote that elects eacother to officer position. You don't just run for President. You run for the board and then you nominate as President.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16700


10/04/2015 11:06 AM  
Posted By NinaR on 10/04/2015 6:58 AM

My question is this: Should they even be allowed to run for board positions?




Doesn't matter.

If I recall correctly (but check to be sure), FL law specifies that all members are allowed to run for the Board unless your governing documents have qualifiers that they do not meet (like being delinquent in assessments).





Posted By NinaR on 10/04/2015 6:58 AM

How would you stop them?




I would stop them by educating the membership and reminding them about the issues that were corrected when this board was elected into office.


On a side note, I also think adopting guidelines could have been done better.
Explaining the issue prior to starting the process, forming a committee of volunteers (who were not on the Board) to write the initial draft, holding meetings and inviting comments/feedback from the membership, etc. would have likely gotten more of the members on board with creating those guidelines. It took our Association over two years to amend our guidelines. It likely would have taken 3 or more if they were being written from scratch.

Therefore, admit the mistake, apologize for it, explain it's a lesson learned, point out the other things that were done and move forward.

I belive an informed vote is normally the best vote. It's your job, being on the Board, to get the information to the members.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7044


10/04/2015 2:05 PM  
Your are right, Nina it IS the board's responsibility to watch the money. The bad board failed and your board did a wonderful job collecting what was possible to collect!

But neglect can't keep them from trying to take over again.

As other wrote, you & the rest of the current board and your supporters need to educate the Owners. First, see if you can straighten out the ARC mess. Is there a way you can send owners a "summary" instead of pages & pages? Or try a bullet point letter that states what changed> And then say everything is the same as we've been practicing for x years.

Tell them in a civil, friendly letter how much was owned when your board came in and how much was collected. Tell them how much you like your new(ish) PM.

How many homes are in you HOA? What size is the board? Do the badies want to recall you? Or are they waiting for the next election?
NinaR
(Florida)

Posts:26


10/05/2015 6:00 AM  
Our C&R does grant the board control over ARC. I call it a living document because it is one that can easily be changed.
NinaR
(Florida)

Posts:26


10/05/2015 6:23 AM  
Thank you all for your input. One thing that I did not mention is that the old management company did not follow FL Statute as to how elections were run. This year will be the first time that we will have a Nomination Committee. I have spoken to as many people as possible about the past problems. The new board will be elected on October 27th. In the meantime, I am out of State until October 23rd. The votes are by secret ballot. Two people from the property management company and two audience members will open and count the ballots at the OCT. 27th meeting.

Over the years that I have been on the board, I have beat the drum whenever I can, telling people to come to meetings and be a part of the process. We have 132 homes in the community. There are only four regulars at the meetings. We always ask their opinion and they never had a problem with what we have done. They understand the process because they saw it happen from the start.

At this point, it's out of my hands. If anyone from the old board comes back, I will be there to watch them like a hawk. Better yet, I will remain on the board and make sure they actually do some work!

Thanks again everyone!

Nina
BobD4
(up north)

Posts:916


10/05/2015 5:16 PM  
NinaR (Fla)

1- Respectfully, would you mind answering Kevin K's earlier question if you can please :

"Is there authority in the C&Rs that grant architectural control? Or is this all in rules and regulations ?"

Did the pitchforks & shrieking include that there were no 'vires' nor jurisdictional authority for the Association to do so with reference to the private lots ?

( To those of us who watch voodoo shenanigans - as when my neighbours get carried beyond the lawful - this question comes very naturally . . . )

2- One problem with disqualifying past under-achievement, is that such is a 2 edged sword. Just as easy for the under-achievers to portray their successors as tyrants. Jerks may make classy folks look good but not till too late.
NinaR
(Florida)

Posts:26


10/06/2015 6:08 AM  
Yes, our C&R says, "The Board may promulgate design and develop guidelines, application and review procedures and building criteria. This shall be binding upon all owners, builders and contractors. The Board shall have sole and full authority to prepare and to amend from time to time said Guidelines."

When I came on the board in 2012 we had mismatched umbrellas at the pool. The pool furniture was 10 years old and showing it's age, peeling paint etc. The more you looked, the more we found that had not been done properly if at all. Even with the loss of $135k, we managed to improve and/or maintain the property so that our home values have soared above other communities in the area that are similar to ours.

The bad board was all about popularity. Everyone liked the people on the board. They are great to sit and chat with, but if you had a problem (people using visitor parking for vehicles that should be in their driveway or garage), they would say "We'll discuss that and get back to you."...Never!

The boards that I have been with worked on improvements and people have told me that because of our work, they decided not to move. Other people who left and rented their places have come back to live here because they could see that we weren't all talk.

BTW, in 2012 I held the office of Secretary from October 2012 to March 2013. The guy who was President was so bad (from the old board)that he got kicked off and they gave me that office. I did not want, or ask for it, but along with some great people, I have done my level best for the community.
This will certainly be an interesting election!
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