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Subject: Wife decided she wants to attend board meetings
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Author Messages
HenryS6
(Arizona)

Posts:111


09/23/2021 11:24 AM  
My wife has decided she'd like to listen in to our board meetings (open session portion, not executive session). We've moved to include homeowners at our board meetings and published the zoom schedule on our association portal, and any homeowner is permitted to request the zoom information and attend as a participant. Thus, my wife has decided she wants to listen in.

From an association standpoint, I don't think there is any way I can exclude her? I'm not particularly happy about having homeowners present, nor is the other board, but we all recognize that we need to open our meetings up. I suspect that she'll be the only homeowner present.

She'll be on mute the whole time and not co-host of the meeting, so it's clear to everyone that she is attending as a homeowner.

Our by-laws allow homeowners to be present and don't specify just one homeowner when multiple people own a house.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:792


09/23/2021 11:31 AM  
Is there a question here?
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4284


09/23/2021 11:39 AM  
If your wife co-owns the house, she has a right to sit in, whether you're on the board (or an officer) or not.

Your state allows open meetings and I assume your documents call for this as well - it's time for you to get over yourself and start figuring out a way to deal with your objection over having homeowners present. It's been suggested to you to work from an agenda, have a resident forum so homeowners can speak their piece (not all night - 10-15 minutes will suffice and you can limit speakers to 2 minutes to give everyone a chance). Most important, you're the president - if you don't want to be president, te3ll your colleagues and see if someone else will take up the position. otherwise, at least TRY some of what's been suggested to you and see if it works. If not, try something else.

Most of all, remember it's not about you - if every homeowner in that community decided to sit in, you'd have no choice, but to allow it. The key is presiding as president and keeping things decent and in order as much as possible.

MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


09/23/2021 11:40 AM  
Henry

Do you have a PM?
BillD16
(Texas)

Posts:73


09/23/2021 1:04 PM  
I think the point of having OpenMeetings is allowing members to attend? Hence the term “Open”?

Not sure why you want to exclude your wife, but unless you two put “love, honor, and obey” in your wedding vows (and take them very very seriously), there’s really not much you can do to prevent her from attending.

At our Open Meetings, we’ll typically give attendees a few minutes to speak if they like. I’m not certain that is required. I’m just pondering why you don’t want her there. Is it because you don’t want her to hear something?

BillD
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11659


09/23/2021 1:27 PM  
Henry does not want anyone at the BOD Meetings. His wife might well be the first crack in the dam to Henry.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


09/23/2021 1:33 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 09/23/2021 1:27 PM
Henry does not want anyone at the BOD Meetings. His wife might well be the first crack in the dam to Henry.



He's not the first, nor the last.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


09/23/2021 2:08 PM  
It's good to har that Henry and his board are going to have an open board meeting. If, Henry, you think only your wife will attend, your board can start getting used to complain giant your state's laws.

As an owner in AZ, which REQUIRES open board meetings, she is allowed to attend. Also, in AZ, owners must be permitted to make remarks AND may even do so with each agenda item. Even I kinda squirm at the latter IF it's still in the statutes. BUT, this means he cannot mute his wife for th whole meeting. there must b time allowed for owners in attendance to speak.

But I think Henry might be feeling uncomfortable about his wife observing him as a meeting chair and presider. For some folks, it's much easier "performing" in front of those we know less well. Henry probably could see if their PM can preside OR another director.

Btw, these now-open meetings, might see attendance from the old boys club who gripe at the bus stop, Henry. They'll now be able to actually see your board in action discussing, debating and deliberating agenda items. IF the only thing your board does at the meetings is vote, attendees, whether 2 or 10 will know you've already settled on a decision OUTside the open meeting and suspicions will be aroused.

Best of luck and glad to see positive change!
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


09/23/2021 2:38 PM  
I have conducted hundreds of HOA Board meeting over the last 13 years. Some even where I used to live. I have never, ever, once been told that people show up to see how the Board discusses, debates and deliberate agenda items. Why do people show up to a board or annual meeting, when they are mad, unfair or unnoticed assessment increases, etc. If things run smoothly, no one shows up.

I place open forum right after quorum is established, why, so people can leave once they had there input. We make sure all web portals are updated by the 10th of each month. Emails and phone calls are handled the same day. Escrow demands are done within an hour of receipt. Transparency is the name of the game, and customer service is priority one.

I have had boards, or particulaiy board members who wanted to operate outside the law. They are warned and then dropped. Homeowners could care less about how a board deliberates. They just want their issues handled in a timely manner, that's all.

I have had only one issue with an association and it's the one I used to live in. Everything was secret, documents were not available. We had a bad management company, even worse attorneys, from different firms. For two years, it ran in harmony, and then they reverted back to their old selves and things still remain the same.

Henry, as I mentioned, if you have a PM, get them involved. If they won't, give me call....just kidding.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1104


09/23/2021 4:56 PM  
Since you would be violating your rules and probably state law by excluding her, then there is only one possible answer, you cannot stop her and would be foolish to try. My wife usually did not attend meetings but I was always happy to have her there.

On the plus side, this is the only time you can mute your wife and not get in trouble.
MichaelH34
(North Carolina)

Posts:64


09/24/2021 11:33 AM  
This is an area where I think Covid was beneficial (I'm mostly not serious, the 'benefit' shouldn't have required Covid)

Zoom meetings. It's much easier to say that homeowners have their part of the meeting to provide input and can be easily muted the rest of the time. Dealing with disruptive owners live must be a nightmare. One that I'm really not looking forward to.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11659


09/24/2021 1:40 PM  
I agree with Max. The typical owner shows up at any meeting for self interest as in to piss and moan about something. Few show up just to observe, never mind help. New owners may have a tendency to show to see what goes on.

Some attribute lack of interest to apathy. I attribute it to satisfaction and/or happiness.

If not for proxies, we would not make Quorum of 20% of 112 owners or 23 owners.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


09/24/2021 1:48 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 09/24/2021 1:40 PM
The typical owner shows up at any meeting for self interest as in to piss and moan about something. Few show up just to observe, never mind help.


That statement is about as far from the truth as you can get!
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11659


09/24/2021 1:59 PM  
Want to see people show up. Put out notice that a dues increase will be discussed....LOL
LoriM15
(Florida)

Posts:49


09/24/2021 1:59 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 09/24/2021 1:48 PM
Posted By JohnC46 on 09/24/2021 1:40 PM
The typical owner shows up at any meeting for self interest as in to piss and moan about something. Few show up just to observe, never mind help.


That statement is about as far from the truth as you can get!




I hope you are being sarcastic. JohnC46's experience is exactly the same as mine. We have over 800 homes and generally get less than 10 people that show up to our board meetings. Most of them are either spouses of board members or they have a complaint or special interet.

All of our board meetings are open (it's the law in Florida) and we are completely transparent about our budget and expenses, issues in the neighborhood, and all we are doing as a board. We are not perfect, our HOA is not perfect, but people only show up when they have complaints. The last meeting two of the ten people were the past two presidents of the HOA who both resigned but are now having regrets.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


09/24/2021 2:09 PM  
Posted By LoriM15 on 09/24/2021 1:59 PM
Posted By MaxB4 on 09/24/2021 1:48 PM
Posted By JohnC46 on 09/24/2021 1:40 PM
The typical owner shows up at any meeting for self interest as in to piss and moan about something. Few show up just to observe, never mind help.


That statement is about as far from the truth as you can get!




I hope you are being sarcastic. JohnC46's experience is exactly the same as mine. We have over 800 homes and generally get less than 10 people that show up to our board meetings. Most of them are either spouses of board members or they have a complaint or special interet.

All of our board meetings are open (it's the law in Florida) and we are completely transparent about our budget and expenses, issues in the neighborhood, and all we are doing as a board. We are not perfect, our HOA is not perfect, but people only show up when they have complaints. The last meeting two of the ten people were the past two presidents of the HOA who both resigned but are now having regrets.



I conduct about more than 150 board meetings a year, and have been doing so for about 13 years. Do people come to meetings because they have absolutely nothing else to do, a few. Do they show up praising their admiration for the board doing their job, nope. Peope generally show up for a numbe of reason. They have a ARC application under review, something happened that they wanted the board to be aware of, someone didn't cut their grass or take their trash cans in, so and so forth. Saying the typical owners shows up for self interest and to piss and moan, is what gives HOA's a bad rep. As a manager, they pay my salary, and I don't forget that.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:1104


09/24/2021 2:22 PM  
Posted By LoriM15 on 09/24/2021 1:59 PM
Posted By MaxB4 on 09/24/2021 1:48 PM
Posted By JohnC46 on 09/24/2021 1:40 PM
The typical owner shows up at any meeting for self interest as in to piss and moan about something. Few show up just to observe, never mind help.


That statement is about as far from the truth as you can get!




I hope you are being sarcastic. JohnC46's experience is exactly the same as mine. We have over 800 homes and generally get less than 10 people that show up to our board meetings. Most of them are either spouses of board members or they have a complaint or special interet.

All of our board meetings are open (it's the law in Florida) and we are completely transparent about our budget and expenses, issues in the neighborhood, and all we are doing as a board. We are not perfect, our HOA is not perfect, but people only show up when they have complaints. The last meeting two of the ten people were the past two presidents of the HOA who both resigned but are now having regrets.



We had a meeting where several owners showed up to piss and moan that the pool water kept turning green.

At the same meeting, several owners showed up out of concern that maybe the board wasn't doing all we could to maintain the pool.

Sometimes your perception and attitude makes all the difference. Owners should feel welcome and be encouraged to attend meetings and voice their concerns.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


09/24/2021 5:03 PM  
Our board meetings are in the early evening and we have at least one a month. In our high rise HOA of 200+ units, about 25% rentals, about 35 owners attend (now) in person or via Zoom. The same owners seem to attend with some who come occasionally based on the posted agenda 4- days in advance of the meeting. They actually seem interested in what we as a board are doping for our community. They actually DO mention various directors' quality of meeting participation, or lack thereof, at campaign time before elections (this is the first year when the election hasn't been competitive).

During Open Forum--we hold one at the beginning and at the end of each open board meeting--there often are several comments and questions, but little pissing & moaning.

We do have a Meeting Conduct sheet on the back of the agendas, which discourages "maintenance" problems from being brought up and advises owners to handle those with management. We, of course, listen intently and do respond to an owner or owners if complaining about green water in the pool that's occurred way too long. And our PM replies to those kinds of maintenance concerns. The conduct sheet allows for 2 minutes per owner and only one topic at a time.

We also have an excellent president in terms of his presiding skills, who's gentle, affable, understanding and reminds owners to be respectful and kind at the beginning of each Open Forum.

When we had a surly, arrogant, insulting Board majority, owners were far less forthcoming and helpful. And the membership seemed to reflect that board's attitude in their remarks.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1804


09/25/2021 10:19 AM  
Henry,

Make her the "Director Emeritus." It's a great answer to your proposal you made here a few weeks ago plus it ensures you're always "on the clock" with HOA matters and never off.
MarshallT
(New York)

Posts:179


10/28/2021 1:08 PM  
Hi Henry,

Is she an owner, then she has the right to attend. Not much can be done here.
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