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Subject: Board request to a member to resign
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11/18/2005 8:41 AM  

I am the board VP. We are a community of 8 units. The board have sent me a request that they want me to resign because I have forwarded a homeowners' emails per his request to another for input. Can they do that? I didn't accept the resignation because I think this is ridiculous. Sending emails to the homeowners and asking them for their opinion helps them and others.I support and promote open communication to resolve issues. The board complained that the email should have gone to them first. I don't think so ( i t was sent to me in confidence anyway) . A discussion between the homeowners doesn't have to go to the board. I think we are free to talk about whatever we want with who ever we wish and ask other people opinion too. The board seems to promote dictatorship. Could forwarding an email to a homeowner and asking them for their opinion be grounds for resignation?!. I think what they are doing is wrong. What is the best course of action?


11/18/2005 1:08 PM  
If anything in the email related to the HOA, then as a Board member and officer I would copy such e-mails to all Board members to make them aware. This is not something that warrants you to resign, but that request is a strong message on their feelings. If the other Board members feel this way, then why not establish policies and procedures for HOA communications?


11/18/2005 7:27 PM  

Can you tell us, was the emails tat you forwarded, were these conversations among and meant for BOD members?

Perhaps I didn't follow along here nd need to read it again.


11/20/2005 8:57 AM  
A homeowner (Mr. A) had objections regarding the following:

1) Management influence our annual voting process.
2) Money decision being made outside the board meting.
3) Our CC&R has gray areas.

So he composed a letter trying to get help from the management. He sent a draft to me and asked me to send it to Mr. B in confidence for his opinion. Mr B is the oldest member of our community and I have asked his opinion in confidence on a lot of things before.

Mr. B to my surprise sent the confidential email to other members of BOD. So much for confidentiality. In the email there are few comments regarding who has done what wrong and why we need to correct the process to prevent it in the future.

A few days later our management droped us for a silly reason and the BOD thinks that the email had something to do with that. Mr A has not sent any letter to the management he decided not to do so for now.



11/20/2005 9:00 AM  
The email was sent to me in confidence. Isn't it an honorable and professional thing to respect that?


11/20/2005 9:06 AM  
The email was not meant for BOD members. Do people need permision to send emails and ask for opinion? BOD or otherwise?


11/20/2005 9:52 AM  
what percentage of vote we need to remove a director in California?


11/25/2005 5:19 PM  
Your responsibilities as a boardmember do not exclude your rights as a homeowner. I get a lot of email in confidence. That means, someone wants to talk to ME, not to the BOARD.

If you have a private email address, you don't have a problem. If "private" email is going through an official board address to get to you, then find a different way.

The way the others "feel" is overrated. Their preferrences do not necessarily jibe with their duties or responsibilities. If they fear your communications, then THEY should resign.



11/26/2005 4:55 PM  
Thank you Hank. I am going to the meeting tomorrow and telling them just that. I know they have the majority vote (5/8) to remove me. They do this because they do fear my communication since there are many wrong things they have done. In the last election once the voting was going to favor of my running mate the management interfered and influenced the outcome. I am going to ask for reelection. I wonder if there are mediators that we could hire from some legitimate source to monitor th election?.


11/27/2005 5:50 PM  

They did remove me. Their loss. Hank you were very right. It was all about how overrated their feelings were. They clearly have made their mind up based on their feelings and not responsibilities. They told me they didn't like the way I behaved!? Sending private email!

Here is what I handed out at the meeting:

You have asked me to resign because I have forwarded a private email to Dave.

1) My responsibilities as a board member do not exclude my rights as a homeowner. I get a lot of emails in confidence. That means, someone wants to talk to ME, not to the BOARD.

2) I have a private email address, I don't have a problem. My "private" email is not going through an official board address to get to me.

3) The way you "feel" is overrated. Your preferences do not necessarily match with your duties or responsibilities.

4)If you fear my communications, then YOU should resign.




11/29/2005 8:40 AM  
Read your bylaws--a Board can only vote to remove you from a position on the Board, i.e., officer. If your association elected you via votes, only your association membership can vote to remove you. First a vote to call a special meeing requiring a certain percentage of the membership then a vote of a majority of the membership to remove someone. However, being on the Board and being marginalized is not pleasant and you may as well not be there. But, if Boards could do what yours did easily, they'd be doing that all over the country. Been there--know how you feel--I just resigned and got the hell out. My question overall re HOAs is if people don't want to be in one, then don't buy a house in a subdivision that has an HOA. Unfortunately, HOA Boards are cliques of directors involved in conflicts of interests, etc., so it's a big mess in this country and from what I've observed, no one knows right from wrong anymore.



11/29/2005 6:45 PM  
I believe EdR is exactly right. If the membership voted you in, only the membership can vote you out unless there is a specific provision to the contrary in your governing documents. Whether or not you wish to fight it when the majority is against you is a personal decision. I am a Board member and I frequently consult with residents in the community to get their opinion. Whether this is done in person or by email should not make a difference.


11/30/2005 12:00 PM  
I'll speak to the email forwarding issue.

From what I've read, the law uses "reasonable expectation of privacy" as the determining factor for email distribution. It seems that in very few cases, the author is justified in believing they have privacy in email. Most of the time, it's OK to forward (legally).

On the other hand, if the originator requests privacy, you would be wise to respect that. In this case, the individual asked you to forward, which is fine.

What seems more objectionable is the secrecy in forwarding only to one person and not copying the board. When you have issues like these to deal with, big issues in my opinion, it's best to get them out in the open.

To paraphrase a famous quote: Boards that have nothing to hide, hide nothing.


06/28/2006 8:33 AM  
I am a member of a board. During one of our meetings a flip remark regarding a violation of the covenant was made by another board member. He stated his concern regarding the violation and mentioned three lot as possible violators. The issue concerns the cutting of trees 6+ inches without board approval. All the lots mentioned had approval to build and the final construction was approved by the then board and the road bond returned. The allegation had no basis in fact and an official complaint was not submitted for the board's consideration.

My lot was one of the three mentioned. I felt compelled to respond as a private individual and sent an email to the entire board to address the unwarranted suggestion that I may have violated this rule when my house was built eight years ago and that the board at that time had no such issue when the construction was completed.

A couple of days latter the same issue was presented to me by another lot owner that was not present at our board meeting. I remarked that it was a rather great coincidence and stated that I sent an email to the board in response to a flip speculation that I and two other lot owners may have violated the rule. The lot onwer requested to see the email and I was anxious for someone else to advise me. It happens that this lot owner's lot was also one of the three mentioned at the meeting and He also responded by email.

Consequently, my fellow board members were very upset. They felt that my email was confidential and should have not been forwarded. I feel that I have a right as a private lot owner to respond to flip remarks that are not based in fact. I also feel that I need to be held to a higher standard as a board member and needed to reply. There are no statutes of confidentiality in my state that can be applied to how I handle my own personal email to the board. I am also concerned that someone on the board leaked this information into the community. Please advise.


06/30/2006 5:21 PM  
I think that if it was me, I likely would have addressed the member who made the remark immediately and let it go. I would also have to wonder (and ask) what the intention of his 'concern' was for a house(s) built 8 years ago. "Flip remarks' tend to cover alot of unvoiced feelings. I am ertain the actual (potential) violation was not the point.

I think that because the owner you spoke to was on the list of 'potential' violators, it was Ok to share this with him. Although, probably a bad idea. All it really could accomplish was bad feelings all around. Especially when he in turn replied to the Board.

My guess without knowing the history is that the member who made these comments does not get along famously with you, or resents you for some reason. The flip remark is perhaps an attempt to discredit you as being a 'violator', this would presumptively make you and your opinions less worthy as a Board member.

For the sake of Board relations, I would suggest that you advise the Baord that perhaps you will notify them in the future if you plan to share your emails. That way they don't get 'blindsided'.

Good luck,


07/01/2006 6:58 PM  
Thank you for the excellent advice. It makes a lot of sense and I will be guided accordingly if it should happen again. John.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Board request to a member to resign

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