Thursday, January 26, 2017

Personal: Bayshore Townhomes new Board of Directors

Our Homeowner's Association voted in a new board in October, 2016.

They suddenly became very secretive... They made a major decision without an official Board meeting.

The HOA documents and Florida Law require that Board meetings must be publicized and open to all members of the Association.  And the definition of a meeting is when 3 or more (a quorum) meeting to discuss business.

How did they get around that? I can only assume that:

  • Board Member A talked to Board Member B. 
  • Then Board Member B talked to Board Member C. 
  • And Board Member C talked to Board Member D
Or perhaps the President simply talked to each of them, separately, to get their written approval for an action.

This-a-way no more than two Board Members were together at the same time, and the President could take an action without a Board meeting and without having to face any questions from any other of the 67 owners/members of the HOA. The item on the agenda becomes simply "ratify action already taken about such-n-such."

Personally, I think this was wrong and borders on illegal.

However, in my book Living With the HOA I explain that the owners are absolutely powerless to affect the sitting Board.

I like to use analogies! Read the following analogy and tell me whether you think this makes sense:

US Congress 
Every two years, each American can vote for their Congressman in the House of Representatives and every 6 years for their Senator.

After the elections, the people cannot vote, personally, on any resolution presented to Congress for a vote. They have no control on how Congress spends their dollars, or what commitments Congress makes in their behalf.

They can only watch.

Congress sometimes allows people to speak before committees and subcommittees, but the words are not binding on the members of Congress. Members of Congress are not required talk business at any other time with anyone else.

Bayshore HOA
Once a year, each owner can vote for five people to serve on the Bayshore Townhouses Home Owners Association.

After the elections, owners cannot vote, personally, on any resolution presented to the Homeowner's Association. Members have no control on how the Board spend member's dollars, or what commitments the HOA makes in our behalf.

Owners can only watch.

The HOA is required, however, to let owners speak on items on the meeting agenda, but the words are not binding on the Directors. Directors are not required to even talk Bayshore business at any other time with anyone else.

That summary sounds cold, and it probably is. But that's they way of the world.

Recourse: All 5 members of the Board comes up for re-election every fall, so Members can make a change then.

There are provisions in the ByLaws to recall the Board at any other time of the year, too. The drawback, sadly, is that if someone takes that action, they have to have find replacements from the pool of 67 homeowners.

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