Reader Questions - Disregard Dissenter, Rapid Fire RoundDec 03, 2012
I have some very important questions and I totally trust your input after reading your column now for quite a while.
Our association board consists of 3 people. Two of them are totally against the other board member who has some great ideas but they always say “NO” to him, what can he do about that? I go to each and every meeting and they both laugh and say sorry you’re outnumbered. He has been threatened by them to be removed because he speaks up and they don’t want to hear it.
As for the management company they take the two board members side because they don’t like his complaints so they side with the two.
I want to know what I can do, and those two WILL NOT adhere to the rules. Also can’t they be removed for not following the rules?
You describe a dysfunctional board. Unless the directors treat each other with respect, board service will be torture. Nobody has nothing to offer – even a broken clock is right twice a day, right? However, sometimes directors are ostracized from the other directors because of their conduct.
A manager should not “take sides”, but should give good advice and then follow board instructions — which means following the majority vote.
As to the threat of removal, normally directors are removed only by membership vote.
A board is a team, and you are all neighbors. Mutual respect and civility must be a priority in association meetings. If your board refuses to conduct themselves with courtesy and decorum in meetings, or refuses to follow the law and governing documents, elect a new board at your next annual meeting.
p.s.: Unfortunately, there is no mandatory training for HOA directors. Years ago, CAI tried to have a bill passed that would have required just 3 hours of education, but it was not successful. Perhaps in the future…
Thanks for your great articles! I really enjoy them and think other people can learn much from them! Can you tell me how often the Board can raise the homeowner monthly dues? And can the Board hold an Executive Session every month after the regular meeting? Is it OK not to distribute an agenda to homeowners who are in attendance or give out copies of the minutes to homeowners at the Board Meetings?
J.P., Huntington Beach
OK, multiple questions here, kind of a “rapid fire” round, so here goes:
Under the law, a board can increase regular assessments up to 20% per year (regardless of any stricter restrictions in the governing documents), so long as they have timely issued a budget for that year. That vote of course must be announced in advance on an agenda, and must happen in an open meeting of the board.
Closed sessions can be held whenever necessary, so long as proper notice has been given, and the topics are truly appropriate for closed sessions.
Agendas must be posted at least four days prior to a board meeting, under Civil Code Section 1363.05(f). Any member who requests notification of board meetings is entitled to be mailed (or if they agree, e-mailed) the agenda. Having agendas available at the meeting is just good manners, whether or not the law specifically requires it.
Written by Kelly G. Richardson
Kelly G. Richardson Esq., CCAL, is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and a Partner of Richardson | Ober | DeNichilo LLP, a California law firm known for community association advice. Submit questions to [email protected]. Past columns at www.hoahomefront.com. All rights reserved®.