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Alan

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  1. Oh, yes -- our Board has long struggled with issues of governance. (I"m sure our HOA is unique in that regard right?) B^) But my questions here really related to the "Rules" as everything that happened at the meeting seemed so odd. With Atty's explanation, I'm feeling much better about how the meeting was conducted. I have written him back to that effect and suggested the variations to the "Rules" be covered in the next meeting and incorporated in our website for future reference. After all, we non-Board members need to know those variations as well; we're all in the process of learning.
  2. I would like to add one more thing which just came in an email I just received from the ATTY. In essence, he said that RM is empowered to act as an agent on behalf of the Board and entitled to whatever powers they wish to delegate. Further, he said the Board won't precisely follow the the "Rules". I will be writing him back thanking him for the clarifications as well as suggesting he recommend to the Board that they document whatever exceptions to the "Rules" they are making.
  3. Thanks to everyone for your wonderful feedback and comments on the situation. Mr. Katz and Dr. Kapur, you have nailed the situation exactly. Many years ago -- make that a few decades ago - I was in a corporate group which did training. Our members included several who taught industrial statistics (sampling theory, calibration, etc.). Senior mgmt in our area began to push for all the statisticians to be let go under the theory that some (then) new statistical tools were being developed and that teaching was no longer necessary. The statisticians kept arguing with mgmt that tools weren't a substitute for knowledge, however mgmt didn't listen. Finally one of them said, "You don't understand -- a fool with a tool is still a fool." The situation I've described my OP bears out that same point with respect to Robert's Rules of Order. Note: My apologies for the sloppiness in terminology as the "Rule" are not within my skill set. Our HOA documents actually say "Robert's Rules of Order (latest edition).
  4. " I take it that all of this was a board meeting of the HOA and that you and several others were simply invited guests that were allowed to observe the meeting. Correct me if I am wrong. " Monthly Board meetings are open to residents. Some resident who attend - but not all - are members of various committees. Executive Committee Meetings (which consist of the Board members and RM) are held afterward. As I understand it (I've not gone to one), a resident may ask to speak at an ExComm meeting but has to do a "step in/step out", i.e. go in for a brief period to do your business, then leave -- you can't just hang around. ATUL: " The Board can invite a non-member to serve as temporary presiding officer, either by a majority vote if the president and vice president do not object or by suspending the rules if either of them do. (RONR, p. 453-4) " Thank you. I believe that's what my Board would probably hang their hat on for letting a contractor act as de facto Board President until the roles of the Board members were determined. ATUL: "I'm not surprised that the Attorney didn't say anything. Many corporations and other organizations have a strong Executive Director (aka Executive Secretary aka CEO aka Top Employee) who plays an active role in Board and Membership meetings, so this would likely not have been out of the ordinary for the attorney. It's up to the body that is meeting to decide if they are okay with this." We don't have anyone strong on our Board. The two recently elected individuals have never been on a committee or attended a Board meeting. (Yes, things are that bad.) ATUL: "And I would be surprised if the attorney had the knowledge of a parliamentarian." He introduced himself as being an expert on HOAs and being there to help in that role. He certainly seemed very eager to shut down members whenever they attempted to say something. PERSONAL NOTE: The HOA acquired ATTY using RM's company referral system. One has to wonder if perhaps staying on that referral system influenced ATTY's decisions not to shut down RM. My wife has been talking about moving from here when she retires. I've been here since 1997 and liked it, but now I'm really thinking that I just better disengage from all this HOA and tell her I'm ready to move.
  5. Our home owners' association (HOA) is supposed to be run under ROR, however that's never really happened. Tonight was our first attempt at doing so and some very odd things occurred which I'd like to run by you folks. First, this was the initial meeting of our Board -- one where we had two returning members and two newly elected ones. At the first meeting, they are to define their roles (Pres, VP, Treasurer, Secretary) so, at the onset of the meeting it's not clear who's doing what. At the front table were two non-Board members -- an Atty for the HOA (who announced he was there to act as somewhat of a parliamentarian) and a representative of our the management company we use to handle a variety of tasks for us. For simplicity's sake, I'll just call them "Atty" and "RM". First, the meeting was gavelled in by RM. According to ROR, what are the implications of having a non-Board member (esp. a contractor!) gavel in the meeting? I should also add that the Atty/parliamentarian raised no concern about this at all. Second, RM then called for approval of the prior meeting's minutes, took votes from Board members, and declared the minutes approved. What are the implications of her doing so? Third, as we proceeded down the agenda, RM repeatedly acted as a de facto Board member. She questioned presenters, issued directions to other contractors, told audience members they must be quiet until the "community forum" portion of the agenda, etc. Was this in keeping with ROR? Fourth, perhaps I'm missing something but...is there some way a Board can effectively give someone carte blanche in terms of a meeting? As noted above, both our parliamentarian and Board said nary a thing with respect to the above and RM later then joined then in Executive Conference. All this seems very strange to me, but of course I'm not the expert. What are your opinions on the above? Several of us are shaking our heads wondering what's going on.
  6. Thanks to all for the advice -- I sure lucked out by coming to the right place! A couple of us have thought about using videoconferencing, but our Board meetings often devolve into problem solving sessions with Board members and residents all being part of the discussion. That, I think, would lead to problems in terms of having a number of mics and the camera constantly changing its focus.
  7. " I'm not sure I'd agree that they should be placed online for all the world to see, whether draft or approved. " Our Board meeting minutes are placed online, but access is restricted to residents. You point about the Executive Sessions is a good one, but I think the general thinking is that only the open Board meeting minutes should be released as draft.
  8. My first post here, so please redirect if I've mistakenly come to the wrong portion of the site... My home owners' association (HOA) has monthly meetings, with each month's meeting minutes formally approved the following month. After approval, they are posted in our website in a few days. Typically, this means it's about 5 weeks after a meeting occurs before the residents have knowledge of what happened. If a resident has a concern about something that happened, they then will have to wait until the following meeting -- a full two months - before being able to come to the monthly board meeting to comment. The worst case scenario for us is with the October meeting minutes. Since we have no November meeting, those won't be approved until December -- and the resident with a concern won't have a change to talk before the Board until January -- a full 90 days later. It has been suggested that the HOA Secretary publish draft minutes within ten days after each meeting, but nobody's really familiar with Robert's Rules and what provisions there are for draft minutes -- esp. with respect to publishing them online (albeit marked as "draft" until formally approved). I'd appreciate whatever guidance the experts here can give. (I should note that I'm not on the Board, but am a proponent of getting draft minutes published ASAP so members can more quickly see what the Board is doing and offer their inputs as quickly as possible.)
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