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can any member4 start a committee


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Appointing a committee is an action, and must be taken by someone with authority to do so. The bylaws may explicitly say how committees get created or may give for body, such as the board, a set of powers which includes appointing committees (either exclusively or non-exclusively). Absent that, the assembly can appoint committees. Regardless, the board probably can appoint committees of the board (but not of the assembly without authorization). So no, a member cannot simply announce "we're the audit committee!" Well, he can, but it doesn't mean anything.

Nor, though, does it matter all that much, I guess. Unless empowered otherwise, a committee can only make recommendations - i.e. report motions. Any group of members (or people, I guess) can also meet informally and decide to have one of their number, who is able to do so, make a motion, albeit under a different agenda item than "committee reports." Committees don't actually do anything that a group of people can't do on their own, except get called "committee," unless they are given other powers. 

So the question would be - does this member simply intend to play a game where he calls his friends a "committee" and sometimes makes motions they happen to support, or does he intend to do something else?

The board might as well do nothing, since there's nothing to do, unless he insists on giving a "committee report," claims his motions don't need seconds because they came out of committee, or demands a committee budget, or whatever. I might change my opinion on that, though, given more facts.

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner
45 minutes ago, simplyus said:

Thank you for the reply.  No, the board did not create or appoint the committee.  A member created the committee with 3 other members and announced it at our HOA meeting today.  As this has never happened before the board did not really know what to do...

Are you talking about a meeting of all HOA members? If so, the board does not have a deliberative role in that context, except as officers of the association who may be called on to report. Your presiding officer should have pointed out that the assembly's approval is required to create a committee and asked for such a motion.

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