For years we have encouraged associations to consider colored paper for voting forms. It makes them easy to spot and provides additional security against claims of stuffing the ballot box. Having survived more than a few challenges, in and out of Court, to claims of invalid Amendments, the single most effective way to defend these cases is to be able to establish how the votes were cast.Continue Reading The Secret to Secret Ballots
Q: As a board member of a large condominium association, I am trying to figure out how we can have our upcoming annual meeting if we don’t get a quorum of members present. Our bylaws say we have to have fifty percent of our owners present in person or by proxy to have a quorum for a meeting. That is 90 members. We did not achieve that number last year and could not have the meeting and elect new directors. What can we do to have a successful meeting?Continue Reading What Can Be Done When a Quorum is Elusive?
Our association just got started and has read through the VA HOA blog a lot! It has been a big help to us!
I had a question about the legal responsibility of a HOA board to respond to its members. We are a volunteer board, and there is one member of our community that is constantly sending emails (averaging 6 a day), certified letters, and posting inflammatory comments on Facebook and on our association home page. He recently sent one email documenting the number of emails he had sent us that had gone unanswered. He also attends board meetings and attempts to control the agenda and speak over the board, out of turn, and spending more than the allotted time on issues. We are a board of 8 neighborhood volunteers. With jobs, kids, and lives outside of the realm of the HOA, I just don’t understand how we possibly could respond to all of his emails. Is there a legal requirement that we respond to every email he sends? Or is there a legal guideline for determining which correspondence requires a response? Also, how can a board effectively manage people who are disruptive at a meeting? What advice would you offer to an association that deals with one particularly time-consuming member?
AN UNPAID VOLUNTEER TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING
IS BOARD MEMBER EMAILING A VIOLATION OF THE OPEN MEETING REQUIREMENTS?
With more frequency I am being asked whether, and to what extent, Board Members are entitled to communicate with each other by email. A typical questions that is asked is: "After a solicitation of bids, we received a couple of bids for a major project in the community and the board members have been given a copy of the proposals. There then ensued an email exchange amongst the board members analyzing and discussing the bid packages. In order to get the project going before the next board meeting which is three weeks away, the President wishes to poll the board members on which contract to accept in order to move forward with the project. is this permissible?"
The answer is clearly no, but the subsidiary question is, if that is the case, how much discussion can be held by board members via email (or telephone conference call, for that matter) without violating the open meeting requirements?Continue Reading Board Member Emailing