You live in a homeowner’s association. You have a great idea. You’re not on the board, and elections are months away. What next? Present it! Presenting a good idea, whether to the HOA board, a boss, or anyone else in the position to approve it, isn’t about them or you -- it’s about the idea.
There seems to be one in every homeowners association. That one HOA board member that consistently disagrees, goes against the majority, or at the very least enjoys playing devil’s advocate. Do you have a Scrooge – a mean spirited, miserly person – on your Board? There are ways you can deal with them.
The purpose and protocol for executive sessions in a homeowners association are often misunderstood by both homeowners and board members. HOA Board members may call an executive session to discuss important matters and make crucial decisions involving privileged and private information.
Below are some frequently asked questions that you might have about executive sessions that will help to increase your knowledge and fulfill your duty to be informed as a member of the Board and Association.
Does your HOA board dread the annual meeting because it’s boring, no one shows up, and it seems completely and utterly pointless? If so, your Board is not alone. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, the annual meeting in your homeowners association can actually be – dare we suggest – fun?!
Have you ever been to a Board meeting that was equivalent to going to the circus? You know the type. Everyone clowning around, trying to out-perform the other to get their point noticed. Pencils and papers flying through the air as if they were popcorn and peanuts. The tension in the air when an important issue is being discussed feels thicker than watching a tightrope walker. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that bad, but you get the idea. The kind of meeting you leave feeling like you put out more fires caused by the jugglers flaming batons than made onlookers smile and leave happy.
Whether your homeowners association operates on the calendar year or fiscal year, now is a good time to set a date for your annual HOA board meeting if you haven’t already done so. Annual meetings are a common best practice to keep members informed and get them involved. You may be thinking that it’s going to be a waste of time because the majority of members don’t come to any meetings. There’s no doubt that this is one of the most challenging parts of planning the meeting, but there are ways to encourage members to attend.
When you hear the word “meeting” do you want to run in the other direction? We’ve all been in meetings that drag on and on, feel like a waste of time because nothing gets accomplished, or are outright exhausting because board members spend the time arguing with each other. What if you had a few tricks up your sleeve to make HOA board members actually look forward to meetings? Okay, at least not dread going to Association meetings? Here’s what you need to do.
Whether you’re out of town or out of commission, you can still attend the homeowners association board meetings by tuning in online. This is not to be confused with a meeting via email - this is not allowed.
Sometimes what seems like a simple item on the agenda that will receive an overwhelming vote can end up taking the whole meeting because Board members and homeowners keep hashing out the same issue over and over again.
Does an HOA board have authority to make important decisions for the community without seeking input from their homeowners – either by informal consultation, a survey or a formal vote?
The short answer to the question is “Yes.” The HOA board is established to oversee the governance of the association on behalf of the homeowners/members. While HOAs are quasi-governmental in nature, they are not pure democracies in which members vote on every issue. The long answer to the question is more complicated.