Get over it. Your comments clearly indicate you have an agenda that is not constructive. They want to "block" you from seeing the results? I would assume there is secret balloting so what gives you the right to violate the secrecy? Get a judge involved? A CPA certifies the votes? And then you want the CPA to notarize his/her count? The president and secretary didn't see the votes? Someone (supposedly the CPA) was given the responsibility of counting votes, perhaps by a vote of the membership or the board. So why are you complaining? And how did you "prove" there were not sufficient votes 2 years ago? Did you get to see the votes (a clear violation of any secret ballot procedure)? Are you a board member? Lots of missing info in your presentation.
It sounds like you are afraid they will rule against something you are continuously doing or threatening to do. Do you always speak of suing and all the little details (notarization, certification) because you are not happy with that which may be quite up-and-coming? You are vague in specifics of why you are complaining, but I suspect they may visit in private at times, as a board, to avoid all the disruption you are likely to cause each and every time there is business to conduct. I suspect that if you sat out one open meeting of the board, they'd probably get something done. Since you are not specific about how it aggrieves you, personally, you may want to stand back a foot from the situation, and wonder to yourself, 'what if there are 90 votes against what I want'?? Unfortunately, each owner has one vote, an equal say, and just because the vote doesn't swing your way, doesn't prove nor suggest that there is a 'secret' vote. If you make such claims without any proof, that judge you take it to may slap your hands!
I had to read your article multiple times to try to ascertain the real issue. Correct me if I am wrong but your issue is with a vote that was taken to pass a revision to the Bylaws. The question being, "Based on the Bylaws in effect at the time of the meeting and in accordance with state and local laws as well as the covenants of the association, were there sufficient attendees at the meeting to satisfy quorum requirements and if so, were the revised Bylaws passed by the required percentage of those attendees?"
For a meeting such as this, there should have been a sign in sheet for the owners. If there is percentage requirement to affirm new Bylaws then voting should have done by ballot. The meeting minutes should have the number of voting members in attendance as well as the actual vote count, if not then you have a basis to declare the new Bylaws as illegal. The Board should make the meeting minutes available to any and all owners upon request.
Should you feel that the rules of the law were not followed, then engage an attorney.
I have to ask; What is your goal? To punish the Board for not following proper process? Are you the only owner that is concerned? Is this a vendetta? Caution, since you have a history with the Board on this issue, pursuing this may backfire.
Not sure without a lot more detail what to say except the post brings up some issues I have had to deal with:
1) Ballot, meeting minutes and financial records access (in my case, denied for years in my sub-association and master association),
2) contesting grievances alone... makes you look like the problem. Do you have any other allies in your 90 unit association. What do your neighbors say? Or are setting yourself up as the nutball lone complainer about nothing?
Reading over your post, you say that a CPA is overseeing the votes, and that they are submitting these changes on record.
It reads as if you had a problem with the process before and challenged it. And now they responded by bringing in professional outside oversight. Think about it, is a CPA going to put his professional reputation and credentials on the line by lying and faking his oversight over the vote?
This seems pretty unlikely. Maybe the poster needs to take a time out and talk to his fellow unit owners about this before going off half cocked and paranoid. It is not all about you buddy.
Very perceptive answers from those commenting! This community consists of 120 units, and the original poster is one of a very small handful of owners who seem to oppose everything the board proposes to improve the property. Owners have complained to the board and to the property manager (verbally and in writing) about harrassment and intimidation by this owner to convince them to vote against the documents because he thinks their approval will somehow cost him money. He actually sued the HOA to prevent revision of the documents and lost the case -- the judge didn't even want to hear any evidence from the HOA attorneys after listening to this owner's song and dance. He is a bully and is unhappy that he can't get elected to the board and that he can't control the other 119 residents of his neighborhood! The board announced at an open meeting of the homeowners and in a letter mailed with the ballots that no owner and no member of the management company would see the ballots to ensure privacy and reduce fear of retaliation. This owner was at said meeting and raised no objection to the voting process, and now that the CPA has certified that the required 75% of votes have been received in favor of these revisions, he's unhappy and trying his delay tactics again. He needs to accept that he is clearly in the minority, and either get over it or move to a single-family home.
Wow. I come here for the perspective.
Yes I have about 30 people behind me.
This is a simple request for documents.
I have a long list of details that id rather not go into.
Does not the fact that I caught the board erroneously certifying an amendment without the required consents matter? It did to the board because they re instated the original bylaws.
I am not the bad guy because I caught them am I?
Can you see how there could be trust issues here?
So how did you catch them last time? Are you saying the votes were published and the results did not agree with what was then done? And what exactly did the board say (presumably in writing) when they reinstated the original by-laws? Your issue seems to be much more than a simple request for documents.
Mike, you received responses from your initial query and while they cannot and should not be taken for anything other than the opinions of individuals outside your community (save one) you should begin to see a trend.
May I suggest two actions:
1. To "Resident of Poster's Community", get word to the Board that the Board could consider a 'cease and desist' letter drawn up by the HOA attorney. This will hopefully stop Mike and others from "harrassment and intimidation."
2. The Board must find a mediator to mediate the dispute(s). Failure to meditate the dispute(s) will only cause things to fester and end badly.
FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) must not be the order of the day for any HOA.
First, it is common to have a secret ballot. Once they are counted, votes become public domain for unit owners to view upon request at a given time and given place set between you and the board. The minutes should reflect that a quorum was established and the number of votes—Pro and Con. If you really have an issue, simply write a "nice" letter to the board requesting to see the votes. Send it registered mail, get a receipt and wait patiently for a phone call. Be flexible with your time restraints as others must go out of their way to accommodate you. Remember—board directors do not get paid for anything...be polite to them at all times.
In FL all votes must be kept for one year. Check with your state. Read your condo documents so you know what procedures to follow. Get your ducks in a row and tread softly onward. Remember, if you want a board change, everyone will still remember any harsh attacks that occurred between you and the board. Have your group of supporters study the state statutes, business procedure codes for you state, and every condo doc you have. Meet in groups of 3 or 4 and discuss what you have learned—not items of which you are displeased. Knowledge is the wealth you gain when dealing with condo boards. Your reputation is on the line as well. You cannot change others but you can change how you respond or react to them. MAKE SURE you do everything in a legal, ethical way.
I think HOA's are a form of Socialized Government, with boards that are dictators. I live in one for 25 years. Has always been a mess! The law of the land "courts" really do not want to be involved, rarely do they try HOA cases, they send them into very expensive mediator arbitration. Forgetaboutit it, either let the board "you picked" (ha ha only 20% of the homeowners even live in their homes full time, they are mostly "snowbirds"...come in for the winter). Best thing to do is sell your house and get away from any form of an HOA! And, do not do a reverse mortgage, because if the HOA gets in a law suit (like mine is now) and looses, guess what???? You get assessed, you have to pay those big assessments or the bank will call the loan on the REVERSED MORTGAGE. I spoke to an officer of Wells Fargo the other day and he told he Wells Fargo stopped doing REVERSE Mortgages because the government was calling so many (due to back taxes) loans and literally putting old people in the streets by taking their reversed mortgaged homes away from them!
Peggy J. Rathbun
The "American Woman"
Our Condo Assoc. in FL discovered our BoD had recorded an amendment at the court house as having passed when in reality no quorum was established and there was not a majority vote. Had we not gone online and checked our condo docs, we would not have known because no amendment had ever been sent to owners. Since this, we found a number of incorrect dealings. We now have a new board and new prop. mgt.
Check the minutes of your meeting and check the courthouse records online in the county where the condo is located. Go into Public access records or something like it. Good luck!
Maggie, my day will come. I am waiting and watching this BoD dig a deep hole for themselves, big enough for a class action. They better win the law suit they are in, that is all I can say! If I am lucky they will do the mediator arbitration and settle out of court as the winners, sad either way, as I am a member of both associations, all homeowners are! Our HOA sued our sister HOA!! Go figure, we loose either way, runs property values down regardless. Peggy
I think this person has anger and did not explain the situation. I DON'T TRUST people on the Board. Some are good but SO_MANY are Power Hungry.
I am here in Clearwater, FL and we have an HOA and 2-Associations. The Associations only pay dues for use of CAC common areas. The HOA has taken the RIGHTS of ALL owners, even under their own HOA of their right to vote on CAC issues. We have a BIG Meeting coming soon with majority of all owners taking action against this HOA.
This is why across this Country, NEW-LAWs that prevent HOA's or Associations from breaking ByLaws. All Management Companies to offer their services to Condo's should be held Liable including the Lawyer if they allow Board Members knowly to break ByLaws. Owners pay in maintenance fees these Management Company's to assist Board Members when issues concerning the complex. They are NOT to assist Board Members on breaking ByLaws and lying to Owners on issues and repairs that should be paid for by the Associations.
When Management Co's and Lawyers are held liable, I think we can see better living and less stress living in a condo community. Thanks You
In open meetings Mike has taken a very antagonistic approach to the board and has made it very uncomfortable for others to attend these informational meetings. I don't know why anyone would volunteer for the abuse to serve on this board, but I am thankful that some of my neighbors are willing to stand up for me and for the majority of my neighbors. Our HOA is in great shape financially, the board is made up of professional business people, and our property manager is responsive to our needs and has worked to keep us within budget while making much needed improvements to our property the years it has been our manager. Mike needs to get a life and accept the fact that the majority of his neighbors -- 75% -- are in favor of the updated documents and are fully supportive of the board and the management company.
Obviously this owner had bad experience two years ago. We can't just deny him that.
Let's not put the cart before the horse. We need the facts before making suggestions.
In Florida, to amend the By-Laws or Declaration you need:
1/ a Board vote approving the text of the proposed amendments
2/ mailing to all owners at least 14 days in advance (forget about canadians ballots. sometime regular mail takes three weeks to get to them)
3/ At the meeting you need a quorum AND a majority of approvals.
The sign in sheet and the ballots are official documents of the association. This owner must be able to request inspection of the originals. (acces must be granted within 5 buss. days in FL)
Upon inspection, this owner can determine if the quorum was met and if a majority of the ballots were in favor or not. (In FL the ballots are not secret. If the tally is very close, I would suggest to pay for a copy of each ballot and verify a sampling of owners to make sure they reflect their own vote)
If Georgia has a similar procedure, and once this owner has the facts, then he could post questions about what should be his next move. Until then...
As a direct result of the actions of Mike & those of his ilk in our neighborhood, I've seen my property values decline by almost **50%** in the 10+yrs I've lived here. I say as "a direct result" because of the lies they've spewed, slander they've spread about past/present board members as well as our property manager, our new documents haven't passed until recently. (Oh, & lets not forget the outright intimidation of other homeowners!! I've heard that more than one person in the neighborhood has mentioned this concern in connection to why they don't want Mike knowing how they voted.) And how do I know my property value has declined by 50%?? Because of the handy little card our local county govt mailed out telling me so.
One of the specific reasons mentioned for such a drastic decline in property values was the condition of our siding, which Mike says only needs a good coat of paint. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? That wood is 30+ yrs old, & is all but rotten to the core. What NEEDS to be done is to have it replaced with Hardiplank, which could & WOULD have been done long since & all according to the new documents but for Mike & those of his ilk throwing up roadblocks at every step of the process.
By the way, I really don't know what he is complaining about. If those documents hadn't passed, the board had long since informed the homeowners that we'd all be responsible for a **MINIMUM** of $3000 out of our own pockets in order to cover the cost of the repairs. However, since the new documents have passed, our HOA now has the authority to deal with this instead of the individual homeowner. And due to the excellent money management shown by both past/present boards, as well as our property manager, none of us in this neighborhood will even have our dues raised for this next year!
As other of my neighbors have already mentioned, the secret nature of the ballot was known by one & all FAR in advance. No one, not even Mike, voiced the first word in complaint.
The secrecy efforts were just another effort by the board to stack the deck against my group and make it harder for us to collect votes against the proposal and the try and stop us from verifying the results.
What has caused our property to become run down is the fact that the woman who is writing all these thing about me is the wife of a contractor who preaches that our siding is all rotten and needs to be replaced. Her husband got contracts to be the project manager for our clubhouse and no doubt would like to be involved in a major renovation project. This couple and the property manager work together closely on maintenance contracts. They control the maintenance and practically the whole works of the association. We have not been painted since 1998. I have documents showing her hasnands plan for a 2.4 million renovation. They raised the dues to create a nest egg for new siding. Instead of maintaining the units and painting and repairing the board has stuck to its plan to pass new bylaws . They dont need new bylaws to fix the damage. Because we have not been painted in so long there is some damage. The boards solution is to tell the members that if the bylaws pass then repairs will not cost the member anything but if they dont pass then the owner will have to pay for their own repairs caused by the lack of paint and proper maintenance. This sounded like a threat to many members and they were intimidated into signing to approve the proposal.
Yet again, Mike, you say things about which you know little to nothing. I can assure you that **I AM NOT** married to a contractor of any sort. Nor does the couple of whom you speak control "maintenance & practically the whole works of the association." Nor did anyone ask, pay, bribe, threaten or cajole me in any way, size, shape or form to make my postings.
And the comments you make about supposed threats made by the board is a load of garbage. I was sitting several rows in front of you at the very meeting when the board first told the HOA members some time ago about the choice to either pass the new bylaws or pay for the repairs themselves. That was in no way a threat, nor did I take it as such, nor did anyone else with whom I am familiar. The board was simply telling us like it is/was: Repairs *MUST* be made one way or the other. And if you were the licensed carpenter/contractor you've claimed to be in the past, you'd know that. (By the way, it's "funny" that the Ga Sec of State's website shows no active license or registration for you in any profession. And yes, I've checked multiple times.)
A vast majority (at least 75%) of your neighbors approve of what is being done with the bylaws, siding, & how our HOA is being run. If you don't like living in the neighborhood, then please just move & let the rest of us enjoy.
Good advice has been given, along with criticism.It would be important to know what changes were made by the new ammendments. I hate to say it, but bod secrecy is a bad idea. Bod must be upfront, despite opposition, or all will pay in the end.
The question of your motivation in complaining has been raised here. Be wise and reconsider if just making war is appealing to you. If what you are do is valid you have received good advice on how to proceed. If you are right you will have improved the learning curve for bod and owners. I do not criticize because too often I have noticed when an owner raises any issue with a bod, he is branded as a trouble making malcontent. If I were in your shows, I would be most interested in looking at the finances of the bod.
Boy is this ever confusing. It is impossible to determine the facts. Apparently 120 30-year old units have not been painted in 14 years. In my mind that guarantees a huge expense and a lot of pre-panting repairs before actually painting. Apparently the folks have been told that if an amendment to the bylaws is approved the repair/painting will not cost them anything but if not they will have to do so themselves for $3,,000. $3,000 for 120 units is $360,000. Mike says the board has an estimate of 2.4 million. Someone else says the place is in "great shape financially". Mike says the board does not need an amendment to re-paint. So what is the real reason for seeking an amendment? But why has a board and/or management company let 14 years pass without painting? That seems wildly irresponsible. On the other hand, Mike is wrong if he believes the place does not require any pre-painting repairs, it must need a lot after 14 years. Underlying all the alleged facts about the condition of the siding, the cost of repairs and the need for a bylaw change is resulting in a whole lot of mistrust on both sides and digging in on opposing positions. Sounds like the U.S. government. This is a perfect example of how associations usually develop. Everyone is happy until there is a need to increase fees and/or spend big money. Then many are strongly opposed to any fee increase or special assessment either because they are too cheap, or expect to move out or die before there is any need for such. The place goes to pot and re-sale values drop and he/she who proposes otherwise in order to make needed repairs becomes the devil incarnate. Lots of hard feelings. We'll never know the real facts so should probable stop beating on this. I think we have already said enough for those involved to try to get on the same page, but it seems pretty obvious they may never get there. Wish I knew that address so I would never, ever, think of moving there (on the other hand I'm pretty sure I would not want to anyway because the place must look like a dump and the board and/or manager and/or some owners are dysfunctional - cannot decide who).
Most fun, in a Schadenfreude way (enjoying the pain of others)!!
Mike and other commentors! Keep fighting,
and bickering instead of negotiating and settling a dispute!!
Love you guys, you make me happier in your stupidity and misery you want to cause each other!!!
Point of Mike posting? self validation
Mike Noone here can help you .. your posts are nonsensical and have no relevance..
If you are so unhappy sell and move away!