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Condo association refuses to vote in treasurer-secretary role

Posted on Wed, Jul 10, 2013 @ 08:07 AM

Our one building condo association just had its annual meeting and the position of treasurer/secretary was open. There was only one volunteer and the owners would not vote him in. (unpopular, perceived as a bylaw zealot, known recovering alcoholic, odd duck (Aspergers syndrome). Regardless the by-laws call for three board members and the treasurer/secretary actually does the most work and is the unofficial go to guy in case of problems. What if anything should I do to get the association to follow the by-laws. Seems to me a full board of admin is required and prudent?



You had better read your governing docs. I'll bet they say the board positions are not elected but decided upon by the elected board after the election. In otherwords, you elect a board and then they decide amoung them selves who is best for what position. If you have a management company, then your treasurer doesn't have direct access to association fund. GR

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:28 AM by GR

You dont state where the association is located, but in FL if you used personality traits to keep someone off the board (as you stated, unpopular, bylaw zealot, odd duck with Aspergers - what horrible handles to hang on someone but anyway...) you could be setting up your association for a major lawsuit. The law states that any unit owner can run for a board. It is not a personality contest. If you're in FL, call the Ombudsman at the office of the DBPR. If not, find out what types of enforcement your state has set up to assist condo associations.

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:29 AM by ArtShieldstein

Original poster. 
GR is correct, and I knew that but that is not how our ill informed association acts.  
The Master Deed and the by-laws are a little obtuse, but they do say that there are three required board members, and three positions, and that the board member pick who takes what position. It also specifies that the terms of service should be offset by 1 year (bylaw ignored). And a bunch of other bylaws ignored 
off the top of my head 1) failure to proper notice of meetings by mail within the specified time 
2) failure to hold the annual meeting on the specified date 
3) failure to present a budget 
4) failure to declare an office (location of records, and access at reasonable hrs to review them.  
5) failure of the board to meet for the 2 specified meetings per year and keep minutes in the minutes book of the executive session 
etc,, etc. basically a complete failure to comply with the master deed and the bylaws unless I bring it up and get them to comply. 
On the latter I have asked over 4 years and never been allowed access to the minutes books, and complete records. I have been given partial bank statements over the last year. 
and many more... important ones. 
There is no management company. 

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:40 AM by Hormonal Frequency

In our PA Condo, vacancy can be filled by Bd if they are unanimous. Otherwise, within 60 days President SHALL call for an election. If Pres doesn't, an owner can call for the election. I believe our rules parrot PA UnifCondoAct. 
PA and our rules allow an owner unbridled accesss to all books.

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:52 AM by verda

It is probably a state law as to how many members and what positions must be filled. If this is covered in your covenants then that is the next best thing to state law. In addition it seems there may be an issue with discrimination against someone with a disability. Someone with Asperger's Syndrome may very well be an excellent Treasurer and / or Secretary.

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:53 AM by Sara Hillman

@Art Shielstein and others.... 
My "nom de plume" for this post was not John Mastro.  
I am the original poster.  
I do have a PhD, Asperger's syndrome and I am a recovering alcoholic.  
From my perspective, my dysfunctional condo association and the so-called master association offers so many issues of disfunction, and non-compliance with state law and the documents, I keep offering these questions. These are real , and in my mind interested with complying with the law and the rules, possibly of interest with to the readers in the condo blog. I wish my 11 other condo unit owners were interested in complying with the rules. 
@ Art Shieldenstein, since I labeled myself, I tend to doubt there will be a law suit.

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:01 AM by john mastro

Your problem is really that the board of directors is not following bylaw procedures regarding the election of board members and/or officers (and probably a host of other things). Hate to say it but you have a huge problem. You have identified the problem but I'll wager that no other owners give a hoot if they cannot also see such a blatant disregard of governing documents and make an issue about it. You say you are in a one building association. How many units? One or two, or hundreds, will make a huge difference in anyone's replies. Also if you are self managed or have a management company. I am guessing a small number of self managed units which is a horrible situation to be in if governing docs are not followed..

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:04 AM by RPB Maine

"nom de plume:.... Our comments passed in the air. I have been board member, secretary and treasurer and go to guy. Miserable job. Felt used and a sucker because I cared. Also dysfunctional board. Finally quit for peace of mind. Why in the world would you want to become the sucker?

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:14 AM by RPB Maine

RPB feel ya bro.. 
I volunteered.... semi-retired, and probably more informed than anyone.  
My association consists of 12, but it is more complicated.  
There is a 90 unit owner master association that owns the parking lot , and most of the grounds our sub-association thought was their property...  
When I bought this place I was told a bunch of misinformation about property rights, property boundry lines and other things.  
Best advise for someone contemplating buying a condo: hire the best condo specialist attorney to get the best real information on what you are buying.  
Condos are often completely unregulated and a large can of rancid , putrid , decomposing worms.

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:30 AM by john mastro

Also volunteered, not retired at the time (now am), the go-to guy by owners, and unquestionably the most informed unit owner on governing docs. 16 units. Thankfully no master association. Had detailed reserve plan the new board has tossed out.  
My best advice for anyone contemplating buying a condo: Make sure it is new (fees will be unrealistically low and you can either move or die before anyone realizes it). Make sure it is a large condo (so you will not get sucked into board membership). Be sure there s a long range reserve and replacement plan (if not.... RUN!!). And if anyone brags that fees are low in order to entice you (RUN.. even faster). Finally, just don't.

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:49 AM by RPB Maine

'John Mastro' and I have exchanged emails earlier this year so I may have a better understanding of the situation. 
If memory serves, John's association is one of three condo sub-associations for a group of five condos all attached to the same parking lot. The master association owns the parking lot and property surrounding the condos. The developer(s) did the condo owners no favors by filing their development this way with the county/state. 
Presently, John's association could vote to paint the exterior red, thus potential making the other condo property values decline. Just not a good situation. 
My suggestion to John was to build a business plan that describes the current situation and resulting issues along with a solution to redefine property lines and merge all the sub-associations into one. Then present the business plan to each condo owner and suggest a meeting would be in order to discuss further. Of course, once the condo owners are convinced, then the master association must be convinced. 
Merging all the sub-associations and redefining the property lines would be a positive move for the condo community. There would be a consolidated Reserve Fund, a unified landscaping plan, common maintenance for all common areas, a single insurance policy, a single Board of Directors, and more. Assessments would change, going down for some owners and perhaps up for others but as soon as an owner drives into the parking lot they will be able say that they are a stakeholder in all of this. 
Back to John's original question. A condo association is a democracy, like it or not. Voting for a member to the Board of Directors should be based on what the voter judges to be an individual's character and abilities. However, it is not a perfect world and some voters will also consider things that could be viewed as prejudicial. Right or wrong, its a democracy.

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 10:38 AM by Ron - NC

Officers are "required" by NE law, not just bylaws -- just in case that makes a difference to the board. 
From the Nebraska Nonprofit Corporation Act. 
21-1990. Required officers. (a) Unless otherwise provided in the articles or bylaws, a corporation shall have a president, a secretary, a treasurer, and such other officers as are appointed by the board. (b) The bylaws or the board shall delegate to one of the officers responsibility for preparing minutes of the directors' and members' meetings and for authenticating records of the corporation. (c) The same individual may simultaneously hold more than one office in a corporation.

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 11:36 AM by JT

Can anyone tell me if buying travel insurance in Calgary is a good idea, in conjunction with buying insurance for a new home?

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 1:37 PM by Jim Stout

FYI , while my 12 member condo association is patterned after a small condo association, 
it is not incorporated. 
The master and the 5 building sup association are. 
Still they are supposed to behave like a small non profit corporation, but the people that live here want it to be like a small dysfunctional family and hope that mommy and daddy (remaining 2 officers) take care of things.

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 5:45 PM by john_mastro

At Ron,, thanks for the recognition,,, I do not have the money for attorney s fees and the rest of the people here do not want a change. This is Nebraska after all (comprised of libertarian morons lazy faire). 
but I would not want to be part of an organization that would have me as a member.

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 5:49 PM by john_mastro

At this point , I am sending out feelers to at to lawyers. Honestly, this situation is not a money maker for them (there are laws but little money in a settlement). So unless I grow 10 to 30 thousand dollars out of my tukus to spend on lawyer fees , I do not see this situation getting better soon. What I need is a third party, to intervene without me in equation, because anything I do or say, the other members will react irrationally against their own interests because I suggested it.

posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 6:03 PM by john mastro

If your association is not incorporated, then you and the other 11 owners may be personally financially liable for damages from a lawsuit. So you might suggest to your board that they never even consider incorporating, so then maybe they will do it. 
The NE nonprofit act says that if the master association does not let you inspect financial and other records, then you can apply to the district court, which can summarily (without a trial) order the master association to provide the records to you, and the court can order the association to pay your legal fees. Of course, in any legal action, you may lose, especially since your situation is not clearly defined.

posted @ Thursday, July 11, 2013 9:36 AM by JT

@ JT.. "So you might suggest to your board that they never even consider incorporating, so then maybe they will do it. " LOL!!! 
Board , we don't need no stinking board. 
The Board probably has met as a board once in the last 5 years as a board for an executive session, so called. They keep no minutes books as far as I can tell. I get a blank stare when the topic is brought up, or comments that I am making trouble. One of the reasons they only show partial bank statements for two years , is they know that there should be a minutes book of the regular, special and executive sessions. I would bet you 4000 dollars that minutes are never kept and recorded.  
@ JT I am trying to get an attorney's help from agencies for people of little means.  
I am cash poor right now. I would love to have some cash to pay an attorney and get what you just wrote repeated to me. Both the master association (incorporated) and the sub-association have balked at my verbal and written requests to see the records, as a whole for both entities.  
I did get through enough of their resistance to get them to finally present a budget after 4 years, and an outside accountant to look over the records (mandated by the master deed).  
One has to be thankful for small achievements. 

posted @ Thursday, July 11, 2013 4:17 PM by john mastro

Well maybe if he had offered to build a reception halls, then he would have gotten the vote. Just saying.

posted @ Friday, July 12, 2013 11:13 AM by Jim Stout

Read your governing documents. In my HOA, a full board is not required. It is better for many reasons, but still functional. You MUST have an odd number of board members though, otherwise votes can be deadlocked.  
Our HOA has 5 Board members. We have operated down a head at times, as noone really wants to be in the thankless position.  
As someone pointed out-- check your docs!! In my HOA as well, the board positions are nominated and voted on my the owners, and the Board decides upon positions. So when you say the secretary position is available...I think it is possible you may be misinformed.  
I have been reading your posts throughout the years, and your HOA does sound like a hot mess. It is a shame that you are the only one that seems to care about your community.  
So you lost the election. I know you must be upset, but it is what it is. I am sure Al Gore understands. I have lost elections at times in my life. It doesn't mean you can't still contribute to your community in a POSITIVE, MEANINGFUL way.  
We live in a democratic nation. Celebrate that, and undestand that we don't always get what we want.  

posted @ Sunday, July 21, 2013 11:03 AM by suzieq

OP here, NE. 
At the meeting, there was another twist to the story. One man that did not attend, gave a verbal proxy to the president. The president volunteered this man as the Treasurer/secretary and we all voted for him. 
So now he is that officer. But a few days ago the president announced that the dues collecting and book keeping would be farmed out to an accounting firm. Fine. It remains to be determined how this will work out. In my opinion it is an extra unnecessary expense. It is on 12 units, and the association already has the records on quickbooks. Whatever, my response is to resist and further engagement for or making any comments advocating that state law, the master deed and the by-laws be followed.  
C' est la vie. Whatever will be, will be.

posted @ Thursday, July 25, 2013 9:12 AM by john mastro

John.... What a shame to farm out dues collection and bookkeeping to an accounting firm in a condo with only 12 units and which also already uses Quicken. I did both in my self managed condo for years. Was not a time consuming deal. Kinda wish I was still doing it. The current pres is prepping financial reports (there have been errors on the last few including one where YTD income exceeded expenses by an amount different than the total bank balances), don't know what treasurer is doing.

posted @ Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:09 AM by RPB Maine

Meant that net of income and expenses did not agree with CHANGE in bank balances

posted @ Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:10 AM by RPR Maine

They really need to make banquet halls available to everyone.

posted @ Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:52 AM by Charles Neslon

As the Secretary of my Homeowner Association in Fort Collins, it’s sometimes a challenge trying to maintain work, family and my HOA duties . However, when I discovered Association Online all of that changed. No need to worry about piles of paperwork, their software is quite easy to use and all our HOA documents are stored and managed online. This allows our Board of Directors to operate in a more effective way. You should check them out atwww.associationonline.com or call (970-226-1324). I highly recommend them for all Homeowner Association needs.

posted @ Thursday, August 22, 2013 4:46 PM by Joe Delagdo

Renting out a club house as a reception hall would be a really good way for the condo association to make some good money.

posted @ Thursday, October 03, 2013 1:28 PM by Simon Adair

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