Monday, June 25, 2018
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Community Living: Board president can vote if first elected as director

President can vote if elected as a director

Q: Can a president of a HOA make a motion or second a motion at a board meeting? Our bylaws say that we must operate under parliamentary rules, the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order.

A: No place in Robert's does it say that an association president is restricted from voting or making motions. It is, however, covered in the statutes that all directors are responsible for the operations and maintenance of the association. Thus, if the president was first elected as a director and then the directors elect him as the president; his first responsibility is that as a director. It is called a "Board of Directors Meeting." That means the directors have nominated someone to conduct the meeting and, in your case, that is the president. He has his first responsibility as a director, but has a duty to control the meeting. Yes, the president that has a director's responsibility in a meeting has the right to vote, make motions, and second motions as well as address the other directors.

If the directors nominate another person who is not a director, such as the manager of maybe an attorney, they would not vote or make motions.

Is there a way to stop amendments?

Q: I find your columns very educational. Please guide me in the right direction. Our board has established a committee to devise a policy to allow our members to add patios to first-floor units. In the past years, the members have voted down any plans to allow patios. It seems like each year the board keeps bringing up the same question and it is coming up again this year. How many times can the board present to the members to vote? Can we put an end to this amendment that keeps coming up?

A: Thank you for understanding that my column is an educational resource and not to be accepted as legal solutions or legal opinions. What I have said in the past is that my answers are a source of information and there may be other answers that will solve the question, maybe even better than my answer.

As to your question about voting over and over on the same motion, I have found over the years that some people will not accept one answer. Until you change the leadership in your association, my guess is that the matter will not go away.

The statutes clearly state that no owner can exclusively use the common areas unless it is approved by the members. There is another minor problem that is any such addition must have proper permits. What that means is that the county records would have to be amended for the units that made additions. That would mean that their tax base should increase.

The condominium must also establish a maintenance responsibility and use policy. The board would most likely have to establish an architectural policy that defines size, material, and construction details.

I would also suggest that the association attorney become involved as to the wording and voting of the motion.