Curbing access to office is reasonable
Q: At a recent board meeting, the president made a motion to limit access to the association office after hours. The motion was seconded and voted by the directors. Does the president have the right to decide who has access to the office without consulting with the other directors?
A: Contrary to the beliefs that the president cannot make motions, if he was first elected as a director he has the right to make motions and vote as any other director. As for restrictions to limit who can visit the office, he and the other directors have files and documents that are important to maintain. Would you not agree, as one example, the collection records have some importance to limit the access to these records to prevent unauthorized entries? This along with other records must be protected from unauthorized searches or alterations.
While I do not like to call the association's records confidential, they must restrict entry and protect them from unsanctioned alterations. I see nothing wrong with the president making such a motion. The directors and officers are responsible to maintain the records and thereby protect them from unauthorized examinations or changes.
Residents will have to pay to fix building
Q: We are facing a recertification that is required for our older condominium. The engineer's report indicates expenses of over $1 million. Financial conditions in our building have not been good. Bank foreclosures and defaults on fees have caused many to abandon their units. The fear is that many of the members cannot afford the extra expenses for special assessments or budget increases and it will result in many others not paying the fees. Several members want the board to have the members vote on what repairs are to be made and which ones to put aside for the time being. Can you help with a direction our board and members must take?
A: I can only say what should have happed. In past years, your reserves should have been better calculated. Since you do not have a large base of funds and prospects to generate more income over the next few months, you have a problem. I am not a magical wizard and cannot give you the last answer only a suggestion as to best workout your state of affairs.
Starting with your board of directors, they are obligated to bring the building and condominium up to standard. Everyone should realize that our economy is weak and jobs and income are waiting for better times. Members need to understand that the ones remaining are totally responsible along with the board to maintain the building. It just means that the ones remaining must pay more and do more for the condominium and their neighbors. It is a case of government regulations that include county code inspectors and changes in the laws that force improvements. My guess is that members can petition the board to hold off on some repairs if the inspectors will allow delays in bringing the building up to code.