Thursday, December 14, 2017
Home and Garden

Community Living: Members control board through elections

Members control who is on board

Q: At the recent annual meeting of our condominium, we elected a past president to the board. After the elections several facts were disclosed about his past actions. The first is that he is a Canadian citizen and only lives here for a few weeks each year. He also have violated our rules by building a patio on common grounds at his unit as well as opening a wall and installing a window without approval by the board. For the election, he assisted some unit owners in filling out their ballots. And these are some of the violations that he has done. One of his campaign promises was to keep fees the same this year. In lieu of all the violations and improper actions that this man has done, is there anything that we can do about this person being on the board?

A: If the members elected the director, good or bad, the members are to be blamed, not the candidate. It is the members' duty to know the details of the person they vote for or to verify the facts. Requirements of the person must be verified by each individual before they vote. Citizenship and residency are not a requirement to serve on a condominium board unless your documents say otherwise.

The filling out of a ballot as you described only means that those ballots should be voided. If he is that bad, the other directors can strip him of all officers' duties. The directors have the final vote to elect officers.

Directors cannot benefit from role

Q: We are a HOA. For the past few years, it has been very difficult to get any volunteers to serve on the board of directors. This year we were forced to reduce the number from seven directors to five directors. Would it be legal to have the members vote to exempt the directors from paying their fees? If this were feasible, we think we would no longer have a shortage of volunteers. We feel that this would be cheaper than to hire a management company.

A: FS 720.303 section 12 does not allow compensation for directors serving. That also means a forgiveness of any fees due would not be allowed. That also would mean the directors cannot receive any gain or special benefit. It would be their responsibility to properly operate, maintain, and spend the funds wisely; a fiduciary duty.

Here is what I suggest to get volunteers. Start with better communications. Go out and meet the members and ask them to help face to face. Create a comfortable environment for volunteers. Face the facts, a director must volunteer to work and give time to the operations. Why not hire a manager to do the day-to-day work and assist the board? Explain to the members that if they volunteer and a manager does the daily work, all they would have to do is provide the guidance and observation. You need to explain that a failure to volunteer to serve your community will, in the end, lower property value and can result in higher fees. As directors, you must think of operating a big business, not a mom-and-pop shop. Hire professionals to help provide guidance and labor and you will find that your association will operate better and increase the property values.

Comments
Hometown Pasco for Dec. 15

Hometown Pasco for Dec. 15

We want your news!Hometown Pasco is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. You ...
Published: 12/13/17
Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Y...
Published: 12/13/17
Timely Tendings: Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant species

Timely Tendings: Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant species

Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant speciesPlants make great gifts to give and receive. But .?.?. beware invasive species lurking in local garden centers or nurseries. Many invasive species are still commonly sold and if you plant them in your...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/12/17
Review: Amazon wants a key to your house. I did it. I regretted it.

Review: Amazon wants a key to your house. I did it. I regretted it.

I gave Amazon.com a key to go into my house and drop off packages when I’m not around. After two weeks, it turns out letting strangers in has been the least-troubling part of the experience.Once Amazon owned my door, I was the one locked into an all-...
Published: 12/08/17
Want the perfect Christmas tree? We asked an expert for help

Want the perfect Christmas tree? We asked an expert for help

Lights, ribbons, tinsel, flowers — how do you get that perfect look? We asked designer Ken Neddo of Classic Florals in St. Petersburg to help with this yearly decorating event.   * What do you see as the general trends in Christmas tree deco...
Published: 12/05/17
Timely Tendings: As holidays approach, find the right plants; keep an eye on edibles in the garden

Timely Tendings: As holidays approach, find the right plants; keep an eye on edibles in the garden

Get holiday plants: trees, poinsettias and cactiLiving Christmas trees are a fun, lasting way to celebrate the holiday season that can then be planted to provide a lifetime of enjoyment. Unfortunately a commonly sold plant for this is the Norfolk Isl...
Published: 12/01/17
Updated: 12/05/17
5 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid

5 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid

Thinking about buying your first home? Before you can unlock the door to homeownership, you have to take some important first steps. From finding the perfect location to financing your purchase, shopping for your first home has challenges that go bey...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/05/17
Hometown Hernando for Dec. 8

Hometown Hernando for Dec. 8

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Y...
Published: 11/29/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Plan and budget for a good return on your garden investment

Plan and budget for a good return on your garden investment

The first of the 2018 seed catalogs will be arriving soon in the mail, signaling the start of another growing season. Savvy vegetable gardeners pore over the pages while choosing plants and drafting budgets. Planning ahead provides healthier returns ...
Published: 11/28/17
Updated: 12/05/17
Diggin’ Florida Dirt: Gardeners share suggestions for holiday gifts

Diggin’ Florida Dirt: Gardeners share suggestions for holiday gifts

If I had to choose just one garden tool to be shipwrecked with on an uninhabited island, it would be my Felco 2 pruners. They clip anything up to about a half-inch diameter — even thicker when I push it, which I do.Even my daughter marveled when I qu...
Updated one month ago