Re: Fiduciary Responsibilities - Taking Care of the Community
From: davidaclements2 (
Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2012 05:05:28 -0700 (PDT)
It sounds like in your community the decisions of the community are not
final, and the Board has to re-decide all questions.  I imagine that one
effect of  such a system might be is that some community members might
want to leave to the Board to decide troublesome or complex issues which
the Board will need to decide anyway.     When implemented fully, the
members become an advice-giving body, rather than the decision-making
body.   Although this setup would not be my personal preference, it
works well for many people (those who are happy to give the authority to
an elected board).
If you are hearing comments that "the Board should handle it" when
bringing issues to the community, it sounds like there is disagreement
in the community related to which issues the Board should handle and
which the members.   Do your documents/policies specify this clearly?
Although my community is legally set up with an all-powerful Board, we
have other contradictory precedents and policies which give authority to
Teams and Members.   Our Board does not re-decide issues generally, and
there is an expectation that members will decide on many policies and
rules.  When I was on the Board I came up with the dictum that "the
Board decides which issues will be addressed by consensus of Members and
which will be decided by the Board."   The Board I was on tended to go
ahead and decide most "administrative issues" on its own, with reports
to and requests for input from  the members at times (not always).
One benefit of having the Board have ultimate responsibility for all
decisions is that the Members meetings can be more light-hearted
"community-building" meetings rather than having to be "decision-making
" meetings.
Side comment:   having an elected Board does not mean that the HOA can't
be sued or have to pay a judgment.  It does mean that the Board members
are the only community members whose personal assets are at risk in the
event of a lawsuit against the board and association.    Hopefully you
have insured them with Directors and Officers Insurance.
best wishes.
--- In cohousing-L [at], "Norman Gauss" <normangauss@...>
> Sharon:
> In our community, most people who come to community meetings want the
> experience to be pleasant.  There are often fun things that
> work into their agenda so that humor and light-heartedness figures
into our
> discussions.  If topics are presented that are administrative in
> glassy eyed looks often appear on many people's faces, and some
> leave the meeting.   Unless we make the community meetings palatable,
> attendance will be below quorum.  I have actually been told by
> meeting attendees that what I am talking about is boring and that the
> should handle it.
> We require that each proposal approved by the community be ratified by
> Board.  Since the Board is the only body liable for negligence or
> making poor decisions, any repercussions of bad decisions rest
entirely on
> the Board.  Only the Board can be sued for its work, not the
> Norm Gauss
> Oak Creek Commons
> Paso Robles, CA

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