There’s more to being a board director than merely showing up and sitting through a meeting. Each director has an independent fiduciary duty to the association, which includes a good-faith duty to manage all vendors, including managers and management companies. This duty demands loyalty to the association consisting of careful oversight and supervision of the manager’s activities, as well as overt steps to reduce waste.
“I’ve seen how board members with personal agendas stop at nothing to achieve the goal. The lack of business and common sense leads to wasteful spending & emotion based decisions…leaving the unsuspecting homeowner to pay the price in special assessments and higher dues.” Ian Moone.
Evan McKenzie, a University of Illinois-Chicago lawyer and political science professor and author of the book Beyond Privatopia: Rethinking Residential Private Government, recently explained “There’s no training or actual requirements for board positions, which means that the people in charge often don’t understand the most basic requirements of governance. Many homeowners don’t, either”.
The inevitable result of ‘improved’ and new governing documents is usually a vastly increased area of misunderstanding. (Unknown.)
Steve Cheifetz, the managing partner of the Phoenix-based law firm Cheifetz Iannitelli Marcolini P.C. recently said: “As one who has addressed homeowners association disputes both representing the homeowners association and by representing individual homeowners, I feel confident in asserting that one of the greatest threats to individual liberty endured by our citizens on an ongoing basis is from the unchecked powers of local “quasi-governments”, which are otherwise known as homeowners associations. The unrestrained power of homeowners associations has resulted in significant infringement of individual liberties of homeowners in these associations”.
“Acceptance of dissent is the fundamental requirement of a free society.” Richard Royster.
Commenting further on James Madison warning in the Federalist Papers about laws “so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood”,
the same applies to Planned Community CC&Rs.
Board dysfunction is more the norm than the exception and often arises out of ignorance of board members about their roles and responsibilities.
Daniel Nairn — 2013. The primary distinction between local governments and HOAs is that local governments give one vote to each person, and HOAs give one vote to each property owner. So the rise of HOAs may be seen as a move back to an early 19th century notion of democratic participation, in which only property-owners are enfranchised. I think this explains many of the distortions that occur in this form of government.
When planned community governance lacks transparency and accountability, the risk for corruption remains high.
In Rights Talk, Professor Mary Ann Glendon points out that in many communities there is a “tendency to frame nearly every controversy in terms of a clash of rights which impedes compromise, mutual understanding and the discovery of common ground.” Quoting the United States Supreme Court, she further points out that “we must not forget that the community also has rights, and that the happiness and well being of every resident depends on their faithful preservation.”
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