Q. We have a director who will never vote on any issue. While he counts as part of quorum, he never speaks, offers any advice on matters or votes on any motion. He offers littl,e if any, help. When he refuses to vote he claims that he does not want to offend any member. Would he still be counted for quorum? Is there any way that we can replace him?
J.E., New Port Richey
Prior to 2005, all directors were required to vote except when they had a conflict of interest. After this date, the condominium act allowed a director to abstain from voting for any reason. Since directors are elected by the members, only the members can recall the director. The only thing the other directors can do is to ask him for his resignation. They can do this by talking to him in private or sending him a letter. If he does not resign and the members do not recall him, you will need to wait until the next annual meeting and hope that the members will not reelect him. I would also tell this director that all directors have a responsibility to the members. If someone sues the board, he will be named along with the other directors. His failure to talk, vote and give his opinion will not excuse his abstaining.
Q. I continue to enjoy and learn from your weekly column. I recall a recent column that reviewed the requirements for board minutes of a HOA. I especially appreciated your advice that minutes do not need to include discussion. I am trying to recall whether mandatory inclusion of votes must disclose who voted or only what the numerical result was.
Minutes have only the basic information about the business conducted by the board or members at an annual meeting. They should be placed in a book and retained for seven years. About the only time the “official” minutes would be used, would be by a judge or trial in a lawsuit. Quite frankly, the less you put in your minutes the better. Include the time, date, location and a statement that a quorum was present. One of the first agenda items is to present reports. The minutes would reflect who gave what report and the subject. As the agenda moves to previous business and new business, only the item and motion would be recorded. At the time of the vote, the director’s name and how they voted would also be documented. No discussion would be included. For normal operations, you should have one page for each hour long the meeting takes.
Q. Our condominium unit deed specifies specific parking spaces. Recently the president confiscated the deeded parking spaces and reassigned them. If an association can confiscate your deeded parking space, what else could they confiscate? Would you consider this theft or bad judgment or both?
I call it testing perceived powers. Many times, a person in a position of power will push to the edge and beyond. In your case, did any owner or director complain or claim that the president could not alter the deeded parking space? Since the spaces are recorded, they belong to the unit to which they were assigned. It is like running a red light. If no one objects or a policeman does not stop you, did you violate the law? Yes, but you would not be punished or have to pay a fine if no one objects. The president does not have the power. He or she would be subject to the other directors as well as the members. If the other directors and/or the members do not take any action then they would be considered to be consenting to the illegal act. I would suggest that you and your neighbors write the board of directors and challenge it to correct the situation. I am sure that any attorney would be happy to take this case if you sue the board.