HOA Homefront: 11 sure-fire ways to frustrate HOA elections

This recent article from The San Diego Union-Tribune written by Kelly G. Richardson, Esq., Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers, demonstrates the need for trained, qualified community managers, like a Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA). Read the Full story here. A synopsis follows:

11 mistakes that can take down your Community Association elections:

    1. Ignore procedure. Check your state’s civil code for the guidance on the process … homeowner associations that either intentionally or ignorantly do not follow the process leave their elections vulnerable to challenge.
    2. Abandon the election rules. Again, check your state’s civil code for guidance on HOA election rules which have been put in place for a reason … organized, fairer elections
    3. Forget to appoint an inspector of elections. Whether paid professionals or homeowner volunteer, the official should be appointment during an open board meeting and given instructions on the specifics of the job.
    4. Allow proxies. HOAs should send ballots prior to the election giving everyone a chance to participate, leaving the need for proxies moot.
    5. Skip vote counting in uncontested elections. If your state requires the process of opening and counting ballots, even if the number of candidates equals the number of open seats, then you must do it.
    6. Allow the election inspector to make legal decisions. Whether or the election inspector is a lawyer by trade is irrelevant. The purpose of the election inspector is to validate the election, not to render legal advice.
    7. Don’t include a full copy of a proposed CC&Rs (covenants, conditions & restrictions) with the ballot. If your state law requires the text of a CC&R or bylaw amendment, then it must be included with the ballot.
    8. Ask your manager to be the inspector. Even if your state allows it, an astute Community Association Manager would suggest the practice could raise eyebrows and problems.
    9. Allow the manager or vendors to lobby for or against candidates. To do otherwise could raise ethics questions.
    10. Don’t announce election results. Check your state civil code for guidance, written results to the community should be made within the specified period of time.
    11. Don’t participate. Failed quorums damper, not only elections, but homeowner morale and attitudes. Encourage participation and give homeowners a voice.

 

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