Parli Procedure
Resource

   

Introduction

Parliamentarians
Licensing Authority

Order Form

How To Have Effective Meetings

Little Ben

Home Owners Association
Proxy Voting
Volume 1, Issue 1
Volume 1, Issue 2
Volume 2, Issue 1
Volume 2, Issue 2
Volume 2, Issue 3
Volume 3, Issue 1
Volume 3, Issue 2
Volume 4, Issue 1

ByLaws

Newsletter

Dear Parliamentarian

Popular Products
All About Motions Video
An Elementary Course in Parliamentary Procedure
Robert's Rules of Order: Simplified & Applied, 2nd ed
Competition Package
Dictionary of Procedural Terms
Dynamic Video & Book Combination - How to Conduct a Meeting
Dynamic Videos: People Management Combination
How to Conduct a Meeting
How to Run a Meeting (DVD & CD-PPT)
Managing Problem People at Meetings
McMinutes: A Training Manual for Secretaries
Meeting Procedure Guide
Nominations & Elections
Organizations Starter Kit
Parliamentary Procedure Made Simple: the Basics
Robert's Rules of Order 20011ed.-paper
Robert's Rules of Order 2011 ed.-hardbound
Robert's Rules of Order in the Courts (Law Cases)
Robert's Rules of Order: Simplified & Applied 2001
Roberts Rules of Order in Spanish & English
Special Video and Book - Video: Parliamentary Procedure Made Simple: the Basics and Book: Robert's Rules of Order: Simplified & Applied 2001 ed
Special Video and Book: Parliamentary Procedure Made Simple: the Basics and Book Robert's Rules of Order 2011 ed. (paper)
Student Leader Special Package
Taking & Writing the Minutes
Teacher's Package
Un Guia para Sessiones Effectivas - in Spanish

Order Form

Las Reglas Simplificadas de Orden (FREE)

Parliamentarian For Hire

Helpful Links

How To Run A Meeting

Contact

Volume 4, Issue 1

Home Owners Associations
Volume 4 Issue 1      January 2006
By Robert McConnell Productions



The outcome of the document revision process

 After years of revision and more revision and discussion and debate (some of it acrimonious), the Canta Rana Homeowners Association finally decide to vote on the new documents.  The election was held in the local fire house meeting room on January 12, 2006.  It was a simple up or down vote, either yes, adopt the new documents or no do not adopt the new documents.  My wife who is a Registered Parliamentarian served a Chair of the Tellers Committee to count the votes.  Just before the meeting she passed out a one page document urging the members not to adopt the documents as was her right as a member of the Association.  She made the following points:

    The Covenants had been the only documents discussed during the lengthy public hearings before the members.  Suggested changes made by the members had been ignored by the Board and by the lawyer the board hired to help revise the documents.  Members had not been allowed to propose and vote on changes to the documents according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
    Even though the new bylaws were included in the package votes on, the members had never been allowed to discuss the new bylaws.  The new bylaws specified a quorum of 27 members.  We rarely get 27 members at any meeting.  Thus no meeting would have a quorum and the control of the Association would be left in the hands of a 5 person Board.
    Members never had a chance to discuss and revise the proposed new Rules and Regulations.  The lawyer had written them yet they were included in the package to be voted.
    If the new documents were defeated, the Members could still discuss revise “old” bylaws which were still in effect.

During the short discussion before the vote, a member asked the Board about this one page handout.  One of the Board members who had been pushing for the new documents but who had not received a copy of the handout, saw the handout and had a fit of anger.  He stood up and yelled at my wife, calling her a “liar” because he said the members did have an opportunity to discuss the new documents.  He apparently believed the discussion of the Covenants was enough to include a discussion of the Bylaws and the Rules although this was factually not the case.  The President was frozen with inaction.  It was for me, a Board member, to stand up and order the member to “cut it out.”

When the vote was finally taken and counted, the new documents were overwhelmingly defeated.  The danger here had been that the Bylaws, which required only a simple majority to pass.  If they had passed, the quorum of 27 would be in place and the members would be effectively disenfranchised.  All decisions would fall to the Board which had in recent years been a self-perpetuating board that didn’t even follow its own rules while expecting members to follow the rules of the Association.

Upon further reflection about the recent events of revising the documents, we realized that if all they wanted was a way to make homeowners keep their yards clean and in good order as well as to keep junk cars and RV’s from being parked on the roadway illegally creating an eyesore, we could easily solve that problem with a set of Rules and Regulations that directly address the issue.  The rules could say something like “on first complaint the Board would sent the homeowner a letter asking him to comply with the Covenants,” i.e., clean up the yard or whatever.  If the homeowner didn’t respond by correcting the problem, a second letter would be sent by our attorney.  If the homeowner still didn’t comply, the Board could hire an independent contractor to clean up the yard and then send the bill to the homeowner.  If the homeowner didn’t pay, the Board could take him to small claims court.

This set of rules would be effective and could be passed by a simple majority.  A Bylaws amendment would not be needed and, of course, there would be no need to try to revise the Covenants which, under the current circumstances, would be nearly impossible.