Your HOA board members at LHV have no formal training or understanding about HOA requirements. Any that they do have is gained on their own from the internet. Which means that the board is not able to protect the village from potential lawsuits because of errors made in the handling of meetings.
LHV board members have notoriously handled meetings as an informal get-together which had very little structure. When discussed about changing how meetings are run, the usual epitaph was, "That's just they way we do it around here." or, "It's always been done that way."
As a member of an HOA board, member's bear the weight of numerous responsibilities. However, amidst the myriad of tasks, one aspect often remains elusive to many board members - the Executive Session. Understanding this matter in its entirety can prove to be a lifesaver, sparing you from future headaches and steering the board clear of thorny situations.
Purpose of an Executive Session
Executive Sessions are not mere formalities; they are a legal requirement designed to empower an HOA board to address confidential information and private matters. It is important to note that homeowners association members do not possess the right to attend these sessions unless they are directly involved in the proceedings being discussed, such as disciplinary actions or personnel matters.The scope of topics discussed in an Executive Session is deliberately limited and explicitly defined for the board. It is absolutely essential for the HOA board to meticulously adhere to all association rules, regulations, and legal statutes.
Executive session must be called by either the Board President, or a majority vote of the board members present to be officially considered executive session, and documented as such. Otherwise, it's just a regular board meeting.
Documentation of the start time and end time, persons attending and general discussion items that will be discussed must be included. This short notification should be also noted in the next general board meeting minutes.
When an HOA board convenes for an Executive Session, it is important to note that the reasons for calling such a meeting are very specific.
Let's take a closer look at these reasons:
1. Legal issues: This includes matters like attorney-client privilege, pending litigation, and settlement strategies. It is not necessary for the board's attorney to be present during this session.
2. Contracts: The board may enter into an Executive Session to discuss contracts with third parties.
3. Disciplinary actions: Any actions taken against employees or association members for disciplinary reasons should be addressed in an Executive Session. However, it is important to note that the employee or member has the right to be present only during this part of the meeting.
4. Personnel matters: These sessions also cover issues related to employees, such as hiring, firing, raises, discipline, and performance reviews.
5. Assessments: If an association member is delinquent in paying their assessments, the board should discuss the matter of a repayment plan in an Executive Session.
6. Foreclosure: This is a critical decision that only the board can make. It cannot be delegated to an agent working on behalf of the board. Any decision regarding foreclosure must be approved by a majority of the board.
Now, let's explore the different ways in which a board can conduct an Executive Session:
1. In person: The board meets at a physical location to discuss the issues at hand.
2. Telephone/Video: Members of the board may convene via phone or video, such as a teleconference.In rare instances or emergency cases, the following methods may be allowed:
While e-mail meetings are generally prohibited, they may be considered valid for emergency issues.
Unanimous written consent may be used for certain actions without the need for a physical meeting.
In conclusion, when an HOA board gathers for an Executive Session, it is crucial to adhere to the specific reasons for calling such a meeting.
Who can attend an Executive Session?
The following individuals are eligible to attend:- Board members
- Recording personnel
- Attorneys representing the Association
- Members who are subject to action and their witnesses (but only for the relevant part of the session)
- Others who are invited by the Board when necessary, such as vendors for business discussions.
The Executive Session is a serious matter that is governed by specific rules and regulations. As an HOA board member, it is crucial to be aware of these stipulations to avoid any legal issues later on.
Minutes must be taken - just like in a regular Board meeting, a brief description of what was discussed in the executive session should be recorded in the minutes of the next open Board meeting. Executive sessions minutes kept in a safe place.
Executive session minutes are private - members do not have the right to request or view them.
Being a board member for an HOA comes with a great deal of responsibility, especially when it comes to Executive Sessions. These meetings address important matters, so it is essential for you to fully understand your rights and duties as a board member.
It's time the boards at LHV start to act professionally and learn their job. it's time to catch up with the real world.