It is impossible to have a properly functioning Association and required Board oversight without information, truth, and following the law. This should never be in question.
The following steps must be done now to restore the rule of law and proper Board governance:
First: Restore the proper “tone at the top.” All RSFA Staff and volunteers must always follow all state and local laws, our governing documents, and procedures.
1) Board Agenda Setting: The Board President has been given 100% power over the Board Meeting Agendas. This allows the silent removal of up to three elected Directors. Per State Law any two Directors or the VP can place an item on the Agenda.
2) Director’s Right to Documents (of a non-personal nature): Without Information, Board oversight is impossible. If Directors don’t know, then Members don’t know. If a Director requests documents, the Association is legally bound to provide those documents. Period.
3) RSFA Board Directs the Manager: All Board “action” is to be discussed and adopted in open session and recorded in the Minutes as required by Davis Stirling (HOA Law). Shadow governance by verbal Presidential orders given to the Manager without the proper Board approval process is unacceptable.
4) Manager Information to the Board: Important matters or information about the operation of the RSFA must be communicated to all Board members in writing at the same time by the Manager.
5) Permitted Executive Session Topics. State HOA law (Davis Stirling) lists only five permissible topics for Executive Session: Litigation, member discipline if requested by that member, formation of contracts with third parties, personnel/employee matters, or discussions with members regarding the payment of assessments. State law requires all other discussions to occur in open sessions before Members.
6) Director Input: Director Input was restored in 2019 at the end of meetings to suggest possible Board agenda items or to speak on any topic. Last year more time was spent arguing about how it was recorded in the Minutes than was consumed by Director Input. Required Correction: A Director has the right for one sentence to be recorded the Meeting Minutes describing statements made during the meeting.
7) Reply to All Member Letters: If Members take time to send “member input” or questions to the Manager, they deserve a reply as was the Board policy 2001-04. Otherwise, the Board and Manager are conveying they do not want to hear from or respond to Members who are part-owners.
8) Term Limits: Being a Director should be hard work. Sequential terms discourage volunteers, express a “club mentality,” and imply “new blood” is not wanted. A year or two should separate allowable Board terms.
9) Role of RSFA Counsel: To represent the interests of all RSFA Members and to be directed by written instructions adopted by the Board, instead of taking verbal direction from the President, any subset of the Board, or the Manager.
10) Member Comment on Agenda Items: Restore the practice of the last 30 years in which member questions or comments on an agenda item may occur after presentation of the report, but before Board discussion. The new requirement (Feb 2023) to comment at the beginning of the meeting or by email is improper, and requires members to ask questions before they know what their question should be.
Mr. Strong has been an RSFA Member since 1985, and was an RSFA Director 2001-2004 and 2019-2022, including two years as VP.