FCAP Community—December 2019

FCAP Community

Published December 2019

       Florida Community Association Professionals’ (FCAP) training is offered on two levels. Level one consists of courses meeting Florida’s continuing education requirements for CAMs, and level two is the Florida Advanced CAM Studies (FACS) courses. For further information about the more than 50 online continuing education classes available or to pursue the Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM) designation, please visit www.fcapgroup.com/membership/education-training/.

William Kelly Earns His CFCAM Designation From FCAP

     FCAP (Florida Community Association Professionals) recently certified William Kelly in his pursuit to become a Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM). He began his career at age 12, starting work in a nearby delicatessen. This was his first interaction with the public, and he found out that he liked interacting with the public. He also served in the U.S. Army, on Wall Street, and with the New York Police Department (NYPD).

When he retired, he moved to Florida, where he served on his condominium board and was chosen to serve as president. He decided to pursue the CFCAM designation as a way to further his knowledge and better understand his responsibilities. He is influenced by the condominium owners and says their positive and negative input is influential. When he has free time, William likes to read, golf, and observe operations in the association in order to make creative and better decisions.

     Congratulations again to William for obtaining his CFCAM designation!

Betsy Barbieux

Because You Asked
By Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM, CMCA

     Here’s my question:  I don’t remember ever seeing a discussion/requirement on filing/providing a 1099 MISC for vendors or contractors that are used in an HOA. Could you provide some information on this topic?
– Paul

     According to my accountant, individuals and LLCs should receive 1099s if they are paid $600 or more during a calendar year. 
      An LLC may file tax returns either as an individual or as a corporation. You won’t know which method they use so it is safer to just provide all LLCs with a 1099.
– Betsy

     Are cameras allowed on HOA property?
– Peter

     Your question is not very specific, but certainly HOAs may have and many do have cameras in the common areas and entrances that record activity. It is likely they are not monitored 24 hours a day, so they are not “surveillance” or “security” cameras and should have proper signage indicating they are not monitored. For the correct verbiage on the signs, boards and managers should check with their insurance agents, security service, or attorney.
– Betsy

     Here’s my question:
     I live in a condominium.  Our board president has established a new rule that prohibits members from commenting or asking questions at meetings unless they are submitted in writing 24 hours in advance of the meeting. He said he was sorry, but it is a new state law and that it has to be done that way. It doesn’t sound right to me.
     Agendas are posted 48 hours prior to meetings. That gives us 24 hours to come up with questions, and he will not allow any discussion of motions at the meetings except for board members.
     When I served on the board, I attended the board member’s training, and if I recall correctly, the law said that members must have an opportunity to ask questions and speak on any motion made by the board. I know that the board can set reasonable rules about how that is done, but this seems unreasonable. Has the law changed?
     I think I will be running for the board again…
– Harvey

     It is not a new law, but, yes, boards of directors may set policies/rules for owners’ comments. See the statute below. Note, the statute restricts owners to “comments” about agenda items only. It is not a Q&A time. The board meeting is NOT an informational meeting for the members.
     I always recommend that boards use an owners’ sign-up sheet for each agenda item or have owners submit their requests to speak prior to the meeting. I recommend they then be called on at an appropriate time during the meeting (usually the beginning and dispense with all the owners’ comments early on so the board can work straight through their agenda without stopping). I also recommend that boards establish a time limit (three minutes) and a specific place (lectern) for the owner making the comments to stand when called upon.
     Section 718.112(2)(c) Board of administration meetings.—Meetings of the board of administration at which a quorum of the members is present are open to all unit owners. Members of the board of administration may use e-mail as a means of communication but may not cast a vote on an association matter via e-mail. A unit owner may tape record or videotape the meetings. The right to attend such meetings includes the right to speak at such meetings with reference to all designated agenda items. The division shall adopt reasonable rules governing the tape recording and videotaping of the meeting. The association may adopt written reasonable rules governing the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner statements.
     Owners need to remember the board meeting is not for them, neither is it an informational meeting or Q&A time for owners. To understand more about the purpose of board meetings, be sure to view the first five episodes of CAM Matters™ on our YouTube channel. You’ll get a better understanding of the purpose of your community and of board meetings.
     If you are going to run again for the board, you’ll have to certify again. Come join us for the Board Certification Course in St. Augustine in November! – Betsy

     First of all, thank you for your timely and informative Q&A in the Florida Community Association Journal.  I have used many of your opinions in positions I have taken in my current role as an HOA board member. 
     Recently, this statute was brought to my attention, and as written, can be read two very different ways.
     It reads, “Any contract entered into by the board may be cancelled by a majority of the voting interests present at the next regular or special meeting, whichever occurs first.  Any member may make a motion to cancel such contract…..”
     One way to read this is that at any meeting a group of homeowners can get together and vote to cancel a contract entered into by the board.  However, I believe the intent is that “a majority of the voting interests present” means that a majority number or more of all homeowners must be present, and the majority must vote to cancel the contract.  Any other interpretation virtually estops any board from entering into a contract in good faith.  Since many HOAs, such as ours,  contract for all its services (we have no employees), to allow a small group of owners to cancel contracts at will would throw the entire operation of the association into chaos, make it impossible to expect vendors to contract for services under such conditions, and open the association to numerous legal actions on the part of vendors for breach of contract.
     Your advice on this will be much appreciated, as well as much needed. And, thank you.
– Jill

     All meetings, whether board or membership, cannot be convened unless there is at least a quorum in attendance. The quorum requirement prevents what you fear.
     In a condominium association, unless the documents say a lower percentage, the quorum requirement to call the meeting to order is 51 percent and 30 percent in an HOA. If there is no quorum, there can be no meeting and no voting.
     This type of meeting would be a formal membership meeting with a 14-day written notice to all owners including limited proxies for voting. This is not an informal gathering of owners.
     Assuming the quorum requirement is met, then the question is, “Does this particular vote require a percentage of those present (voting in person or by proxy) OR a percentage of the entire membership (voting in person or by proxy)?
     The statute you quote is the smaller vote—percentage of those present (voting in person or by proxy).
     The statute you quote is prefaced first by the fact there is a potential conflict of interest with a board member and the contractor/vendor. So, this ability for the membership to vote is only if there was a potential conflict of interest.
     Thank you for reading!
– Betsy

Marcy Kravit

What It Takes to Build A Solid Board and Management Team Relationship
Marcy L. Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM
Florida Community Association Professionals (FCAP) Education and Training Coordinator
AKAM On-Site Managing Director

     First and foremost, new board members need to feel like they are an integral part of the board as soon as possible. They were elected to represent the members to preserve, protect, maintain, and enhance the property. No matter how qualified your new board members are, it will take some time to get them up to speed and feeling comfortable and confident. It is up to the manager to develop the relationship and give them the tools they need to succeed. It is recommended that managers develop a Board Member Orientation Packet to ensure that all important areas are covered for the success of the community, board, and management team relationship!

     Second, it is recommended that all board members participate in a board member orientation and certification program. Contact your association attorney to conduct one on the property. Knowing the “basics” will help the board hit the ground running. It is also recommended that managers schedule a tour of the property and include the maintenance supervisor. Point out all areas in need of improvements and current conditions of the common area property, components, and physical plant and equipment.

     Here is a sample checklist of items you may wish to include in your Board Member Orientation Packet:

  • Board member contact information
  • Management team contact information
  • Most recent management report
  • Meeting minutes
  • Budget/fees and end of year financial audit/review/compilation
  • List of committees and contact information
  • Copy of the association rules/regulations/documents
  • Insurance schedule
  • Monthly financial/delinquency report
  • Action item list
  • Reserve study
  • Violations, pending lawsuits
  • Organizational chart to establish chain of command
  • Board code of conduct
  • Contact info for the association attorney, CPA, and service providers and list of contracts

     Third, as manager, give the new board your full professional support. Explain that you will always consider what’s best for the association as a whole and keep an open mind. Explain that all members deserve a voice in the association and even the naysayers may have valid points!

     Encourage your board to act in an advisory capacity. All owner inquiries and concerns should channel thro-ugh you as the manager and explain that the board is not to give direction to staff. Following the chain of command is essential. The president should give direction to you as the manager, and the board members should channel their requests through the president. This will streamline communications and avoid chaos and confusion.  As manager, you are experienced and the professional who can keep your emotions in check, so things don’t escalate to a bad situation.

25 Characteristics of an Outstanding Board Member:

  • Pre-existing passion for the community
  • No hidden self-agendas or conflicts of interest
  • Works with management and willing to utilize professionals’ and experts in their respective fields
  • Eagerness to participate at every meeting
  • Willing to prepare in advance for board meetings
  • Strong desire for stewardship of others and to maintain confidentiality
  • Supportive
  • Strives to learn as much as possible
  • Possesses leadership skills
  • Develop communication skills
  • Uses long-range planning skills
  • Has great judgement and willingness to listen as a consensus builder
  • Is a business person and willing to run the community like a business
  • Team player—open to work with fellow board members
  • Does not micromanage and allows the manager to manage
  • Is proactive and not reactive
  • Treats others with respect
  • Is fair and reasonable and complies with the governing documents
  • Has a “can-do attitude” and is open to new ideas
  • Has thick skin and is empathetic
  • Possesses the ability to adapt to change
  • Has the time and energy to serve
  • Has an understanding of their role and responsibilities
  • Has a positive and professional approach

     How many of these do your board members have individually?

Cultivate a Healthy Relationship with the President

     I recommend that as manager you meet with the president on a weekly basis to review pending items and your action items list. The president’s role as an overseer and “thought partner” will assist you in establishing expectations and prioritizing. Meet monthly with the treasurer to review the financials. As manager, always actively commit to promote your recommendations. Engage and encourage your board members to communicate regularly with the membership. Transparency is critical. You and the board members need to constructively address issues head on and, ultimately, be able to collaborate and work well together consistently and efficiently.

Good Listening Skills and Teamwork

     Board members need to be good listeners and willing to work with you as manager to offer sound solutions for their consideration, especially when it concerns sensitive issues. All can bring a fresh perspective. Board meeting agenda items need to be drafted by you and the president. Forward to your board for their input.

     Board members and management must have a can-do attitude and team mindset in bringing a passion, vision, and mission for the success of the community. I have first-hand experience watching and working with board members for over 20-plus years. Some have been phenomenal based upon their knowledge, skills, background, and willingness to work with management. 

     In today’s world, boards and management are facing ever-increasingly complex and challenging matters. Boards and management need to consider the demographics of the members they represent, such as residents with geographic international diversity, differing political views, disabilities, differing religions, beliefs, gender, and age.

     As manager, it is up to you to create a culture within the board that facilitates the kind of strategic consideration in assisting the board in making educated decisions, so essential that you will provide helpful business advice.  It is up to you to help build a sense of community, making sure that the community is provided the services necessary to make the property look great! When the board is provided the necessary information regarding the issues and concerns, they use care and loyalty and take on their fiduciary responsibilities seriously. Together the community flourishes!