Question: What is the proper use of member contact information? Can we post it on our website or publish and distribute a directory to the membership?

Answer: The board needs accurate contact information to communicate news and notices, process rule violations and collections, and other HOA business. Making contact information public is fine if each member listed agrees to it. So, before doing so, get an approval email or letter from each member. If you don’t get one, it counts as a “no” (failure to respond is not a “yes”).

Question: One of our condo owners painted his front door a color that does not conform with the approved paint color standard. The board contacted him in writing requesting the door be repainted to conform. The owner claims that the door was painted over a year ago so he should be allowed to keep it that color. Our manager feels that the board’s request exceeded the statute of limitations and should not try to enforce the issue.

Answer: It’s up to the unit owner to follow the approved paint color standard. Violating that standard and claiming he’s exempt because the board didn’t catch him in time is quite an imaginative argument. It’s not up to the board to discover violations like these. But once they are discovered, the board does need to take action in a reasonable time frame. It sounds like the board acted in a timely way once informed so should continue to press for compliance and enforce fines if compliance isn’t forthcoming.

Question: The board president recently sent an email to the other directors suggesting that board meetings should be subject to a 1½ hour time limit. Shouldn’t the meetings last as long as it takes?

Answer: Generally, board meetings should not go longer than two hours which seems to be the limit of concentration for most people. Meetings are more efficient when the agenda, related information and recommendations are circulated to the board in advance for review. In other words, if the board comes prepared to make decisions, most of the rambling discussions can be curtailed. Remember, the board is not elected to talk about things but to make informed decisions and get things done.

Having lengthy meetings discourages people from running for the board. Successful business people (the kind you hope to attract to the board), want business to be handled efficiently. Endless meetings with droning discussions are a deal killer. An effective meeting is not the product of time but how well that time is handled. When information is organized, the goal to make decisions and a president prepared to keep the discussion moving toward that goal, an enormous can be accomplished in 1½ hours.

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