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Kicked out of Board Meeting

I was asked to leave our association board meeting today. I tried to explain that the Arizona Open meeting last allows me to be there. I was holding the Hazelwood, Carpenter statute book to the page.
I was told by the VP and Secretary that they knew the law and I was wrong. This is the second meeting I know of that homeowners were not allowed. The secretary said he will hire a policeman to keep homeowners out.
I spoke with Dennis and he suggests I take my complaints to the ADRE. It seems odd that the HOA breaks the law and I have to pay to have someone look into it.
Unfair
Joe

1 Response

  1. dennisl

    Joe;

    You are absolutely right, while we have laws that are meant to protect the rights of individuals, boards that want to do what they want to do irrespective of the law can with for the most part impunity. Mostly because they bank on the fact that homeowners will not risk their hard earned money trying to get the board to follow the law. By the way the board get to use your (community) money to pay for attorneys to defend their actions if you try and take them to court. Until we can get real accountability and consequences for violating the law this will never change. The ADRE and ALJ process is not perfect but it is far better than going to superior court to enforce the law. The one advantage of the ALJ process is that if you prevail the judge will order the association to comply with the law in the future. If they refuse to comply with that order you can file contempt of court charges against them that could lead to significant fines and even jail time for the individual board members.

    Please don’t get me wrong I’ve no interest in having everyone go out and bring charges against their boards but the issue is the open meeting law is there for a reason. When no one is watching an association is when bad things happen and money is lost and stolen and your communities go to ruin. Clear violations of the law cannot be ignored because if it is it will simply keep getting worse and worse for your community. There is absolutely no reason to not have complete transparency of the business of the community. The board has the absolute power to what they believe is right as long as it is done in the open. There are many communities that conduct their business with complete transparency so any complaint that it is too hard is totally baseless.

    In Joe’s case the board claimed that it was conducting an executive session. Which is fine as long as they were only discussing issues allowed for exceptions to open meeting authorized in the law. As a reminder we did get changes to the law that required the board to identify the specific exception they were using to conduct the executive session in the notice for that meeting. Discussion of any community business that does not meet those exceptions in executive session violates the law.

    Thanks
    Dennis

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