Corrupt HOA in Queen Creeek Arizona – is this “allowable”
Our small community has 7 board members two of which have expiring terms in June of 2023. There has been a vacant seat on the board for ~4 months (currently we are acting with 6 board members which is a violation of our CC&Rs).
Please let me know your thoughts on the following situation.
At the beginning of our HOA meeting last week the President of the board (who does not even live here but is a member of a business that owns a lot here) put forth the following motion:
1. Move one of the 2 board members whose term is up in June to the now open seat thus extending his time on the board another 1.5 years. And then motioned to reduce the board to only 5 members.
Why did he do this? To pad/stack the votes in his favor as the person he motioned to move is in his ‘good old boys club’ and will vote however the president does. This has been documented for years of their collusion.
The community members and some of the board members were in an uproar as it was not disclosed to all of the board members that he and 3 of his ‘friends on the board’ colluded to do this. They strategically decided to do this so they could retain the majority of the board vote.
Sadly this passed with 2 objections (and every single community member rejected it). fortunately, the request to reduce it to 5 was shot down by the board, and when the president heard the community’s outrage, he conceded.
Has anyone ever been in a situation like this? I question if this is legal (yes I know folks here are not lawyers) but it smells of collusion, a lack of ethics, and fishy.
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This problem is getting more and more common, i suspect that one community does this, it gets passed to other communities thru the attorneys or the community managers. It is not currently illegal but it is absolutely unethical and inappropriate. The board members are elected to those position by the people and their term is applied to their position. They can extent their stay on the board only by vote of the members. The use of this musical chairs approach to avoid election cycles is totally and completely inappropriate. With any luck I will be proposing and attempting to get legislation passed next year that makes this practice illegal.
Right now, your options are a recall of the board members that conspired to create this sham and total abuse of power. I would highly recommend that your community while still enraged by the move initiate a petition for a special meeting of the members for the purpose of recalling the individual board members and replacing them with board members that will work for your community and not for themselves.
Some follow up thoughts. What was somewhat Un emphasized in this message is that members of the community attended the board meeting and expressed their opposition to a proposed motion. By doing that the board listened and dropped the issue. This is what this coalition is all about, an engaged community that does not allow the elected board members to implement policy that is not in the best interest of the community. While I do not know how small or how large your community is unless you have more that 1000 members a board of 7 members is total overkill and more problematic then positive. While the outrage was on this issue and not on the more significant issue of the inappropriate appointment of sitting board members to circumvent the election process. If the board serves the terms assigned and is held accountable by the election process than a board of five members is probably appropriate for your community. I understand that this was a move to allow the dominant three members to maintain control of the board, but the members should be allowed to address that in an election, and not by illegitimate actions of the board. This move was simply a measure to eliminate accountability of these board members to the community that they are supposed to serve. Exercise your right to recall these board members and turn control of your community back to the homeowners.
Thank you! Agreed, it’s highly unethical and completely lacking in integrity. The community is already working on various actions.
We have exactly 41 homes in our community, and zero common areas (unless you count the deplorable entrance (not gated either).
I have worked in corporate America and with the government almost my entire adult life and never in my life have I encountered such deceitful, manipulative, self-serving, lawbreakers in my life.
Of course I’m the hated one because I’m stirring the pot as they say because I refuse to be lied to or have my rights taken away.
Thank you so much for your advice!