tampabay.com

Proxy can't make up for missing member

By RICHARD WHITE, Special to the Times
Published December 2, 2006


Can a board member give a proxy to another board member to use at a future meeting? The board would not have a quorum without the absent member.

No. A proxy is not valid for a board meeting. If a director cannot attend, the board can use a speaker phone and the absent director will be counted as present and can vote by speaker phone. If you do not have a quorum of directors, you do not have a meeting and no business can be conducted.

Learning curve

We're a fairly new condo association, and we need advice on how our board and management are behaving. They do nothing to keep the place up-to-date, and several areas need repairs. Members are not allowed to speak at meetings until after the board completes its business. The board posted a notice for what was said to be a "members' meeting," but it turned out to be something else, and there were arguments, profanities and questions about where the money's going.

It sounds as if everybody is on a learning curve here. Your board needs to learn how to conduct meetings and operate the association. You, as members, need to learn how to communicate your concerns to your board and teach them how to function effectively.

You and your neighbors should start by writing to the board to detail your concerns about maintenance of the common areas and the lack of timely information. You can volunteer to serve on committees to get the work done. The board needs to review the documents about when meetings must be held and how they are to be conducted. Your manager should be experienced in meeting protocol, newsletter production, and timely distribution of notices and letters.

Counting a quorum

The bylaws of our homeowners association define a quorum at a membership meeting as "a majority of the votes eligible to be cast." The statutes say a quorum is 30 percent of the voting interests. Who's right?

The law was changed a few years ago for homeowners associations not condos. FS 720.306 says a quorum is 30 percent, unless your bylaws require a lower number, in which case you follow your bylaws.

Richard White is a licensed community associations manager. Write to him c/o Community Living, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Sorry, he can't take phone calls or provide personal replies by mail, but you can e-mail him at CAMquestions@cfl.rr.com Please include your name and city.