Bullies on the Board – What To Do

I just finished an E-Newsletter on Bullies at meetings which is posted in the E-Newsletter Archives on my website and received the following question from an Owner:

“We have a President on the Board who is the bullie – how do owners attending the monthly Board meetings handle her?  She speaks to people in a consending manner, almost veto anything the owner suggest without approval of the other Board members (which are sheep and will never stand up to the President), she is disrespectul, rude comments, sarcastic, etc. to anyone who has a question, wants to voice their opinion on an issue, and has actually said “it’s OK if owners show up at our meeting, but I don’t want them to talk; they should just listen.”

If the President/Board is not allowing owners to talk at all, in California that is unlawful because there is a law that states owners can address the board at the meetings. Most HOAs and Condo Boards handle that by setting a homeowner forum time.

If an owner is refused, he or she could take the HOA or Condo association to small claims court and ask for a $500 fine to be imposed.

However, that does not resolve the underlying problem that the owners have elected officials that are either disrespectful or allow a disrespectful person to take the podium at meetings, so that may require resolution in an election. If the owners do not elect new officials, they are stuck with what is.

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One Response to Bullies on the Board – What To Do
  1. Beth Grimm
    October 30, 2009 | 12:56 am

    Thanks for the post. Sometimes community websites work very well as the participants are respectful even when offering criticism of the Board or neighbors. Constructive criticism can be beneficial. Bringing educational materials to such a website can be helpful.

    Sometimes they fail miserably because unhappy people use them for a “soapbox” and people who otherwise would like to participate drop out. Sometimes unsubstantiated allegations are made.

    It sounds like this one may have potential for positive effect although I wonder. I often wonder what makes an owner from one association an “expert” sufficiently to talk about what happens in “MOST” associations. I, myself, having experience with hundreds of owners and associations over the years, perhaps over a thousand, still try to be careful not to make generalizations about “most associations,” except to comment on the obvious that I see much of the time which is as apathy and avoidance traits (which seems to be common – where owners do not want to get involved in anything HOA related so Boards and owners become ineffective in effecting change).