M.R. from New Haven County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I dread attending HOA meetings because they are so dysfunctional. I would like to have someone attend meetings as my representative or proxy. Where would I hire someone to represent me? Is there some kind of business or agency that does this? Thanks.
Mister Condo replies:
M.R., I am sorry to hear that your HOA Board meetings are so dysfunctional that you dread attending them. Admittedly, even in the best run associations, meetings can be a bit dry and not as much fun as going for a walk, watching sports on TV, or some other recreational activity. However, the Board meetings and, in particular, the Annual Meeting are very important to the governance of your association and can have a direct impact on the quality of life at your condominium. I am not an attorney but I do suspect that a quick review of your HOA documents details of who can and cannot attend your HOA meetings. If the documents allow you to designate someone to attend on your behalf, then, provided you follow the rules for doing so, you should be able to send a representative on your behalf. You may need to grant that representative limited power of attorney to attend and/or vote on your behalf. Proxy voting is far more common whereby you empower a fellow HOA member or Board person to vote on your behalf. Quorums are required at the Annual meeting so that the association can adopt a budget and elect directors for the upcoming year. If you choose not to attend the Annual meeting you should, at the very least, submit a proxy vote so that the association can conducts its business.
One other note for your consideration, M.R.. HOA Board meetings need not be dysfunctional. I advocate a very simple one-hour Board meeting formula that I have employed successfully for years. I first learned about this technique at a CAI-CT presentation by Craig Huntington. You can read an article by Mr. Huntington on the subject here – http://newenglandcondo.com/articles/101/1/The-One-Hour-Board-Meeting/Page1.html If your Board will follow his suggestions, the dysfunction can be ended and the community can get with its business with folks like you more than willing to attend the meetings. All the best!