Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Dozen Thoughts On Israel's War on Hamas

Daniel Pipes is quite correct in his recent analysis of the situation reproduced below in its entirety from his Blog:

Myths and Facts About Robert's Rules

Myth #1
The only time the President of the association can vote at a Board meeting is to break a tie or in an election.

Fact: Robert’s Rules of Order provide that the President of an assembly is only entitled to vote when the vote is by ballot or where the vote would change the result, i.e. break a tie. However, in the community association context in almost all cases the President of the association is also a member of the Board of Directors. In essence he or she wears two hats – one as an officer of the corporation and one as a Director. Thus, at a meeting of the Board of Directors a President of an association who is also a Director has a fiduciary duty to vote on all issues properly before the Board.

Myth #2
A Director may abstain from voting on an issue.

Fact: Robert’s Rules of Order provides that a member who does not have an opinion on an issue may abstain from voting on the issue. However, in the community association context a Director may only abstain from voting if he or she has a legitimate conflict of interest directly related to the issue or subject being considered. An example of a conflict of interest, which would allow a Director to abstain, would be if the Board was considering hiring the Director’s spouse to be the manager of the association. asserting a conflict of interest must state the nature of the conflict on the record.

Myth #3
An abstention counts as a “Yes” vote.

Fact: An abstention does not count as a “yes” vote and in fact it is not counted at all. Robert’s Rules of Order and Florida law provide that a person who has not abstained because of an asserted conflict of interest is deemed to have agreed with the majority and thus cannot later claim to have been against the action. If, however, the Board is deadlocked because of an abstention then there is no majority and the motion fails.

Myth #4
The Board of Directors may use secret ballots to vote on any issue they deem appropriate.

Fact: The only time it is appropriate for secret ballots to be used is when the Board is electing the officers.

Myth #5
Members do not have the right to speak at meetings of the Board of Directors.

Fact: Under Robert’s Rules of Order members of an assembly have the right to speak. However, this is not always the case at community association Board meetings. In the condominium context pursuant to §718.112(2)(c), Florida Statutes, members have the right to attend meetings of the Board and to speak about all items on the agenda. The Board may, however, adopt reasonable rules governing the frequency, duration, and manner of unit owner statements. In the homeowner association context, however, while a member has the right to attend Board meetings he or she does not have the right to speak unless the association documents give members the right to speak at Board meetings.

Myth #6
All motions must be seconded.

Fact: Most motions do need a second in order to be considered by the Board. However, some motions do not need a second. Types of motions that do not require a second include: questions of privilege (i.e.: complain about the heat, noise, etc.), points of order (point out a rule violation to the chair), a call for division (requesting a voice vote be verified by having members raise their hands), points of information (requesting more information about a topic under debate), and objections to consideration of a particular matter.

Myth #7
All motions are debatable.

Fact: Robert’s Rules of Order does not require that all motions be debated. Types of motions that are not debatable include: motion to adjourn, question of privilege, motion to table consideration of an issue, motion to end debate on a main motion, point of order, a call or division and a request for information from the chair.

Myth #8
All meetings must be run according to Robert’s Rules of Order.

Fact: There is no law that requires community associations to operate their meetings according to Robert’s Rules of Order. Often times, however, the Declaration, Bylaws or Articles of Incorporation will require that meetings utilize Robert’s Rules of Order. However, this still does not mean that every single technical rule must be followed to the letter. In fact, Robert’s Rules of Order provides that smaller assemblies may operate with less formality. This would certainly apply to community association Boards, which generally have from three to seven Directors. Regardless of what degree of formality the Board utilizes, it is important to be consistent in the use and application of the rules.

Myth #9
Without a quorum, nothing can be done.

Fact: In the absence of a quorum, the Board or the members at a members meeting may not transact business but they may take measures to establish a quorum, fix the time to adjourn, adjourn, or take a recess. Additionally, it should be noted that there is no quorum requirement for the election of Directors of a condominium association but at least 20% of the eligible voters of the association must cast a ballot in order to have a valid election.

Myth #10
The Board of Directors can exclude members from attending the Board meeting by holding an “Executive Session.”

Fact: Under Robert’s Rules of Order, a Board may meet in “executive session” and thereby exclude members and keep the proceedings secret. However, in the community association context the only time a Board may meet in executive session is when the Board is meeting with the association’s attorney to seek legal advice with respect to proposed or pending litigation.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Israel's Right of Self Defense

This is off topic, but it's my blog and I'll post what I want to...

The IDF recently moved to stop the terrorist Hamas leadership in Gaza from shooting thousands of rockets and mortars into Israel.

From the Jerusalem Post:

On Friday, a Hamas spokesman made Israel the following proposal: You keep the stream of humanitarian aid and supplies flowing into Gaza and we will keep launching rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians.

Islamic Jihad terrorists...

Islamic Jihad terrorists place rockets before firing them towards Israel on the outskirts of Gaza City.
Photo: AP

It was an offer Israel had little choice but to refuse.

For weeks Israel has been imploring Hamas to stop shooting across the border, to stop tunneling in preparation for the next round of violence, and to allow our farmers to tend their fields. The Islamists responded that they were not afraid of the IDF and that they reserved the right to resist "the occupation" - meaning the existence of a Jewish state. They brazenly told Israel to get used to the idea that no amount of humanitarian gestures would stem their behavior.

At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Israel finally told Hamas that it would not be bled, slowly, to death. Thanks to excellent intelligence and superb training, a haughty enemy was caught off-guard. Targets up and down the Strip were hit and large numbers of Hamas personnel including senior military figures were killed. Key facilities were turned into rubble; well-camouflaged equipment was destroyed.


As for the media and the rest of the world, here is a little greeting for your holidays. We will not back down, we will not "Turn the other cheek" and are tired of being told to make "Painful concessions" for peace with people who want only to kill Jewish DNA. No porportionality, no triple standard that only Israel must adhere to.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Donald Trump's Defense to Foreclosures!

Here is an article from the New York Times where Mr. Trump asserts that the recession and his company's inability to pay is an "Act of G-d". I bet we'll see the Twinkie defense used soon---"I had too many Twinkies so I had such a sugar rush that I didn't know that my payment would adjust to market rates in 3 years!!!

Who's On First?

Here is a news item about a "dysfunctional" Tallahassee community association that ran up all kinds of legal fees in an unsuccessful attempt to enforce ARC 'requirements." They now seek bankruptcy protection, ha! Good luck with that!

I wonder if they saw my video on this at You Tube...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Even Half Way Through!

For those of you who thought that we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in community association real estate, which was especially subject to speculation here in Florida, I respectfully suggest that you hunker down; it may be an oncoming train--bottom line? Get an aggressive collection policy and lock and load....

See more at my web site, www.condocollections.com

Last night 60 minutes aired a segment on the next wave of mortgage foreclosures expected to hit the U.S. The first wave that we have are still living through has to do with "sub-prime" mortgages. Starting in 2009 the variable arm loans and "Alt-A" loans will start to re-set. The statistics are showing that based on today's economy 70% of these loans will fail. The report focused on Miami-Dade and expected that area to be hit very hard. The hit is forecast to begin beginning first quarter 2009 through 2010. "Alt A" loans are defined as "a classification of mortgages where the risk profile falls between prime and sub prime. The borrowers behind these mortgages will typically have clean credit histories, but the mortgage itself will generally have some issues that increase its risk profile. These issues include higher loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios or inadequate documentation of the borrower's income."

The 60 minutes report starts out: CBS... When it comes to bailouts of American business, Barney Frank and the Congress may be just getting started. Nearly two trillion tax dollars have been shoveled into the hole that Wall Street dug and people wonder where the bottom is.

As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, it turns out the abyss is deeper than most people think because there is a second mortgage shock heading for the economy. In the executive suites of Wall Street and Washington, you're beginning to hear alarm about a new wave of mortgages with strange names that are about to become all too familiar. If you thought sub-primes were insanely reckless wait until you hear what's coming."

The link below will take you to the full story where you can read it or watch the segment.