This question is for Law Pro. This is another Homeowner Association
. I have a backlog of them so I hope you don't mind.
Two years, our association attorney offered to draft a "Code of Ethics" for Board members. The basis her document may have been a CAI template:
but she made some "improvements".
At the January 19th 2012 board meeting, she proposed not only her code of ethics but also had drafted a resolution for the Board and recommended approving it. The resolution made it mandatory that all future candidates for the Board sign her code of ethics document before they are allowed to run for the Board.
The resolution and Ethics document are at the end of this document.
Here are the questions:
Has she put constraints on who can run for the Board position by making this document mandatory?
Is there any basis for not allowing expression of one's perspective on issues to general members, even if the majority of the Board disagree? "..it becomes the policy of the Board and is not to be criticized outside of the Board setting"
How can one research a past bad decision if "Moreover, I will not use Association resources to perpetuate matters already decided". All records are kept at a management company office, it is impossible to research anything without using "Association resources"
What does this mean: "a violation of any of the standards below shall constitute sufficient reason for my resignation." ? Is this "Code of Ethics" a contract?
The last question is probably the one that I most interested in being answered. At the Election meeting (other HOA
board meetings are closed in Pennsylvania), a homeowner cited several examples of board members violating the governing documents and asked if these Board members could be removed on the basis of this code of ethics.
The attorney who sits with the Board at these meeting answered no. She stated her code of ethics is not a contractual agreement; the only way to remove board members is by a vote of all of the members.
From my layman's perspective, it looks like a contract, not a simple code of ethics agreement. Your view?
At a meeting of the Board of Directors of Noname Association on January 19, 2012, after a Motion and second, the Board of Directors shall require the attached Code of Ethics be signed and submitted by every homeowner wishing to be considered for a position on the Board of Directors. Further, the current elected Board is strongly encouraged but not required to sign the Code of Ethics at this time.
By a majority vote of the Board of Directors, the above Motion is RESOLVED.
NONAME HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION
NONAME HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBER CODE OF ETHICS
WHEREAS, Article III, Section 3. of the first Amended Declaration of Restrictions, Covenants, and Easements
for NoName Association, a community association commonly known as “NoName” and Section 5302 Pennsylvania Uniform Planned Community Act governing NoName provide for an Executive Board charged with the management, operation and affairs of the Community; and
WHEREAS, the Executive Board stands in a fiduciary relationship to its members, requiring each to act with integrity, good faith and fairness; and
WHEREAS, the Executive Board has determined that it is prudent to specify standards to be imposed regarding the duties of the Executive Board; and IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED that the following Resolution containing the accepted Code of Ethics is hereby adopted:
NONAME HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION
Board Member Code of Ethics
Effective January 20, 2012, Executive Board Members serving Noname Association shall be required to abide by the following Code of Ethics. A copy of this Code of Ethics will be provided to and must be signed by each potential future candidate in order to run for or serve on the Executive Board.
In order to most effectively serve the interests of this Association, I agree to meet the following Code of Ethics and further acknowledge a violation of any of the standards below shall constitute sufficient reason for my resignation.
1. I will abide by all Association rules, regulations, policies, and pay all association fees or other association charges on time.
2. I will use my best efforts to support Association operations that protect the safety of the residents and enhance the value of the property.
3. My decisions will be made based upon what I believe to be best for the entire Association regardless of how it might affect me or my interests.
4. I will not use my Board or leadership position to obtain less expensive services (other than what a neighbor
would pay for the same service) for myself from any contractor
, vendor, or professional connected with the Association or to obtain preferential treatment for my home from the Association.