guest blog by Robert E. Frank, Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
(Founder, HomeOwnersCoalition.Org & Veterans Advocate)
My business experience has taught me over the past 50 years that if a process is designed to be as trustworthy as reasonably possible, EVERYONE benefits from being able to accept it as such.
But, if systems, such as board elections or controls of something like association credit/debit cards and checks, are allowed to be designed and implemented with very obvious loop holes in the audit trail, then no one can trust the system.
It is common for an organizational manager and/or board members to raise their voices and get belligerent when someone points out that an election or financial system component can be easily corrupted. They typically change the subject to “how dare you accuse my group of election fraud!”
Of course, that is not the point. The point is why would an honest, ethical person or organization (either board of directors, election committee, CAM or community management company) want to ALLOW an election process to exist where allegations of misconduct could be fairly suspected and/or made part of a criminal complaint?
Money is NOT the issue on implementing “trustworthy” board elections and trusted financial management processes. Nothing is more important for a board or CAM than to ensure that the member’s money and property is cared for according to statutes and common sense.
Much flexibility is allowed to developers, boards and CAMs when it comes to business system components of the association. Failing to ensure the key components are designed and managed to be reasonably trustworthy is, in my opinion, a sign of gross negligence and possible corruption.
The necessary tools and techniques are relatively easy and inexpensive to use to assure trustworthy systems for HOAs and Condos. In my opinion, blustering objections to implementing trustworthy systems within HOAs and Condos should be summarily rejected by all professionals. Such mismanagement puts a blight on all our business reputations.