There are bascially two ROC Forums now. One is the ROC Forum that is composed of Pinellas County resident owned parks. The ROC (Resident-Owned Communities) Forum will provide educational opportunities for Boards of Directors and residents to enhance the function to ensure the continuation of service to Resident-Owned Communities. Their web site is at this link.
The other forum is the FLAROC that is several regional ROC Forums throughout Florida and its purpose is to represent ROC's in the Florida State Legislature. Their web site is at this link.
The FLAROC quarterly newsletter "The Reporter" can be found at this link. Increase viewing size by clicking on + sign at bottom of page.
The following ROC Forum minutes are from a meeting several years ago of a round table discussion.
The round table discussions began at 10:20am until 11:40am - 8 persons assigned to 11 tables with four main topics. A summary of the results are as follows:
1. Board meetings
(a) How do you notice your Board of Director meetings? Where? When? -- In all cases meetings are held monthly except in summer months unless necessary, are posted a minimum of 48 hours in advance, always on clubhouse bulletin boards but also in some cases ,in the park news letter, TV, Web sites, and regular mail.
(b) How do you notice Board ‘Work Sessions"? Where? When? Are they open to the shareholders? – Many communities do not have work sessions. Those that do have various methods of operation, some clearly illegal in that they are closed to shareholders, others allow shareholders but they cannot speak unless they have put their concerns in writing in advance? (How do they do that if there is no agenda posted?) In most cases they are posted 48 hours in advance on official bulletin boards, no votes are taken or decisions made, and shareholders are entitled to observe.
(c) When are minutes signed? By whom? Approved by whom? Where are they posted? How long are they retained? In almost all cases minutes are signed and posted by the Board Secretary as a draft or unapproved , on the official bulletin board. They are approved by the Board of Directors at their next scheduled meeting and kept on file for seven years as required by law.
(d) What bothers you, if anything, about the meeting process in your community? Plenty it seems. One recurring theme was that the President cannot control the meetings , allows debate between directors and shareholders, and unruly participation by certain P.I.A’s. Another was that there is a lack of participation by many directors and that Roberts Rules of Order are not followed, and the President doesn’t vote except to break a tie. The Board alone approves the budget. The agenda is too general, in some cases the same agenda is posted with only a change of date, leaving the shareholders with not enough information before hand to prepare intelligent questions. The Board is too secretive (ie: closed sessions).
(a) When are your board members elected? Any restrictions on candidates? Length of terms? In all cases elections are held at the annual general meeting of shareholders. In most cases only shareholders are eligible except for those who have a spouse serving on the board. Board size varies from five to nine and terms usually are staggered and have three year terms. Some have only one year terms and one has term limits of six years.
(b) Does the Board appoint a committee for the purpose of nominating candidates? Almost never. The procedures in FS718, 719 & 720 are followed. Those that do appoint a committee, do not allow anyone to serve who has a relationship with a serving Board member or persons who have submitted their intention to run for office.
(c) Who counts the ballots? Do you provide proxies? How are the results announced and when? In every case an independent committee with no ties to Board members counts the ballots. Proxies are illegal for elections but are sometimes used for other business at the annual meeting. Most communities announce the election results, including the number of votes cast per candidate before the meeting is adjourned. Some only announce the winning candidates to avoid embarrassing the losers.
(d) Do you have an authorized signature of each voting shareholder on file? Most communities do have signatures on file but several do not and were unaware of the requirement.
3. Amending of documents
(a) Have you amended any of your documents since you purchased your community? A few have done a complete rewrite to simplify the legal jargon and record recent changes, many have made rule and by-law changes, and a few have made no changes at all. There are also cases where changes have been approved at annual meetings but never implemented in the documents. The consensus was that changes be submitted to a lawyer for an opinion before they are voted on. Grandfather issues appeared to be a recurring problem.
(b) If so, have you reduced or changed the voting percentage in your original documents? A majority have made no change in voting percentage. Others have lowered the percentage to be more in line with Florida Statute requirements .
(c) What changes to your documents do you think should be made? A large percentage believed their rental policies should be revisited. Many felt the definition of a "guest" needs clarification. Others believed their voting percentages should be lowered, and "Executive" committees , who usually wield too much power, should be eliminated. Clarification of "pet" rules is required.
4. Co-Operative shares
(a) When did your homeowner association purchase your community? One was purchased last year, another in 1953, a few in the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s & 2000’s, but the majority in the 1990’s.
(b) How many share prices have been made since the purchase? The responses ran from none to six.
(c) What prompted the increase(s)? The economy, The market value, The appraised value, The domino effect of nearby parks raising theirs.
(d) What is your current share price? Prices varied from $7,500 to $55,000 with the average around $40,000.
(e) How are shares transferred? The consensus was that shares be transferred with the "Real Property" on a sale through a Realtor, Attorney, Transfer company , or Notary Public with a "Power of Attorney".
(f) All being considered, are you pleased your association purchased your community? Unanimous YES!
"Leadership and learning are indispensible to each other." - John F. Kennedy