J.H. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Are there any requirements regarding attendance at Board meetings by a Board member? We have a Board member who was elected to the Board, but rarely attends meetings. Our concern is that this sets a precedent whereby other potential Board members may run for the Board, get elected, then attend when it is convenient for them.
Mister Condo replies:
J.H., attendance by all Board members at all condo Board meetings is important for the democratic process to work effectively at any community association. However, seeing as service to the Board is unpaid and voluntary, it is pretty easy to understand how even a well-meaning Board member could be called away at a time when the Board meets and thereby creating an absence from a Board meeting. Once or twice may be understandable but repeated absences should raise a flag as to whether or not this individual is serious about his or her service on the Board and to the community.
Some associations do have rules about attendance at Board meetings, with a certain number of absences during a set time is an automatic remove from the Board. For instance, if the Board meets 12 times per year and had a requirement that Board members attend at least 75% of the scheduled Board meetings, a Board member who missed 4 of those meetings within a year would be removed from service. This is not uncommon but it is only as strong a provision as the Board that enforces it.
What is far more common is for the will of the people to be served. Minutes of each Board meeting are records of the association and are available to all association members. If the Minutes show repeated absences by a certain Board member, the association should simply replace that Board member at the next election. Board members are democratically elected and democratically removed by a vote of the unit owners. Underperforming Board members are not good candidates for re-election, as they are not performing the will of the unit owners. Missed Board meetings mean missed votes on items that may be of great importance to unit owners. A more serious candidate for the Board could easily cite the Board member’s poor attendance as the best reason not to return them to office. Hope that helps.