Etiquette of Past Condo President Offering Advice to Sitting Board

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J.W. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I am the past president of my condo association. I am currently not a board member. Is it proper, in a polite manner, to offer advice (when asked) to another non- board member regarding how they should handle a situation affecting them that involves a current board decision?

Mister Condo replies:

J.W., I would have to consult with Miss Manners to give you an etiquette answer but, in my opinion, not only is it proper but it could be very important to assist new Board members with your sage advice as they may not have any “institutional” memory of how things were handled in the past. One of the more curious things I have noticed with Boards is that members come and go but the particular intricacies of the association remain. If there is no one on the Board that was around when a certain issue came up in the past, they may not realize that there has been a precedent or that a previous Board faced the same challenge and learned the best way to handle it. You are not casting a vote or acting out of turn. You are simply responding to a request for information that can assist the current Board make the best decision for the good of the community. I would think even Miss Manners would approve of that behavior! Good luck!

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