J.B. from Fairfield County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
What to do if no one wants to be board president?
Mister Condo replies:
J.B., this is a question I am hearing more and more often these days and I have to say it makes me a bit sad. Serving on your condo Board can be a rewarding experience. However, it can also be challenging, especially if your community association is full of loudmouths or unit owners that want to bring lawsuits at the drop of a hat. Who needs that headache? Further, serving as the Board President brings an additional challenge of leadership. As the title implies, the Board President presides over the Board and makes sure that meetings are run punctually and keeps other Board members and homeowners in line with regards to Roberts Rules or whatever variation of Roberts Rules that are being used to keep order at Board and Association Meetings. The President has no more and no less governing ability than any other Board members although many community association members often think that the Board President is the one running the whole show. That’s fine when things are going peachy but not so good when the community is facing issues as many are.
Your association’s governing documents spell out the rules and roles of the Board. For most associations, Board members are elected to the Board to serve and then they elect the officer positions from amongst themselves. If no one is willing to serve as Board President, there is a gaping hole in the leadership and the folks who have volunteered to serve should likely take a good look at why none of them are willing to be the President. If you are willing to serve on the Board and have the ability to lead, you should be willing to serve as President. If you aren’t up to the challenge, it might be time to look for other community members to run for the Board who will be up for the challenge. If the Board is functioning correctly there should be no issue. If the Board is not functioning properly, it may be time for some extra training for all of the Board members. A local training course such as Condo, Inc. I, offered by the Connecticut Chapter of CAI is a great place to start. You can learn more by visiting the website at http://www.caict.org. After that, it is simply a matter of finding the right volunteers from within the community and the support of your fellow Board Members to help you do a good job of being President. Good luck!