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Dealing With Condo / HOA Board Resignations

Community Associations are not unique to abrupt resignations and unanticipated changes to the Board of Directors' structure. It is difficult to predict when change will occur and how it will affect not only the composition of the board but the entire community as well. Board vacancies often occur due to expiring terms, early resignations and sometimes, conflicts among board members. Frequent resignations may be a warning sign that there are problems with the board or that individual members are not the proper fit for the role they previously occupied.

It is prudent that your association implement a plan to reduce resignations in order to enhance continuity within your community associations' structure. The board can achieve this by keeping an open mind to new ideas and ensuring the best interests of the community are always a priority. Diversity in board members will also enhance the effectiveness of the board in relation to understanding the needs of the community.

In today's fast paced society we find fewer citizens are able or willing to make time to serve as board members for the purpose of assisting their neighborhood. Preventive measures will not prevent the unexpected resignation but can reduce the impact of the resignation. The following are a few suggestions to assist your community in reducing board resignations and, when faced with such, a structure to identify potential replacement candidates:

  • Arrange annual orientation for members of the board that will focus on communication and procedural issues as well as providing them with future guidance in their board roles.

  • Establish procedures to groom future leaders by involving homeowners in community projects and creating a strong committee structure.

  • Current board members should place articles in the newsletter and on the web site listing the functions and duties of the board members. This will assist any "recruits" in easily becoming familiar with their potential roles. It will also assist them in understanding that the roles performed by directors will differ from their roles as homeowners. In most instances, the list of duties will be shorter than most recruits imagine.

  • Diligently seek to identify potential candidates who will strengthen the board.

  • Advertise as soon as you are aware of an upcoming vacancy or resignation.

  • Remember the welfare of the community depends on level headed and concerned volunteers.

  • Establish criteria for the selection of directors as set forth below:

    • Should be an individual of the highest character and integrity

    • Should be free of any interest which would violate any applicable law or regulation or interfere with the proper performance of the responsibilities of a director

    • Should be willing and able to devote sufficient time to the affairs of the association

    • Should be diligent in fulfilling the responsibilities of a director

    • Should be prepared to attend and participate in board meetings and community events

  • Frequently post positive communication through your newsletter and web site regarding meetings, planned improvements, and/or events.

  • Sponsor regular Association social events to help neighbors stay in touch with each other and stay abreast of future community plans.

Implementing these suggestions will assist in dealing with board resignations, therefore limiting your exposure regarding changes in governance, procedural interruptions and ineffective operations of your community association. Once you have been fortunate enough to obtain volunteers to serve on your community associations' board after a resignation occurs, your objective can return to leading the community to a positive and rewarding future. Stability on the board offers the opportunity for better planning and greater success.

Vicki Ward, CMCA®, AMS®, PCAM®, Association Times, April 2006


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