Recently, I have heard owners in various communities discussing term limiting their board members. This type of request typically involves an objection to one board member in particular, but they are willing to term limit everyone to eliminate the alleged offender.
When asked, I offer the following opinion on Board of Director term-limits:
Directors work as volunteers. They do the heavy lifting for the community in terms of the difficult decisions that need to be made for insuring the community, approving contracts and vendors, interviewing prospective tenants and owners, visiting other properties to inspect a current project with a prospective vendor, responding to correspondence, listening to complaints, problems and “great ideas” from owners. Often they are rewarded with criticism, ridicule and defamation….all for free (what a deal!). I would advise the “angry mob” to be very careful about eliminating anyone who is willing to give up their personal time to work as a volunteer at a community association. If you eliminate the worker bees, you may end of up with some volunteers who are “coerced” into accepting the roles, and are not at all invested in the process.
Yes, I know there are people who run for the board and have a personal agenda when they are elected. Guess what? You can term limit them by NOT voting for them at the next term. Term limits are built into the system by v-o-t-i-n-g. If you continue to vote for the same people, and then complain about the way they run the association, where does the blame lie? Hmmmmm. Rather than making a drastic decision and altering the bylaws to accommodate a perceived short-term problem (with long-term consequences), don’t vote for them! If you alienate the people who genuinely want to offer their services, experience, expertise and energy for the benefit of the membership, why would you deny them the opportunity?
Term limiting Board members only hurts the association in the long run. In case you’re asking…
Tanoa Lynne Poirier is the Managing Principal at Poirier Enterprises Inc., specializing in the management of community associations, commercial and investment properties, and individual residences in South Florida.
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