It’s been a long running joke in the community association industry that homeowners join the Board of Directors for one of two reasons;
1.) Because no one else would do it and you happen to be in the room and all eyes turn to you.
2.) You have an “axe to grind” around an issue.
The latter scenario is all too common and can be toxic to the effectiveness and functionality of the Board. Most of the time it only takes a few meetings for that new Board member to realize there’s a whole lot going on. With any luck, world views expand quickly and that single issue gets put into perspective. For example, that simple little $300 repair to MY front step has to be done at ALL 300 homes? That $300 repair is actually a $90,000 bill for the association!
Directors Must “See the Big Picture.”
Naturally, we all have our own interests. Some may think beefing up the Reserves should be the priority. Another thinks that a long-term landscaping plan should be the focus. One is adamant that rules aren’t being enforced and the community is on the brink of chaos. No individual is wrong in their priorities; however, remember that the Board of Directors is not the “Board of ____ (insert single issue here).”
Time should be spent deliberating topics and researching issues. Informed decisions are the best kind. Be sure however, to recognize when time is being monopolized. If a particular Board member has a recurring issue they want addressed, encourage them to research the topic and report back. Or, have him or her form a committee.
The breadth of topics the Board of Directors of a community association has to deal with is vast. If you can’t get on board with your Board, get off the ship and row your own stream. A shared philosophy of the “30,000 foot view” is essential. Only then can synergy be achieved and your Board be effective for your community.