We all live and work in co-ops or condos; most of us have lived through some form of havoc wreaked by a board member. This person may be earnest and well intentioned, but projects an argumentative and contentious demeanor that is disruptive. Or he's an absentee board member and delays important decisions. Or even more egregious, he's a board member who focuses on personal gain over the good of the co-op.
There are many ways to identify problematic board members, but it is essential to rectify the situation as soon as possible. A disruptive board member can virtually halt important co-op and condo business, causing chaos, as well as making other board members and shareholders miserable.
Nice Neighbor, Bad Board Member
Before addressing the problem, however, let us look at a typical member of a cooperative corporation's board of directors. In most buildings, there are seven people, neighbors, who dedicate hours of their time to help maintain and improve their homes and investments. These board members are not, generally, real estate or building professionals, but volunteers who take on tremendous responsibilities for a wide range of critical decisions that encompass everything from painting lobbies to purchasing boilers and, of course, hiring managing agents.
Although the shareholders vote board members in, the board itself determines who takes on the role of president, secretary, treasurer, etc. In other words, the officer designations are not decided by a vote of shares, but by the group itself. It is true that an effective board member can still be an ineffective leader.