Whether you are already a condo or co-op board member, or just became a new member your board, it never hurts to brush up on your knowledge about proper board practices to make sure things run smoothly in your building.
That’s what audience members got at a discussion titled “Best Practices for Cooperative and Condominium Boards,” hosted by the Council of New York Cooperative and Condominiums (CNYC) at the New York Society of Ethical Culture on February 22. The panelists—Andrew Brucker, an attorney with Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads; Richard Montanye of accounting firm Marin and Montanye; and Michael Wolfe of property company Midboro Management—shared their expertise about what boards should do and should not do.
The Annual Meeting
Essentially a primer about board operations, the conversation kicked off with a discussion of the annual meeting whose main purpose, according to Wolfe, is voting on a new board and discussing this past year's finances. On whether the annual meeting has to be held on a certain date specified in the bylaws, Brucker put it this way: does the world come to the end if that doesn’t happen?—suggesting that it’s not sacrosanct. He also said that the best time to hold the annual meeting is in May or June, which is better for shareholders.
And importantly, according to Montanye, double check to make sure the meeting date is correct. He also said that if the building's financials aren't available or ready yet, explain to the shareholders the reason for the delay—then proceed with the meeting and schedule another meeting when the financial information is ready.
Brucker also advised that it's best to review last year's meeting minutes to remind oneself about an issue that was still open. “Communication is extremely important,” he said, in reference to being in touch with shareholders. He added that bylaws, considered as a community’s ‘‘bible.’ should be reviewed while also thinking about improving them.