It is an annual rite of passage for owners of co-ops and condos. Once a year or thereabouts, they gather in a common area—in my co-op in Astoria it was the basement, right off the washers and dryers—and vote for next year’s board. Sometimes the elections are closely contested. Often, the same people stay on the board for decades. Sometimes—as was the case with my building—we owners were so desperate to not be on the board that we elected a president, who didn’t even live in the building.
Elections, therefore, are not necessarily as simple as they seem, especially in bigger, more populated buildings. There are many ins and outs, pros and cons. Let’s do a question-and-answer session, and shed some light on the subject:
Q: How often must a building hold a board election?
“Generally, the bylaws provide for annual elections,” says Ronald A. Sher, founding partner of the law firm of Himmelfarb & Sher in White Plains, and general counsel to the Council of Westchester Cooperatives & Condominiums. “The organizing documents provide for an annual meeting of shareholders. Included in that annual meeting will be the election of directors—either all or some.”
Q: Some? Why some?