Few board members would argue that the time spent serving their buildings and fellow residents can be both very strenuous and very rewarding. For years, they make decisions that affect their community in the present and may continue to impact them years down the road.
It’s a powerful position to hold, one that requires them to acquire a significant depth of knowledge about the inner workings of their board or association, amassing an institutional memory that can be difficult to replace.
That knowledge and that experience are just two of the reasons why former board members can be so valuable to the community in which they still live, and why sometimes it’s in the best interest of the board or the association to try and keep those former board members active and involved.
For many former board members, the matter of whether or not to stay involved boils down to the seemingly mundane question of how they feel. Are they burned out? For many board members, the answer is yes. “Mostly because they get burned out,” says Denise Lindsey, vice president of Access Property Management in Edison, New Jersey, “especially if there is no appreciation shown for them volunteering their time.”
And if they’ve just recently left the board, they may still be dealing with the after-effects of decisions they helped make. “There might be finger-pointing along the lines of, ‘Why are we having to borrow money to put on a roof now?’ or, ‘How come we have to pay this assessment?’,” says Walt Williamsen, president of Condominium Consulting Services LLC in Torrington, Connecticut. In that case, a board member may be in no mood to continue working in any capacity for the board or the association.