Q&A: Changing Officers In The Middle Of Their Term

Q. My husband is the president of our condo community, and some board positions' terms are ending and are up for vote, but he has another year before his term is up. My question is, can the new members vote to remove the sitting president and assign a new president?

                                 —Resident Inquiry

A. “In order to properly respond to the writer’s inquiry as to whether new board members may seek to 'remove' her husband as president of the condominium’s board of managers, I would need to see the condominium’s bylaws and the specific provisions pertaining to the election of officers and the removal of officers,” says attorney Richard Klein of the New York City-based firm Romer Debbas LLP.

“In general, however, the bylaws governing the operation of a board of managers typically provide that the officers, including the president, shall be elected annually by the board of managers at the organizational meeting of each new board of managers and shall hold office at the pleasure of the board of managers.

“The wording 'at the pleasure of the board of managers' means that at any given time, a board may seek to remove a manager from his/her office.  Accordingly, a condominium’s bylaws generally contain language that any officer may be removed upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the board, either with or without cause, at any time.

“So an officer, such as a president, serves at the whim of the board and at any time, not just at the end of his/her term, may be removed from his/her position.  This is different than an individual’s role on the board as a manager.

“As the writer seems to suggest, this condominium board, like many others, has a staggered election so that there are always a few seats that are up for an election and others that are not, at any given annual meeting.  This allows for some continuity in board operations and prevents a total upheaval of a board of managers. So while the writer’s husband will not be voted off the board at this time since his term as a manager is not up, he can be removed as president when new members come on the board.”

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