One of the most unforgettable events of 2012 was the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, which, according to the National Hurricane Center, resulted in approximately 147 deaths in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Canada, and at least $50 billion in property damage—not to mention leaving millions of people without power.
In New Jersey, some board members of a 52-unit townhome community were fortunate enough to have individual generators, while other homeowners in the association were cold and powerless. “The board members who had generators allowed other homeowners to use their units as warming stations, and even to stay in their homes,” says Joseph Balzamo, president of Alliance Property Management in Morristown, New Jersey.
This was a superb example of a board who cared about their residents beyond just making decisions in a conference room. The vast majority of co-op, condo and HOA boards do their best to govern and administer their communities fairly, effectively, and conscientiously – but some boards take their role a step further, going above and beyond simple fiduciary duty to really try and make their building or association the absolute best it can be.
“When you buy a condominium, it’s basically common living,” says Balzamo. “You are living in a community. Some boards are very, let’s just say, callous about the rules, the regulations, the fees, and the ‘this’ and the ‘that.’ But at the end of the day, these people are your neighbors, and you are all living there together and should all be looking out for each other.”
A board does not have to go to the extreme extent of the aforementioned New Jersey dwellers to show that they are an effective, functioning board, of course – they just need to simply do their job and do it well.