I am the president of our condo board. A few months ago, I wrote a letter to the board asking the corporation asking it to arrange for the repair of the big pothole in my parking spot. Having received the letter on behalf of the board, our property manager took it upon himself to call a meeting of the board without my knowledge, meet the remaining board members, and tell them that I could not participate in the discussion to fix the pothole because I had a conflict of interest. Can the property manager do this?
No. First, it is the president’s responsibility to call board meetings, not the property manager. The PM may assist you in preparing the notice and the agenda, but calling a meeting remains your duty regardless of the reason. Remember, the PM works for the board, not the other way around. Secondly, to exclude the president from receiving the meeting notice is not acceptable at any level. Whether you have a conflict of interest or not, you are still a board member entitled to receive notice of a meeting and decide for yourself if you will attend.
The person who has the conflict is the only one who can declare a conflict of interest. The PM cannot state that anyone has a conflict. If asked, the PM can provide his professional opinion on the matter. Otherwise, the PM should not interfere unless it is a major issue that creates a risk for the corporation. The mere fact that an individual is a board member and a unit owner does not necessarily create a conflict of interest. If this were the case, since any board decision affects unit owners, and board members are unit owners, it could be argued that all board members are in a conflict of interest with every decision they make.
Lastly, I am disappointed that the remaining board members attended a meeting that was not called by their president, this should have been a clue that something was not right. Both your board and your PM need a refresher on meeting protocol and on what constitutes a conflict of interest. All the best!