The same board members year after year

D.J. writes:

Dear Paul: We have had the same people on our condo board for the past eight years. I am of the opinion that change is sometimes good. Should we not have some turnover in board members?

Paul replies:

Dear D.J.:  This is an issue faced by many condominium boards, you are not alone. I agree with you that change can be good. The reason that boards do not turnover is usually that no one is willing to serve on the board. Every year, owners have an opportunity to have their name stand for election to the board. Since the same people are being re-elected, it may be assumed that owners are satisfied with their performance. Being a board member can be a time-consuming endeavour and if someone has a full-time day job, they may not be willing to sacrifice their evenings and weekends to board work. Serving on the board is an unpaid volunteer position. This alone might scare people away. Lack of skills and experience may be another reason individuals lack the confidence to put their names forward.

Turnover has the benefit of providing a new set of eyes and ideas on matters that may have been ignored because the current board has become complacent. Individuals with different skills and experience may re-vitalize the affairs of the community and give long-serving members a break. If owners approve, the bylaws could be amended to limit the number of consecutive terms one can serve on the board. For example, “no person may serve more than three consecutive terms on the board of directors.” When implementing such a bylaw condo corporations must keep in mind that some board expertise should remain and make provision for staggered terms. Finally, be thankful that some owners are willing to serve on the board. I know that some corporations with a thousand owners (1,000) struggle to fill their five board positions. Good luck!

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