For board members, the time spent serving their association and fellow residents can be among the most strenuous yet rewarding periods in their lives. For years, they make decisions that affect their community in the present and may continue to impact them years down the road.
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 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. “Most of the time, former board members just fade away,” says Walt Williamsen, presidentof Condominium Consulting Services LLC in Torrington, Connecticut. “They’ve had enough of it.”
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 roofs now?’ or, ‘How come we have to pay this assessment?’” says Williamsen. A board member may be in no mood to continue working in any capacity for the association.
Recognize the Service
Which is why, if a board member has served well, it’s in the best interest of theassociation to recognize that service and help ease that person’s transition into civilian life. “It’s good to keep in touch with them,” says Debra H. Lewin, an author of numerous books on community association governance, including “Volunteers: How Community Associations Thrive.”