How to Deflect Board Members' Personal Agendas Axes to Grind

 It’s an unfortunate fact of condominium life: Board members’ responsibilities and their personal agendas intermingle more often than they should.  

 After all, it’s part of human nature to want the best for us or our loved ones. Face it, most of us vote for political candidates based on what the candidate would do to benefit our own personal lives. Parents might join the PTA or a  school committee because their child is in the school and they want to makecertain he or she receives the best benefits possible – and then leave the committee or PTA when their offspring moves on to another  school.  

 When it comes to community association boards, members may run for the post  because they have a personal issue that’s important to them and they want to see it through. That might not sound like a  bad thing, but those personal agendas can become troublesome when they impact  an association board’s effectiveness, or even cost the condominium money.  

 Property manager David J. Levy, PCAM, has seen a recession-related resurgence in  board members and trustees angling to get condo contractsfor their relatives. “I’m starting to get, ‘Why use XX Insurance (the incumbent provider)? My brother-in-law is a broker,  and I know he’s looking for business,’” says Levy, president of Sterling Services, Inc. in Holliston, Massachusetts.  

 Sometimes, disgruntled owners will get on the board because of a vendetta against another board member. “They will try to use the board to mediate a noise complaint or gripes against  each other,” says one veteran condo attorney.


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  • we use Call to Order by Herb Perry. Our president will not allow our motions or resolutions on our AGM agenda. What can we do?
  • My experience as a Trustee and now an owner subject to the whims and vagaries of our current board reveals that meetings happen without inviting all Trustees, Trustees retaliate against owners by neglecting emergency calls and more. It is detestable and a good reason to deeply reconsider condo ownership. Always look at deeds and ownership patterns for speculators on site.
  • With all of the negative comments I am reading about condo boards, I find myself wondering if the state of Massachusetts is planning to update its condominium act at any point in the future? The state granted these condo boards far too much power, in my opinion, and has made it virtually impossible to unseat them. Perhaps the state needs to consider giving some power back to the individual unit owners and taking some power AWAY from condo boards.