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.