Most co-op and condo residents have taken part in at least a few annual board elections, and perhaps they’ve even served on committees, or volunteered on behalf of their building in some other capacity. But those who’ve never taken a serious interest in the administrative aspect of their community may not really understand what it is that each officer on their building's board actually does.
Generally, the board of a condo or co-op building is composed of residents who volunteer their time and talents to help run their community and protect the investment it represents. Their responsibilities range from attending board and resident meetings to maintaining important documents and dealing with building staff, management, and other service providers. Boards are also obliged to respond to changes in the economic environment, the membership base, and the physical and financial status of the building.
Acting objectively on behalf of one’s own home isn’t easy. “It’s important when you are a board member not to get stuck on trivial matters and stick to the big issues,” says one veteran board member. “You also need to think beyond your personal opinion and ask yourself if this is good for the association, not just for you as an individual. You are there representing everyone.”
Ideally, a board contains four officers—the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. This is not a quartet carved in stone, however. Some boards may have more members, some fewer, depending on the community's needs and the number of people willing to serve.
“Very often, board members share responsibilities,” says attorney Scott Piekarsky of the law firm of Piekarsky & Associates, LLC in Wyckoff. “One member can serve as both secretary and treasurer, unless that's prohibited by their specific governing documents. In New Jersey, the non-profit corporation statute expressly provides that any two or more offices may be held by the same person.”