“Moreover, I strongly recommend that board members’ terms be staggered so that only one or two members of a board are running for re-election in any given year. The bylaws should provide for continuity. This is accomplished by establishing multi-year and staggered terms for the Board of Trustees. In this way, despite the creation of a vacancy by resignation or otherwise, the association will always have experienced persons serving on its governing board. Most importantly, it must be recognized that the worst scheme of all is one which provides for the annual election of all board members. This approach usually promotes an undue emphasis on association politics at the expense of good management of the association by the board and often results in an annual wholesale infusion of new board members, professionals and management personnel just about the time that the collective experience of their predecessors was beginning to benefit the association.
“In my experience, it is critical to a board’s ability to effectively function that it always has some experienced members. The participation of seasoned members ensures consistency in the condominium’s management. Board members who are familiar with the various issues which have been facing a board and who understand a condominium’s projects, priorities, and previous commitments contribute to stable management. Staggering memberships lightens a new member’s burden during his transition to a leadership role since he can rely on the experience of other members.
“A new member’s learning curve, so to speak, on condominium issues does not disrupt or unnecessarily delay the condominium’s undertakings if seasoned veterans are available to operate the condominium. For all the foregoing reasons, most condominium governing documents provide for staggered elections on an annual basis and do limit a board member’s duration of service to one or two years.
“The conduct of the business of the association is governed by the condominium’s governing documents, the master deed and the bylaws. The bylaws of a condominium govern its administration and operation, the procedural rights and obligations of its members, and the duties and powers of its Board of Trustees and officers. According to the New Jersey Condominium Act, N.J.S.A. 46:8B-13, a condominium’s bylaws must address “…the powers, duties and manner of selection, removal and compensation, if any, of officers and board members”.