Q Our condo association's board consists of five members. Three seats are up for election in the fall. What are our options if we have no other condo owners willing to put their names on the ballot?
—Concerned Condo Owner
“The question does not indicate how many members this condominium has. If it is large enough, the key argument is that the association members should not want or permit the association be run by only two people, nor is it fair to those two to place the entire burden on them. Eventually, they may burn out, leaving the association without an operating board. Potential candidates should be given an appraisal of the time required to serve, the fact that professional management is in place to carry the day to day burden (and if not the possibility of getting management in place). Direct appeals to specific people are often successful in solving the problem of securing candidates to serve.
“If the association cannot fill all vacancies by election, it is likely that the bylaws or state law give the remaining board members the authority to appoint people to fill the vacancies. There are numerous associations in which board members are continuously replaced by appointment due to the inability to obtain sufficient candidates or quorums for annual meetings. This is not a healthy situation. A meeting might be convened by the existing board to discuss the situation with the members, the need for board members, and the ramifications of not having a functioning board. This meeting might result in securing candidates. The association members should be urged to volunteer and run for election by their fellow members to give the members a voice on who should represent them and avoid creating an insulated, self-appointed board. If the association is a small one and it is difficult to recruit a full five-member board, perhaps the bylaws should be amended to reduce the board to three people.
“In this effort, they can tell the members that if there is no governing board, this is likely to lead to an application to a court for the appointment of a receiver to operate the association. The appointment of a receiver will create a substantial cost for the members, something that can be avoided by simply having a functioning board.”