Q&A: Transparency at Board Meetings

Q. I am a condo board member and often hear my fellow members say at our meetings “What goes on in here, stays in here.”  How can that be fair to our unit owners? Shouldn’t everything go in the minutes except for names and amounts owed and the like? Transparency is forgotten too often since too many vendettas are ruling the meetings.

                                        —In the Dark

A. “In Las Vegas, people say what happens there stays there,” says attorney Stuart J. Lieberman of the Princeton-based firm Lieberman & Blecher, P.C., “condo boards are not Las Vegas.  If they were, a lot more people would volunteer for them.”

“When a unit owner buys a unit, that owner usually becomes a member of the condominium association  And as a member, he or she has a right to an open government.

“New Jersey state government is subject to laws that require open government; namely the Open Public Records Act and the Open Public Meetings Act – also called the Sunshine Law.  These laws require that government take place in the open.

Read More...

Related Articles

Board Optics

The Perception of Performance

Ensuring Good Communication

Making Sure Everyone Is Heard

Conducting Better Meetings

Best Practices for Saving Time and Getting Things Done

Q&A: When the Board Shuts You Out

Q&A: When the Board Shuts You Out

Your Board’s Legal Obligations

Fiduciary Duty, Disclosure, Meetings, and More

Business Corporation Law Versus Conflicts of Interest

How Both Impact Boards

 

2 Comments

  • How often do associations have elections of board members? What is there term?
  • This is a great selection of articles. They are being advanced as for unit owners to be cognizant problem areas. However I will draw attention to the fact that by human nature and the fact that some of the disagreements that raise their ugly heads at times tend to make some boards paranoid ,or feel that they need to protect themselves., This is exactly the reason that the Condo Board should be the prime movers and be constantly looking at the image they generate. That Image is encompasses all they do such as addressing owners verbally, thoroughness of the decision making process, accountability, fairness.,and having the owners understand what is actually happening, The ethics of the board in avoiding ,personal and financial conflict becomes paramount. Finally the openness or Transparency of the Board's activities is critical. All of these combined and more, are the basis which the Image best described as OPTICS .It is judged a then opinions are formed. DECORUM, ETHICS, LEADERSHIP,AND STEWARDSHIP make or break the Optics. The group that benefits the MOST or SUFFERS from poor relations with owners based on their handling of Ethics , Transparency, Stewardship, and the Optics is The BOARD OF DIRECTORS. The benefit is a better run Condo Assoc ,with better decisions and most owners reasonably pleased.