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When Boards Don’t Play by the Rules Controlling Rogue Board Members

Many if not most boards get along famously. There are boards that have had the same members for decades and run their communities without a hitch.

We frequently get calls from readers who are troubled when they find that their board members seem to be operating under a different set of rules than the rest of the community. For example, they get preferential treatment for parking spots, ignore pet rules, fast-track their own alteration projects, fail to pay their assessments on time, and disrupt board and shareholder meetings. Rogue board members negatively affect building morale, erode residents' confidence in their board, and can even have serious legal ramifications as well.

See Why They Run

Why do residents decide to run for the board? Some might suggest it’s a thirst for power, or a Machiavellian urge to practice politics as blood sport. In fact, new people usually tend to decide to run because of a single issue that affects them personally that they want to change.

“What typically happens is that you get somebody who moves into the building, or hasn’t been active, and all of a sudden they want to run for the board,” says Martin Kera, a partner at Kera & Graubard Attorneys at Law in Manhattan. “And they’re what I call a ‘one item agenda’ board member.”

“People who run for the board usually are running after they’ve experienced something, and want to change what exists at the present time,” says Pamela DeLorme, president of Delkap Management Inc. in Howard Beach. “There are a great many of them who do it out of the goodness of their hearts—I know several people who have been on boards for over 30 years. But then there are those who run to purposely put a wrench in the whole works, and pursue their own interests.”

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2 Comments

  • This is nice. But offers little practical remedy other than the annual vote. The problem with the latter is the the vast preponderance of owners are likely unaware of the behavior. The board member, particularly a president, can control the flow of information in many ways. Moreover, others can be cowed by fears of retaliation, accusations of libel and slander, etc... Legal process and remedies available to simple owners/tenants could improve this. piece.
  • what can you do if Community had savings account of 5million & in 1year its' down to 3.6million. Smell a rat but cannot prove it. they fire manager but do ont tell why