When you first learn that you will be serving as a new member of your community’s board of directors, you are likely to be offered either congratulations or condolences. What you are not likely to be offered is much in the way of guidance for your new “job.”
You probably achieved your director’s seat in one of the following ways:
1. You were recruited/urged to run for the board by your neighbors or current board members.
2. You were appointed by the existing board to fill a vacant seat.
3. You ran for the board because you were eager to correct perceived deficiencies in current association operations.
4. You are one of the rare few who embrace service to others.
Regardless of how you came to serve, there are right and wrong ways to begin your tenure as a community association director.
However, your work as a director doesn’t end there. For self-managed communities you could be looking at quite a bit of legwork to perform the necessary duties of operating and administering the community. Even if your community is professionally managed, you should not expect to abdicate your responsibilities as a director to a manager or to your fellow directors. You will need to read reports, minutes and a host of other materials pertaining to your role as a director before you are expected to weigh in with a decision on them.
You cannot fulfill your fiduciary obligations if you do not show up, are not adequately prepared and do not take your role as a director seriously. Remember, even if you think the role is a cakewalk, you might learn a hard lesson to the contrary in court.
Last, be proud of the fact that you chose to serve as a community association director. Winning that seat is usually a vote of confidence in your skills. Remember, your voice and your vote count, so use both wisely.