Last week was interesting
as far as politics goes. President Obama got tired of waiting
for Congress to fix the immigration issues this country is
facing, and decided to try to fix it on his own by signing an
Executive Order. Needless to say, his opponents immediately
yelled that the President has no such power to circumvent The
Legislature and that President Obama has now caused a
This historical event
immediately reminded me of the constant questions I receive from
Presidents, Board members and unit owners alike. That is: Does
the President of my association have any extraordinary powers
that other members of the Board or community don’t have?
Let’s first start by
briefly explaining the set-up of your Board. Each year the unit
owners vote to elect the Directors to the Board of Directors.
They do not specifically vote for the Officers such as the
President, the Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Once the
Board of Directors is elected, those Board members themselves
vote to decide who the Officers will be.
So let’s say your Board
votes you in as the new President of the association. Can you
rule with an iron fist? Need you consult with the other members
of the Board before committing the association to contracts? The
simple answer is…………you’re really just one of 3, 5, 7 or 9 votes
of the Board of Directors. You have no more power than any other
member of the Board except you get to chair the meetings and are
typically the person who signs contracts for the Board, but only
after the Board gave you permission to do so.
Many times over the years,
Presidents have told me “But I’m the President ….of course I can
do that!” To which I reply……”No you can’t Mr. or Mrs.
President.” On the other hand, I have had Board members complain
that the President votes on motions before the Board and that
the President should never vote on an association matter unless
there is a tie. To which I also have to reply: “Your’re wrong.
The President always gets to vote on issues just like every
other member of the Board.”
Sure, the President is
often the face or voice of the Board outside the presence of a
Board meeting. However, once that meeting starts, the President
is simply another voice and another face on the dais.
So who still wants to be President?