By Rafael Aquino

Published December 2, 2020  


Shortly after the organizational meeting, there are instances where Presidents run wild with unilateral decision making, and the democratic nature is eroded. Moreover, what could have been a neighborly and professional effort to collaborate for the community's improvement turns into personal resentment and poor relationships. When a President is seen with this dictator style approach to their role, it is usually a sign of three common issues:

   1. Complete lack of understanding of the board member and officer roles, authority, and decision-making process
   2. Fellow board members are, for the most part, absentee or apathetic in their participation
   3. There is a mix of very different personality traits driving the need for accomplishment, execution, and a sense of urgency

It should be 100% clear that no officer role entitles any officer more authority than their fellow board members, whether they are an officer or not. Every board member still has one vote, and said vote is worth the same as any other officer/board member. To be clear, the President has the same amount of authority as any other board member and cannot make any decisions without the Board's authority through an actual resolution of the Board of directors.

Any association dealing with a President gone wild or simply looking to avoid it can take the following steps, which also happen to be sound governance practices regardless of what kind or President an association has:

   1. Have the association attorney involved to provide reinforcing guidance on the function of the Board and officers, the decision-making process in and out of board meetings, and certainly play out some scenarios that will help educate everyone and reset the tone through education
   2. With the help of management and attorney, implement a strong governance structure with decentralized functions:
       a. If there are absentee board members, kindly ask them to step down so another neighbor can take a more active role in community leadership and improvement.
       b. Agree upon a regular board meeting schedule for the whole year and stick to it. Everything should be decided at these meetings by a majority of the Board.
       c. Depending on the size of the operations, create specialized committees such as- financial management and budgeting, resident orientation, rules of use enforcement, ad hoc needs such as major projects or seasonal beautification, and community events and communication, etc. The association manager and attorney can work together to ensure the committee structure is adequately documented to provide each committee is reasonably able to carry out their functions with the right balance of involvement from the Board and not a single member.
      d. The association manager can help implement a written management plan with the Board that outlines all recurring operational tasks for the year and all major projects. This can bring a sense of accountability for everyone and put everyone on the same page with what will be done, by when, and by whom in the association over the course of the year. This approach avoids mass confusion, overtasking, and sets the right expectations for everyone of what will be accomplished by when.
   3. As an option of last resort, the Board may seek to conduct another organizational meeting to re-assign the officer roles and assign the President role to another board member. This is purely a function of the Board and does not require any special meeting or voting procedure, nor does it require unit owner involvement.

The Board certainly has options to deal with a "difficult" President through a professional approach to association governance.

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As the Co-Founder and CEO of Affinity Management Services, Rafael P. Aquino leads his team to redefine excellence. They serve community   associations   efficiently

and effectively with dedication and passion. Rafael’s energy and positive spirit is the foundation of Affinity Management Services’ company culture, which instills enthusiasm and excitement when providing expert advice to its board members and relieving the day-to-day burdens of running a community association.


Since 2007, Rafael has developed a work culture that values responsive and high-quality services. He has led his team by following a proactive vs reactive philosophy. The same approach Rafael instills in the day to day operations of each association. Today, Affinity Management Services maintains its success and benefits as a result of the foundation Rafael has built and continues to foster by providing educational seminars, continuing education classes for association managers and board members alike.

Rafael and his team help condominium and homeowners’ associations save money and improve their communities. His calm, personable, and service-oriented nature helps him to establish strong relationships with ease. Rafael is known as a sincere and honest leader who looks out for the best interests of his clients and communities, and he strongly advocates for their needs. His role requires coordination and communication, as such he takes logical and intelligent steps to approach challenges head-on.

As a graduate of Florida International University’s electrical engineering program and a licensed community association manager, Rafael’s education and skills equip him with unique insights to tackle complex problems through critical thinking. He understands how each component within a system works together in order to effectively arrive at solutions, techniques, and conclusions. Therefore, as he manages the multiple challenges of running a community association management company, he understands how each property is its own unique system and tailors’ specific services to assure that all their needs are met.

For more information about Rafael P. Aquino and Affinity Management Services please visit or call 1-800-977-6279

Doral Office: 8200 NW 41st ST

Suite 200

Doral, FL 33166

Broward Office: 150 S Pine Island RD Suite 300

Plantation, FL 33324

O: 800-977-6279 ● F: 305-325-4053

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