Every association board I know want’s the owners in the community they serve to be informed and involved. That is why we send out notices of board meetings and offer owners the ability to take part in those meetings by Zoom or in person.
The association’s board represents the owners of your association and has the important job of making decisions on behalf of the association. The board has a duty to protect the property value of the association’s owners along with the safety of visitors and residents to the association. They have a responsibility for oversite of association funds and association management.
The board is also charged with complying with and enforcing the associations governing documents, to do this they have the ability to hire professionals and advisors, including; managers, engineers accountants, attorneys and contractors and while in some cases the law requires then association to seek bids, it never requires the association to hire the low bidder. Instead, it is the board’s responsibility to choose the vendor and bid they feel fits the needs of the association best.
In many cases owners only take notice of board’s action when it effects their pocketbook; for example, when they receive a notice of special assessment, or their maintenance fees are increased. By that time the vote has most certainly been cast, as the meeting to discuss and approve the project or budget have already been held. The best time to get involved, so that you understand why an increase or assessment is necessary, and have a chance to provide input, is early. Attend board meetings, especially those to discuss projects, review contractor recommendations, and make decisions about what needs to be done.
The recent events at Surfside serve to point out what happens when important projects and/or maintenance are delayed due to unit owner objections to costs or project necessity. These delays are often caused by a small group of very vocal unit owners that think they speak for the owners, when in fact it is the board that speaks for the owners, as they are the sole elected representatives of the owners.
At best the delays caused by these small vocal groups cost additional time and money, at worst they can be catastrophic. It’s important for owners to support the board when the time comes to proceed and that they participate early in the process, providing input and asking the questions they feel should be addressed before decisions are made and not after.