First: look in your DOCs ,Rules and Bylaws. You have to read them anyway, so see what they say about officers. Our's are very vague, so each president,over the years, has made of the office as much or as little as he or she felt right. We've had dictators who ran everything, including the CAM Property Manager). We've had others who let the CAM run the ship as he saw fit.
Some people believe that the Board is led by the President, while,at the same time, the President seeks advices and consults with the Board members. Then, together with the President, the Board sets policy that the CAM is expected to follow. Ideally this is the right way to go; assuming a competent CAM, and an intelligent Board without "personal agenda."
A board president should be a team leader; should know how to get people to brainstorm, research ideas, acquire quotes, etc. The president should be able to elicit information from not only his team members (other board members), but from all homeowners who have a vested interest in what happens to the property. Then he/she should be able to organize this information and hold proper meetings in order to produce the best results for the association. Generally, by-laws are quite vague about the duties, but a leader in the role is a huge step toward a well run association. You should encourage qualified people to run for the other offices as well - someone with some financial knowledge to be treasurer, etc. Good Luck!
I am the president of a HOA in southern NH.
I would urge you to check your by-laws first.
The by-laws for my association states
"The President, who shall be chosen from among the directors, shall be the chief executive and administrative officer of the association and shall have general and active supervision and direction over the business and affairs of the association and over its several officers subject, however, to the direction and control of the board of directors. He shall sign or countersign all certificates, contracts and other instruments of the Asociation as authorized by the Board of Directors, and shall perform all such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to him by the Board of Directors".
I hope this helps.
I am very proud of The Board of Directors that I serve on and the way it conducts it's business and has since its inception, some nine years ago.
I find Greenberg's comments to be very vague and also leaves me realizing just why there is so much corruption and incompetence on association Boards (if they are making it up as they go), as suggested by Greenbergs' comments.
Anyhow, Greenberg is correct to say look at your documents (just not the rules and regs, since the rules and regulations are usually more directed toward rules for unit owners, etc.). The information would be within the "Bylaws" and/or "Declaration" docs.....Also, there is wording (guidlines) within the "Florida Statutes" and also "RROO" (Roberts Rules Of Order). All information regarding "RROO" and "Statutes" can be found on the Internet and probably your local library.
I salute you for wanting to know how to do your job!
I completely agree with KELLI2L. Begin with the Association's Declaration and Bylaws, as you need to know then in order to conduct business legally. Then I would become familiar with parliamentary procedure as contained in Robert's Rules of order as it tells how to conduct business, who does what and how. A great book is Robert's Rules for Dummies. It puts a human spin on things. Also look into your state's condominium law and non-profit corporation law if need be. It takes work to do a good job, but without it an Association will end up in chaos.
Good luck and enjoy the journey!
I think that you are getting some good advice from other commenters. Basically, a president's role is to provide leadership and vision within the confines of all governing documents. It is to make sure that associations objectives are being met by other officers and managers. In many of the communities that we work with, the President is the party that we deal with as our point of contact. Therefore, your ability to listen, delegate, review, and understanding when to act as necessary will all be brought to the forefront.
Serge: Yes check your Articles of Incorporation & By-Laws they should spell out the certain general duties of all the Board officers. The comment made by "C" are dead on, good management involves leadership, the ability to LISTEN to others, work with your Board of Directors, become thoroughly aware of your documents & FS 718. Listen to the Owners, like yourself they do have interest in there home. As President you are the Head of a Florida Corporation. You are expected to act as such. Dictators are not good leaders, they incite conflict and ill-will. People who have the best interest in all Owners will do just fine.
Before I support any owner in his cadidacy for a seat on the board I must get his personal commitment to take training in the application of the small board set of Roberts Rules. This portion of the 99 pages which comprise alloberts is but 7 pages long. It takes only a few hours of self study to ghrasp the essentials. I would also want a new board to offer training to those members of the association who wish to learn how they can more effectively address the board and make motions addressing their concerns
Jay Ramen's comment is well said.I don't agree with Kelli that Danny Greenberg's comment explains "why there is so much corruption and incompetence on association Boards (if they are making it up as they go), as suggested by Greenbergs' comments." It really depends on the President. A man or woman could use the DOCs or Robert's to abuse the members and even silence them if he or she were so inclined. It's up to the owners to vote in the right people.
While I appreciate and understand the role the Board president plays, I disagree with Norman that "it really depends on the president".
All Board decisions in our Association (WA State) require that decisions that are within the authority of the Board to make (as opposed to those that are made my owners) are to be made at a legally called Board meeting at which a quorum of Board members are present, and that the decision be approved by a majority of Board members.
The problem that our Association has had is that it allows the Board president to run the show, and as I said, that is not legal here.
This does not mean that the president does not have a vital role to play. What it does mean is that all other officers / Board members have a vital role as well. Again I suggest that Roberts Rules be referred to.
You have received some very good advice. All Board Members have a responsibility - fiduciary duty to the membership. Using some good common sense and reviewing your documents will help you with that.
Furthermore - here is a link to an educational seminar hosted by the noted law firm of Becker and Poliakoff.
Everything You Wanted to Know about Being a Condominium Board Member… But Were Afraid to Ask!
There is no charge for this and they hold a number of seminars throughout Florida and for free! Consider bringing your whole Board.
Having said that - lets now consider practicalities.
As leader - consider the reasons why you agreed to serve. What did you hope to accomplish, change, improve? Have a planning session with the Board - announce the meeting - ask for member participation.
You will get many more ideas than you might have time and money for but at least you will have a starting point for establishing a wish list and budget for each.
you are now asking after being president for two years what your role is-did something come about that makes you question yourself?
first, here in florida, EVERY BOARD MEMBER Must sign a form from the state that every board members knows and understands the florida statutes and the condominium act as well as the bylaws when they become a board member.
some by-laws can be vague, but like others mention it would responsible for you to get the roberts rule or order book and get guidance from it
the condominium act states that the president is the spokesperson for the board of directors-the board votes at the meetings and the president then communicates with the property manager, etc to insure proper action is being taken
i have been on the board and as of today i serve as the treasurer
we appointed a new president last oct. who was also new to the board,as the homeowners had recalled all the members except for myself
he has good intentions but i find that i need to remind him that he needs board approval to spend over a certain amount of money as decided by the board -unless it is a true emergency
if a president abuses his position then the board can vote to remove him from office--it is difficult serving on the board and i really respect you for doing so and for wanting to be productive as a good president--
In Florida all Boards are yearly, Florida Statues changed to this recently. I see MANY people differing to Robert's Rules. This IS NOT mandatory, there is nothing in Florida law that "requires" a Board to follow English Parliamentary law. I use Robert's Rules only as a basic guide line to help maintain civility in the Meeting and to bring an issue to the floor (may a motion, seconded by another, then discussion by the Board, then open to the floor where Owners can participate and then a Board vote.) That's about the extent of Robert's Rules we use.
Cebo: your last comment shows a good use of reason.
Roberts Rules were developed by Major Roberts, U.S. Army in the late 1800's. His works have no connection with English law.
There is no mandate in any of the several states where I've been involverd that mandates the use of Roberts rules. Yet in the U.S. all organizations which hold deliberative meetings do follow their guidlines. These groups range from the U.S. House of Reprersentatives to local garden clubs. Estimated 85% of all such associations do use Roberts. There are several other sets of rules that can serve just as well and a board can announce their own rules. The point is that there must be a ciommmon understanding of the rules before one can hope to manage a meeting that gets the business done with civility and disopatch.
We've been following this discussion for a week or so, and we think that being President is a matter of diplomacy and careful inclusion of all owners in all matters.
A board president should First know the state law governing condo, then the condo documents and by-laws and by all means play above board.
Can a President of the Association in Davenport Florida , can used his or her own company to clean carpet and get pay for it .. Specially went they never told anyone that they own a company.
Check out CAI National. This is a great support group throughout the country to help boards and associations in breakfast meetings and publications.
If your Association's governing documents do not define the job of the Board president, check state law, and if that is silent, check with Robert's Rules of Order.