I have written several blogs about a unit owner’s responsibility to look after their unit, even when they go away for the summer or back to their home in the northern part of the country. Does the same responsibility apply to members of the Board? I believe it does.
Board members deserve breaks too. They deserve summer vacations as much as the next guy. But just like a unit owner still has a responsibility to look after their unit when they leave town , a Board member has the same responsibility to keep abreast of association matters when they are away from the community for a while.
I often hear how it’s impossible to have board meetings in the summer because of a lack of board members remaining in the community during the summer. So what?
The Florida condominium statute states:
A board or committee member’s participation in a meeting via telephone, real-time videoconferencing, or similar real-time electronic or video communication counts toward a quorum, and such member may vote as if physically present. A speaker must be used so that the conversation of such members may be heard by the board or committee members attending in person as well as by any unit owners present at a meeting.
The HOA statute contains no similar provision.
There’s no reason why a Board can’t hold a meeting in July or August if the board members can appear by telephone. In fact, one can argue that because Florida is hurricane alley, these may be the most important months of the year to have board meetings in order to discuss hurricane preparedness and safety. The bottom line is that if you are willing to serve on a board of directors, your obligation to keep abreast of association matters doesn’t end because you’re spending a few months away from the property. It continues, as long as you are a member. The board should still have meetings, can communicate with each other by e-mail and should be reachable at all times, and especially in case of an emergency.