ARE TERM LIMITS A GOOD THING OR A BAD THING?

On today’s radio show, a woman complained that in her HOA, there is never a quorum that appears at the annual meeting and therefore the same board remains in place year after year.  Remember…in an HOA, in order to have a valid election, a quorum must appear at the annual meeting.  In a condo on the other hand, all that is required is that 20%  of the eligible voters must participate in the election.  Of course, I said “What else is new” this happens in HOAs all the time and that’s why we are proposing legislation that would have the HOA statute mirror the condo statute when it comes to election procedures.

The call got me thinking…..suppose there were term limits in place?  For example, an owner can serve no more than 3 consecutive terms on the Board and then be required to be off the Board for a year, before being able to run again.  Would this help?  Arbitration cases support the idea that term limits can be enforceable as long as they are contained in the governing documents.

The reasons for supporting term limits are obvious and too easy to list or debate here.  There’s the flip-side to the argument that needs to be discussed.  Suppose you live in a community with a wonderful, caring board that has served the community well?  Why should they be forced to step down?  Furthermore,  Lord knows how difficult it is to get people interested in serving.  If people want to serve, why stop them?  Some would argue it makes little sense to remove long term board members with experience and replace them with people who have absolutely no experience.  You have to agree that corporations certainly don’t work that way, and your condominium is a corporation too.

Would having term limits in the governing documents necessarily result in an increase in participation in the affairs of the community? Would it necessarily result in more people running for the Board?   I don’t think so.  But I want to hear from all of you.  Term limits: a good idea, or a recipe for disaster in our Florida community associations?

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