Several months ago, I blogged about confusion that exists in the 2017 condo crime bill. That new statute states that:
A board member may not serve more than four consecutive 2-year terms, unless approved by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the total voting interests of the association or unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy.
I have been asked a hundred times already if a board member who serves only one year terms can get elected for an unlimited amount of one year terms. Suppose this is now their 10th consecutive year? Can they run again for a one year term? The answer is clearly YES, even though the clear intent of the statute was to give someone else a chance to get elected after 8 years.
HB 841 which so far is breezing through The Florida Legislature is now being amended to state:
A board member may not serve more than 8 consecutive years, unless approved by an affirmative vote of unit owners representing two-thirds of all votes cast in the election or unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy.
That clarifies that.
Then, the question becomes how will the law be applied? This law is set to take effect July 1st, 2018. That means that it applies to any election that takes place after July 1st, 2018. That means that if someone is running for the board, and this would be their 9th consecutive year or more on the board, they would need two-thirds of all votes cast in the election or can only get on the board if there are not enough eligible candidates. This is not a retroactive application of the law. A retroactive application of the law would be to AUTOMATICALLY remove someone from the board on July 1st, 2018 if they are in their 9th year or longer.
Is this statute a good idea? Does it make sense to prevent people from serving on a board that often finds it impossible to get non paid volunteers? Even if the board member is fantastic and the owners want him or her to stay? At a presentation I gave last week, one member of the audience said that this new law is great because the truth is, many people would like to run for the board, but they don’t want to run against someone who has already served for a decade or more, as they know they will most likely lose. This law gets more people involved.
What do you guys think?