The Meter is Running
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AUTHORStephen Wilson, Vice President
PAGE #p. 34
THE BIG PICTURE
So you want to serve on the board? That’s laudable, but before you throw your hat in the ring, ask yourself: do I have the time? A lot of people aren’t prepared because of busy schedules and other time commitments. The amount of time is probably close to an extra shift or two each month. And when I say an extra shift I mean time reading emails, going through purchase applications or refinance applications, and interacting with your fellow shareholders and board members to make sure you’re striving for a better community for everybody.
All new board members should be given several months worth of meeting minutes, management reports, and financial statements that management develops every month. The manager should review with new board members any and all governing documents – the proprietary lease, bylaws, house rules – and explain how things operate on a day-to-day basis with staff and neighbors.
New board members should not feel hesitant to jump in and make their voices heard and let the other board members know they have the community’s interest at heart. Because you’ve been elected by your fellow shareholders, you’ve been granted a level of decision-making authority and quite a deal of latitude in your decisions. A consensus from the board could equate to a big change in the environment and overall atmosphere of the building – in a good way.
The benefit of this time commitment is knowing that you played a role in improving not only property values for your apartment and your neighbors’ apartments, but also that you made the co-op a better place for future shareholders and their families. And it can be very interesting work – from learning about different building systems to improving a building’s carbon footprint by reducing costs. You can also serve on committees such as decorating, environmental, or party planning.
In the final analysis, the time commitment on the board is worth it because not only will you protect your investment, but you will also have an opportunity to help your neighbors do the same. You’d be surprised at the level of satisfaction you may gain from serving your community by serving on your board.