What can the directors or other members of a ROC do when the President refuses a request to bring an item before the board for consideration?
There are a number of factors that should be considered in answering this question:
- Traditionally, the President (or the board’s chairperson) has been given the task of setting the agenda for meetings of the directors. However, it’s also customary that the President consult with the other directors when setting that agenda.
- There’s certainly nothing wrong with allowing the President and the other members of the board to exercise a reasonable amount of discretion in setting the agenda. Clearly, no purpose is served by allowing an issue that has already been decided by the board to have that issue placed on the agenda simply because a board member or other resident disagrees with the board’s decision.
- However, the continual refusal of a President to place an item on the board meeting agenda may be a symptom of dangerous divisions within the board and the entire community. When a ROC board member complains to me that his or her President will not place an item on the board meeting agenda, that’s a warning sign that requires my contacting the ROC manager to determine the reasons for the refusal to place the item on the agenda. Quite often, I’ll learn from the community’s manager that there are legitimate reasons for the President’s position and at the same time will discover that personality conflicts or other issues are preventing the board from effectively governing the community.
If the President’s refusal to place an item on the agenda is not justified, board members should review the association’s bylaws. The board members themselves usually appoint the association’s officers, including the President, and a President that refuses to listen to a majority of his or her board members runs the risk of being removed from his office by his or her fellow board members. While he or she would remain on the board, that removed President would no longer be able to unilaterally control the agenda.
I’ll be posting the dates and locations of our seminars for February and March in my next blog entry. We’ve got some exciting topics to cover and hope you’ll be able to attend one of them.