Condovoice Condovoice is published four times per year – Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, by Association Concepts on behalf of the Canadian Condominium Institute Toronto & Area Chapter. EDITOR: Marc Bhalla ADVERTISING: Nina Simatos ART DIRECTION & DESIGN:
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From the Editor
The Line Many condominium communities go beyond what is required at law and have a by-law in place which extends their directors’ qualification requirements. Often, this includes a minimum threshold of participation from each member of the Board, such as a clause that relieves a director who misses three Board meetings in a given year from their duties (unless the rest of the Board excuses the absence). The idea, amongst other things, is to establish a standard that ensures quorum can be achieved to conduct business on a regular basis and provides a clear expectation of what is required from directors upfront. While many directors are involved above and beyond such a minimum standard, whether their community has such a by-law in place or not, there is a fine line between being involved and getting in the way. A recent example of a condominium director being perhaps too dedicated involved a community with a paint project. One Board member helping to oversee the work was spotted watching paint dry on a wall… literally! While staring at a wall of paint may be relatively harmless, the reality is that the overinvolvement of directors may risk doing more harm than good. Consider a micromanaging director getting involved in instructing tradespeople on site, adding potential liability to the condominium corporation for the project, or a Board member spending time behind a security desk and potentially breaching the privacy of residents by gaining access to video surveillance footage. Property management is required to take direction from the Board and carry out such instructions between meetings. If a manager
finds that they spend too much time taking direction from, answering to or otherwise communicating with individual directors in the course of going about their daily activities, it may be a challenge for the manager to properly focus on the job at hand. While this poses the obvious risk of inefficiency, further challenges arise when it is only one or two members of the Board taking part in such “extra-curricular” activities. The manager may become more involved in the politics of the community than they should be, perceived to be under the command of the directors with whom they interact with most (rather the Board as a collective governing body) or tempted to pacify individual Board members rather than serve the community as a whole. Against this, of course, is the aim to keep tabs on the activities of those serving the community, to ensure that the best job possible is done. Establishing a level of trust between all involved in the operation of a condominium tends to be an effective approach. Clear guidelines as to expectations that can be measured without a “back seat driver” can be helpful, too. All condominium Boards can benefit from establishing boundaries to guide what is considered to be appropriate behaviour of directors and others. A volunteer willing to put in more time than is required can be a considerable asset… so long as their energies and efforts are aligned with what best serves the community.
Marc Bhalla, BA, C. Med, Q. Arb, MCI Arb CONDOVOICE FALL 2018
CCi-T Condovoice - Fall 2018