You may not know the name of your local alderman, or even your state representative—plenty of polls have shown that many people don't. Politicians are one thing, but when it comes to the people running your condo building or homeowners association, ignorance is most definitely not blissful. Condo and HOA residents often aren’t entirely clear on the roles and responsibilities of their various board members, and even board members themselves may not always know exactly what their roles entail.
The fact remains that the way boards are structured differs from building to building and HOA to HOA. What may be the role of one board member in one building may not be the same in another. However, having a general idea of what the function of each role is can make running things a lot smoother and more peaceful for all involved.
Different But Equal
Gina Rossi, the marketing director for of Schaumburg-based Vanguard Community Management, says that many times the number of positions necessary to effectively manage a community association will be outlined in the condo or co-op’s bylaws.
According to Paul Houillon, founder and president of Connected Property Management, LLC in Chicago, each building is different in how they set up their governing bodies. Usually, Houillon says, there must be a minimum of three board members, and the number can increase based on the size of the building or HOA and interested parties. Unless a building doesn’t have a management company, the specific titles of the individual board members don’t matter much. “Board members are there to make decisions and vote,” he says. “[Their specific title] makes no difference when it comes to voting. It doesn’t matter to them who’s who.”
Lee Flanagan, vice president at Braeside Condominium Management Ltd. in Highland Park agrees. “All members share equal responsibilities but have varying areas of those responsibilities,” he says.