This post was republished with permission from BetterCondoLife.com.
Condo elections are incredibly important. New condo board members help fight apathy and infuse new energy into Boards. On the other hand, established veterans who have led the association for years are critical as well. Too often, the “campaign” part of condo elections is overlooked. Prospective condo association board candidates should be interviewed by owners as they would any job candidate. This interview can occur during a “meet and greet” event, during the annual condo election (if questions are allowed), or whatever other venue your board offers for engaging. Here are some questions you should ask your prospective condo association board candidates.
Are you familiar with the condo’s finances? What is your take on the current year’s budget? What would you do differently?
Financial questions are a great way to start. With many associations underfunded and in danger of a special assessment, you should know if your candidates have read the budget. If they don’t have a good answer that makes it seem like they’ve even read the budget, that’s concerning. This person is about to have substantial control over the thousands of dollars of condo fees you pay a year.
1) Do you think our condo puts enough in reserves?
2) Describe your priorities for the condo’s budget?
What is your take on our amenities spending? What new amenities would you add?
This is a good question to understand where prospective condo association board candidates stand as far as amenities. If your association has a nice pool, gym, or sports courts, it’s helpful to know where the prospective condo association board candidates stand on them. They might never use those amenities and want to cut their budget. Or they might want to add new amenities which are costly and impractical (hot tubs often fall into this category).
1) As a prospective board member, how would you solicit opinions for amenities you personally don’t use?
2) Do you think amenities add to property values?
What do you think about the current rules and policies the condo has in place?
This is another good “trap” question to see how up on the condo’s workings a prospective condo association board candidate is. This is an especially powerful question if your condo association has active disputes over certain things – pets, parking, or noise, for example. Understanding where prospective condo association board candidates are coming from will help you understand if their interests align to yours or not.
1) What policies would you change? How would you change them?
2) How will you work with other board members on the matter?
If You Don’t Ask, You Won’t Know
Too often, apathetic communities are willing to let the dice roll on a prospective condo association board candidate. The election process is either ignored or voters vote ignorantly. Your condo board has a great deal of power and manages your money. If you want to lead a better condo life, spend a little time getting to know your prospective condo association board candidates before you vote for them.
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