The main problem with a dictator is that they almost always end up getting the association into a lawsuit because of their arrogance.
Sometimes an owner is wrong and just doesn’t want to do what their board decided but often times the problem is really how the board chooses to operate. Unfortunately, due to a lack of volunteers, many directors take on a number of positions and become more powerful in the process. As time goes on some board members forget that they are elected to represent the
greater good of the association. Because of the lack of owner participation and the fact that positions are unpaid; associations are very prone to having a dictator take over governance of the organization. And in many instances with any situation involving your “neighbor” owners are reluctant to confront the power trippers.
Here is a step by step approach on how to get rid of these power hungry rulers of the universe.
4 Steps To Eliminate an Oppressive Board President
- Talk to the dictator. A fellow board member on two should have a sit down with the tyrant and seek a change of behavior.
- Try “boots on the ground” – talk to neighbors and enlist their help in speaking to the offender. Oftentimes public opinion in a close community can be very powerful.
- Vote to remove board member as president. In most associations, the remaining board members can call a board meeting and vote to remove the dictator from the office of president, although the dictator still remains on the board as a member at large.
- Vote to remove the offender from the board. Sometimes, the dictator refuses to relinquish power. At that point, the board needs to have a vote of the homeowners to remove him from the board. At least 50% of all owners must vote to do so. Sometimes, just threatening a recall vote will get the dictator to resign.
You will need to put some effort into the Board or even consider running for a position on the board in the future to safeguard your interests. See Acri’s post on Apathy to gain even more insight. Don’t forget: Apathy is the enemy of your biggest investment – your home. Make sure you elect the neighbors to your board who have the interest of the community in mind, not the ones with huge egos and a private agenda. When you have an involved community you will not have to ask what to do if you have a dictator for a board president, you’ll know.
In summary, a dictator board president is bad for the entire association. Removing such an individual can be a long and painful process. Remember it’s your board, it’s your association, it’s your investment, and you have full control of what’s going on there.