The notice of my community's annual meeting and election will be going out soon for our mid-February gathering. I am more likely to run a marathon than to run for the board again this year. If that seems harsh, bear with me for a moment.
I served on my association's board several years ago for a 2-year term. Before me, my husband had served for 6 years. At the time, we were both asked to serve to fill the unofficial "attorney" seat on the board. The thinking was that having an attorney (especially one that represents community associations) sitting on the board would be helpful. Despite already having a full plate with my children, work and enjoying the little free time I had, I did agree to serve. Why? Like most people, my home is one of my biggest investments and since that home happens to be located inside a mandatory community association, my husband and I both agreed to serve at different times to ensure that wise spending and maintenance decisions were made. Were we always successful? Heck no. As a board member you have one vote and can find yourself in the losing minority more often than you'd like.
Other than feeling it was my civic duty to serve on the board, I had no other inclination to do so. I have often wondered what motivates others to run for and agree to serve on volunteer community association boards. Of course, there are always certain people who are natural joiners and helpers. Others might see board service as an opportunity to garner favor or power. A certain few might have even more devious reason to run. It is important for everyone considering board service to understand that they are agreeing to serve and that does not mean serving themselves; that means serving their neighbors. It is a selfless task that not many people are entirely comfortable undertaking.
I am sure I will eventually agree that my number is up once again to help out on the board depending on how well or poorly the current board is performing. Until then, I will continue to wonder whether board service calls out most to the saints, sinners, masochists, martyrs, healers, teachers or some combination of all of them.
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