● The election process is rigged;
● The HOA board collects proxies and votes itself in year after year;
● No one cares enough to run;
● The ballots and the entire election process is manipulated; and,
● The same folks have been "in power" for years.
Whether or not these complaints are actually true in every case in which the accusations are made is a topic for another blog. In today's blog, let's discuss how the concept of a mandatory association board draft would do away with these issues.
Imagine if elections were no longer necessary because every member of the community would have to serve on the board when his or her "number" was randomly selected for such service? Most of the angst of running for the board would be removed because every association member would eventually receive his or her term. Of course, there would be new angst for those who don't really want to serve but would rather complain. For those folks, I envision a system not dissimilar to our current jury service system where the expectation is that it is your civic duty to serve unless you have a compelling reason (financial, health, personal situation, etc.) not to do so. Moreover, folks who would otherwise be ineligible to serve (due to a delinquency, felony background, etc.) would simply not be put in the pool.
Mandatory board service might result in the following:
● A greater appreciation for the time and energy it takes to run a private residential community on a volunteer basis;
● An assurance that there will be a board in place despite general apathy;
● An inability to argue that mandatory education for directors is not advisable lest there be a chilling impact on folks willing to run for the board; and
● A reduction in the often signifcant costs associated with board elections.
Is it unreasonable to expect otherwise able-bodied folks to contribute to the success of their communities by serving one term on the association board? Most folks grumble when they get that jury summons in the mail and the reason is clear; most people just don't like to serve others. That is why jury service is mandatory and not voluntary lest we wind up with the same jurors time and again. Has the time come to treat association board service in the same manner?