Dear Governance Matters,
I am on the board of a small homeowner's association. After the annual meeting at which new members are welcomed to the board and board officers elected, one of our members was unanimously voted to the position of Treasurer.
This individual has subsequently resigned from the position, but not the board.
Another individual was nominated and elected to the post, but not unanimously. This member declines to serve without having unanimous support.
What do we do now? May we function without a treasurer? Our president is able to sign checks to pay for bills, but we don't have an able-bodied treasurer.
Any advice you give will be greatly appreciated.
Having checked with a lawyer who works with condos and co-ops, we do have a few suggestions for you.
Given that you are a small building, the first advice is to "be practical." Check your bylaws to see if they mention board officers, and what the board is allowed to do when there is an officer vacancy. Many say something such as "the board will appoint a new officer when there is a vacancy."
But you probably have already read that or realize that the board is (usually) legally able to fill a vacancy, versus all the owners of the apartments. Yes, it is important to have a treasurer, but this can/could be accomplished in a few different ways.
- If the resigned treasurer felt s/he was lacking in financial expertise, s/he could work with the managing agent (if you have one) to actually handle all the financial needs. Often, it is the managing agent who prepares a yearly budget, provides the monthly financial reports, etc. anyway.
- Another possibility is for the president to be the treasurer (a possible practicality for a small building) so s/he would be the "president/treasurer." Since the president already has check-signing authority, this might be the most practical solution for the time being. But, this could be a problem unless the whole board and the managing agent spend time discussing/reviewing all financial matters on a timely basis!
- It might it be possible to recruit yet another board member who would agree to be the treasurer. If not someone with financial expertise, then another owner who would agree to work in tandem with the managing agent
I am the president of a small building myself, and I can appreciate your dilemma! We have a person treasurer, who does not have financial expertise....but her husband does, and he is willing (and does a good job) to review all financial statements and discusses them with his wife before board meetings.
Hope this helps!
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