Your organization is bestowed with a huge obligation and legal authority, with certain rights and responsibilities for effective communal living. Federal and state statutes empower the association to perform prescribed functions and to govern by representation. They confer upon the board the authority to act on the corporation’s behalf. Your association is, therefore, a representative form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, much like the rest of our country’s democratic institutions.
The primary governing documents (including the Articles of Incorporation, Declaration and Bylaws) identify the legal authority and define the scope of that authority. The board is thus empowered to levy assessments and to make rules and policies. Some might advocate that a board should never take action without the vote of the members. That would be counter-productive. If association members were to vote on every issue before a decision was made, there would be no need for a board. Association governance would stall due to lengthy delays. However, active participation from all owners is highly encouraged to ensure a common sense of direction. If no one participates, the association will not be able to function. It is, therefore, important for the board to listen to its members and foster a sense of community spirit.
Next time you want to voice your thoughts and opinions about your community, talk to your elected representatives, attend meetings, take an active part; your investment is at stake.