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Top Ten Reasons To Run For The Board

There are lots of reasons — good and bad, spoken and left unsaid — that motivate those who would be chiefs. The trick is to figure out from among the following which is the real one.

10. To Work Together in Peace and Harmony: It sounds like a chorus from Kumbaya and never fails to seduce residents who want to believe the message, even though everyone knows it’s usually an unattainable goal.

9. To Bring about Change: OK, maybe these candidates can’t say they’ll undo the mess the previous administration made in Iraq, but they can – and will — say the prior board was bad and we’re gonna be good or they were opaque and we’ll be transparent or they look backward and we’ll look forward.  Fill in any opposites you like, but remember the more things change, the more they stay the same.

8. To Get Access to Documents: Loyal readers know that regular owners only have a qualified right to see building documents, but directors have an absolute right to see whatever they want. ( See, Your Right To Know) The real thing you need to find out is whether they plan to use their access to uncover and rectify past misdeeds, or to turn information to their advantage, like mining voter  tallies to get a leg up in the next election.

7. To Carry Out a Master Plan: With election comes the power to tax and the ability to make you pay – whether the would-be member’s fantasy is a rooftop ziggurat or an underground mausoleum. It’s harder in condos for him to turn his wish into your command because most boards are bound by spending limits and have to go back to owners to get more money.

6. To Renovate Without Rules: “Plan on renovating – run for the board.” It’s how one director I know recruits new members.  Then you can approve your own application, and maybe acquire a chunk of common space from the constituents who voted you into office.

5.  To Get the Apartment Next Door: If you’ve been reading you know that attainment of this goal can take decades depending on the age of the person next door. (See, The Apartment Next Door)  But get on the board and you can use the power of unfriendly persuasion to convince your neighbor it’s time to go.

4.   To Get Even: Revenge is much easier when you have the mechanism of the state at your disposal.  That’s why the chance to vindicate personal vendettas — whether with a porter, the couple in the penthouse or someone in between — can be a reason to run.

3.  To Prevent Someone Else From Winning: Even if your neighbor has vowed never to get involved in politics, if someone in power has done something to vex him, chances are he’ll run to deliver a knock-out punch to his nemesis. Be careful that you and your fellow owners don’t’ get caught in the cross fire and become collateral damage.

2. To Get Perks: Getting something that someone else can’t have is reason enough for many to run. (See, The Perkomaniac) It could be something as significantly insignificant as being able to leap over you neighbors to get a better storage bin or parking spot, or the ability to reward friends and punish enemies.

1.  To Fulfill Their Inner Napoleon: It’s the little stuff that resonates whether you’re a member of the ruled or the rulers, which is why the legally-sanctioned chance to tell the guy next door what to do if you’re on the board can be the ultimate high.


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