What to do After a Board Member Steps Down
Board members can resign for many reasons. It is not always for a disagreement or something else unpleasant, but can be simply due to a new election, a life change on the part of the board member, or the desire of the board member to move on. Whatever their reasons for their stepping down, the process that your board goes through should remain the same. Here is what to do after a board member steps down, as well as an idea for what to do before a change is even expected.
In Preparation for Future Changes
It is always good to be prepared for any eventual circumstances. It is inevitable and even immanent that your board will experience changes. Having a plan for what to do about sudden or expected vacancies will help make the transition smooth. The first thing your board should do is consult the governing documents for clear instructions regarding these changes. Most governing documents have a helpful step by step guideline that you can and should follow.
If there are any discrepancies in the governing documents, it is best to know about them and resolve them before the issue becomes urgent. You can get the help of a lawyer to solve anything in the documents that is unclear or inconsistent in advance.
Get Everything in Writing
Even if the board member is leaving on friendly terms, and especially if they are not, it is important to get the transition in writing. In the event of a resignation, document the event in several different places. It is advisable to draft and sign an official letter of resignation, announce the resignation in the board meeting, and notate the proceedings in the meeting minutes. Doing so will ensure that the member will not attempt to deny the resignation at a later date.
Update Systems and Obtain Property
When a board member is elected, they may be given property, passwords, and access to email accounts. After a new election or resignation, it is important to ensure that any sensitive material, documents, keys, or any other property is returned to the board. If you are concerned about the truthfulness of the board member, you can get it in writing that any sensitive materials have been returned, destroyed, and not copied. It is also a good idea to routinely change passwords and other access information during each transition
Make Plans to Find a Successor
In the event of a resignation, it is advisable to fill the position immediately rather than waiting until the next election. This gives another person in the community the ability to get involved. The position is either filled by appointment, or by a vote in the homeowners association. Either way, try to find a successor within a short time frame.
The resignation of a board member can be a sensitive time for everyone. It is important to set a plan in place and then follow it in a calm and routine fashion. Doing so will ensure a smooth transition without inconvenience to the board or other homeowners.