How to avoid being purged
“Surely anyone sitting on an ethics
committee must be above reproach and show the highest level of ethical
—A Keen interest, Private Eye #1371
It is extremely awkward to be a newly elected director who joins a
board where the other directors make it plain that they do not accept
you as part of their team.
It is equally awkward when a director sees that the majority of the
board is favouring a particular contractor or is underfunding the
reserve funds. Tensions may rise when a director hires a relative or
the manager is overstepping her authority.
In the above situations, and in many more, the minority director is in
danger of being kicked off the board by an Ethics Review. So what can
You should not break the rules such as parking in the visitors parking
lot, asking the superintendent to fix a dripping tap during his regular
working hours, accepting "gifts" from contractors or gossiping about
the other directors to the owners.
You should never use the corporation's credit card to make a personal
purchase even if you immediately repay the corporation as the use will
be remembered years later but not the repayment.
Do not initiate a conversation about board business with the other
directors outside the
board meetings, especially if you are trying to get them to change
their minds on an issue. This can be used against you by saying you
interfering with their quiet enjoyment of their unit and common
At a board meeting, if you disagree with a decision passed by the
majority, insist that your
dissenting vote be recorded in the minutes and then check to insure
that your dissent has been properly recorded. Then let the subject go;
you have taken it as far as you could.
Quietly keep written records of when the other directors violate the
ethics. For sure that should be quite often as many directors believe
that their position gives them licence to flaunt the rules, especially
if they are part of the majority on the board.
Keep the fact that you are keeping track of their transactions to
yourself. Stick to the facts, record the five W's (who, what where
& when) to maintain your credibility.
One director in
Mississauga, who was violating the declaration by renting out his
furnished units by the day, week or month, paid a female employee to
sexual advances towards the president while she was secretly recording
The director wanted to have something on the president so he would not
try to shutdown the director's illegal short-term rental business.
Don't argue, swear or pound on the table during board meetings. That
will get you no where. Wait until the next AGM and try to get credible
candidates to unseat the other directors as their terms expire.
If you detect the board, and usually the manager is involved, are
getting ready to
haul you in front of their kangaroo court, you could surprise them by
laying charges against one or two of the other directors first. Why not?
The board will be shocked to hear, I am sure, that one director
regularly parks her car in a fire zone, the president had his unit
painted for free from one of the condo's contractors and the manager
gives contracts to a company owned by her ﬁancÚ.
That should put some sand in the gears. (The whole gang of them will
hate it if you fight back.)
When it stops being fun, it is time to move on.
Instead of going through all the bull that I listed above, it may be
best to resign from the board and withdraw from the corporation's
politics and enjoy a peaceful and stress-free condo life.
You may decide it is best to sell your unit and move somewhere where
you will be happier. It may also be a very good idea.
After all, being a director is suppose to be a volunteer position that
is taken on as a community service. If instead, if becomes a source of
stress, loss of sleep and possible financial losses, why bother?