Q In our association in Florida, as it is in many others, I’m sure, we are having an awful time getting people to serve on the board. We have a small condo association and it is difficult, if not impossible, to attract and retain good board members. We came up with an idea, a novel one I think, to allow board members to serve in more than one position. The idea is to have one person serve in both capacities either as the president/vice president or the treasurer/secretary. It’s not uncommon in our association that there is no vice president in attendance at our meetings. And having a combination treasurer/secretary, they could record minutes of the meetings, and also have time to monitor the association’s finances. Do you think this is a good idea? And is it legal in Florida? Is this something that you as legal counsel would recommend? Our bylaws don’t expressly prohibit it and say nothing about serving in dual roles.
—Taking Two in Treasure Island
A “In Florida, condominiums are empowered to exist by Chapter 718, Florida Statutes, and are created with the recording of their Declaration of Condominium. Since condominiums can only exist by virtue of Chapter 718, they must comply with those requirements set forth in that Chapter,” explains attorney Michael Chapnick, a shareholder attorney in the West Palm Beach office of the law firm of Siegfried, Rivera, Hyman, Lerner, De La Torre, Mars & Sobel, P.A.
“Section 718.112(2)(a)1 provides that the association’s bylaws must provide for the number and titles of officers and directors and must specify the powers and duties of board members. If the bylaws do not provide for such things, a Florida condominium must have a president, a secretary, and a treasurer (the officers), and must have at least 5 directors (unless the association has 5 or fewer units, in which case, it may have 3 directors). If the association is a not for profit corporation (the association is the corporation that administers the condominium property through its board of directors), Section 617.0840(4), Florida Statutes provides that “the same individual may simultaneously hold more than one office in a corporation.” This, of course, would be subject to any contrary provision contained within the association’s Articles of Incorporation or bylaws.”