It's not unusual for condominium associations to struggle from a lack of involvement from owners and an inability to locate enough volunteers to fill the required number of board seats. This is particularly true in small associations, where the burden is often shouldered by one or two individuals who are willing to take responsibility. Sometimes, however, the opposite situation exists and there are more volunteers who want to participate than open board seats. This can create different challenges for the association.

Your Bylaws will dictate how many board members should be elected to your board. If your association is operating with five board members when the Bylaws state three, however, you are not in compliance with your governing documents, which exist to minimize conflict within the association.

Board seats are often limited in smaller buildings because it can be difficult to gather a quorum (majority of the board) in a meeting in order to conduct business. When you are operating with only three board members - the minimum required by IL condo law - only two board members must meet in order to vote on association business. This leads to quicker, more efficient board decisions. The more board members you have, the more individuals you'll need to coordinate and organize to make decisions. 

Boards are also most effective when there is an uneven number. Even numbers introduce the opportunity for a stalemate when voting. And piling on the board members can lead to burnout, leaving few options for replacing board members should any of them decide to leave the board. Spreading the responsibility among owners over time is a better approach than having them all participate at once.

It might seem to be generous to allow more members to participate on the board then required, but sometimes there really can be too many cooks in the kitchen. When the number of volunteers exceeds the number of board seats, conduct a proper election to fill the required number of seats - no more, and no less.

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