Fear of Expressing an Opinion

March 2023

Condo owners want more disclosure from their boards.  As owners they feel entitled to more information about how their home is managed and an accounting of expenditures.

Volunteer directors are reluctant to provide more information than is legally required for good reason.  Society is changing in ways making it harder to provide full disclosure without being held accountable for changing perceptions, making unacceptable what once was acceptable.

In a survey of opinions by Public Square Research, only 19 percent of respondents felt comfortable sharing their opinions in public.  Among co-workers and schoolmates only 31 percent felt comfortable sharing their opinions.

People are more self conscious about speaking openly and afraid to share their opinions.  This extends beyond politics or religion which have always been controversial topics.  Today many keep quiet for fear of losing their job or having their views mischaracterized.

Far too many are of the belief that those expressing offensive ideas should lose their job, and those with radical ideas should be censored.  Taken to the current extreme, more choose to remain silent on matters that deserve to be discussed and resolved or improved on.

This societal trend makes it harder to govern the condominium home.  Fear of speaking openly makes it impossible to discuss matters on a condo board.  Yet controversial topics must be discussed and decisions made.  Many more innocuous matters may be misrepresented and deemed controversial when some are dissatisfied by board decisions.

Privacy of conversation is essential to the proper functioning of the condo board.  Directors must feel safe having conversations necessary for making decisions.  They need to be assured that conversations remain private and not disclosed through meeting minutes or other means.

While this may be disconcerting to condo residents seeking broader disclosure, private conversations are necessary for a condo board to be effective.