Games Directors Play

October 2019

One of the games played on some condo boards, and by residents seeking to influence a condo board, is known as the dead cat strategy.  To obtain support for a cause or issue, individuals raise false or unrelated issues intended to discredit certain people or an entire board.

The most common of these “issues” are unsubstantiated conflict of interest allegations.  Believable lies and exaggerations can be effective at discrediting the efforts of an individual or group, working on behalf of a community, by those with a personal agenda or self-interest.

The following fictional letter provides one example of how this is done.

“We are pleased to report that a majority of directors have approved a transfer of funds from the reserve fund to reduce the operations budget and limit the increase in condo fees to 1.5 percent which is below the current rate of inflation.  Director 2 and Director 3, in opposition, supported a 4.5 percent increase in condo fees.”

Presented in this way it appears that a majority of directors support efforts to keep condo fee increases to a minimum.  In fact, this is an improper use of reserve fund monies virtually certain to result in higher condo fees once current directors are no longer in office.  Comparing any increase to the current rate of inflation suggests a relationship that does not exist thus unrelated to any increase in condo fees.  Good directors following the law and representing the interests of the community are defamed and likely voted out of office at the first opportunity.

Good condo directors do not disclose individual voting records in meeting minutes or other correspondence.  Letters such as this are intended to mislead owners into supporting possibly illegal efforts or supporting certain individuals by creating discord.