The chairperson of the trustees of a sectional title scheme does not enjoy special powers!!
In my blogpost "a democracy with preserving imperatives" I indicated that trustees are nominated and elected at a properly constituted meeting of the members of the body corporate (the owners). The trustees then elect a chairperson, who has the additional responsibility to chair the meetings of the trustees, as well as the meetings of the body corporate.
Neither a trustee, nor the chairperson may operate autonomously/unilaterally. As Annette Stones points out, prescribed management rule 22 states that "all matters at any meeting of the trustees shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the trustees present and voting". No trustee, including the chairperson, is thus empowered to decide any matter, including the appointment of an additional or alternate trustee, independently.
The trustees must further adhere to the Management & Conduct Rules of the Scheme (and must enforce these Rules) and are accountable to one-another. Decisions are taken at properly constituted meetings by majority vote and documents signed by two trustees (neither one need to be the chairperson) or one trustee and the managing agent. The chairperson must adhere to these principles and not rule autocratically.
However, the trustees may by agreement assign portfolios to specific individuals and together with the responsibility the necessary authority.
Furthermore, the chairperson does have the casting vote (extra vote in a deadlock situation) at the meetings of trustees. Ideally the chairperson fulfils a leadership role (or has been elected as result of having such qualities/skills) -- not as manager/ruler, but as leader inspiring the team of trustees, respecting each as person and their views, sharing insights/visions, guiding, encouraging, prompting, influencing and setting an example.
Revised 5 September 2010