This time of year so many of us make resolutions to start the new year differently. In this three part series, I suggest possible resolutions for the association director, homeowner and manager.
As part of my homeowners association (HOA) board, I resolve to:
1. Follow the Golden Rule.
REFRESH MY ATTITUDE
2. I don’t control my neighbors, I serve them. An attitude of service will help me to be less defensive (and less stressed) when neighbors challenge or criticize board decisions.
3. As I address the association’s financial, maintenance and legal concerns, I will also address its needs as a community. My association may be a corporation, a financial entity, and a real estate project, but it is also a community of neighbors.
4. Remember that my position as a volunteer is different than my work. Unlike at work, we cannot fire our HOA neighbors.
5. Be aware that some neighbors might not know their rights and responsibilities under the law or governing documents, and that the board may need to provide patience and even education at times.
6. Be familiar with our governing documents — covenants, conditions and regulations (CC&R’s), bylaws, and rules.
7. Review financial documents on budget, reserves, expenditures and delinquencies.
8. Understand the Business Judgment Rule, and always make sure the board has sufficient basis for each decision.
9. Encourage my board colleagues to join a Chapter of the Community Associations Institute, and take advantage of the written materials, seminars and classes CAI offers homeowner volunteers.
BETTER BOARD MEETINGS
10. Help to limit our board meetings to at most 2 hours, with a goal of an average meeting length of 90 minutes.
11. Arrive at meetings prepared, having reviewed the agenda and board packet.
12. Listen attentively during Open Forum without interrupting, and give my neighbors the same level of courtesy and attentiveness that I expect from my neighbors during board deliberations.
13. Meet in closed session only when clearly necessary and authorized by the Open Meeting Act.
14. My power as a director is the ability to vote. Even the president is only one vote. I won’t be a “Lone Ranger” and will be part of a team.
15. I will encourage directors to speak their minds. No director should feel disloyal or less valued because of a dissenting vote.
16. If I disagree with my director colleagues, I will try to convince them to take my point of view. If the vote goes against my position, I will support the board’s decision, even though I disagree.
17. I will let the manager manage. I will not direct management — the board does that (…or vendors — management does that).
18. Be open as possible. When a member asks for information or documents, I will first ask “why not?” rather than “do we have to?”
19. Encourage the use of committees, to share workload and offer members opportunities for involvement.
20. Communicate better and more frequently with our neighbors (members) with newsletters, Web page updates or bulletins.
21. Confirm our manager holds a professional designation from CAI or another organization, and can properly call themselves a “Certified Common Interest Development Manager”.
22. Try to work out disputes with a member before “going legal”. We can always call the attorney next if our efforts fail.
23. Follow the Golden Rule.Back to News | View Related Link
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