Community Governance Essentials

Community involvement is the essential key to success! There are five parts to every community that are integral to its success:

The Association Member

Not all association members have the time or inclination to join their Board of Directors or to be active in the various committees associated with their organization. It is critical, however, that every member be involved enough to attend an occasional meeting, voice their opinions, understand current issues and vote for prospective board members who are interested in becoming involved.  Association Members should have access to and understand their rights and responsibilities.  Here is a document that will help you to understand your role in the community: HOA Member Rights and Responsibilities

The Association Board of Directors

A strong, active and dedicated board will make all of the difference in a community. With today’s technology, communication is simple and time commitment for board members can be very minimal depending on the issues at hand. The Board of Directors has the authority to act on behalf of the community in many instances, but their authority is limited by the associations governing documents as well. These limitations ensure that a Board is involving the community to the degree that is necessary when making decisions that may directly affect the value of your home, business and community. The governing documents of your community should plainly spell out the boards duties and obligations.  Here is some helpful information regarding the duties and ethical obligations of HOA Board Members: HOA – Board Member Ethics

The Officers of the Board

Within each board are elected officers (President, Vice President, Secretary & Treasurer) with specified roles that help maintain an organized system for conducting meetings and implementing day to day operations to best meet the needs of the association. Depending on how your governing documents read, some boards may allow for one officer to hold two or more positions. Here is some helpful information about HOA Board Officers: HOA Board Member Roles

The Committees

In many cases, an association board may create committees including, but not limited to:
Architectural Review Committee – Helps to ensure that the standards outlined in most  governing documents are adhered to and reviews any applications for variances to the existing architecture and/or landscape designs.

  • Nominating Committee – Reviews potential nominees for upcoming elections and nominates those that they deem qualified to run.
  • Social Committee – Helps to organized community events and gatherings
  • Grounds Committee – Initiates plans for improvement to common areas in the community.
  • Security Committee – Serves as a liaison with Public Safety officials to assist in common area, residence and transportation safety issues.
  • AD Hoc Committee – Is often formed to help oversee a particular task or project.

The Community Management Company

Some association governing documents may not require a “management company” or even a person hired to serve as the lone community manager. Most HOA’s and POA’s have the option of “self-management”, but the time commitment and stress involved in effectively managing their own community usually dissuades Boards from considering the task. While it is in our best interest to say so, we think that hiring a strong community management company makes all the difference. The management company works FOR the association and helps to guide the organization to success. The management company implements the decisions made by the board of directors and manages all aspects of the operations that they have been hired by the community to oversee including:

  • Accounting
  • Billing
  • Coordinating legal action
  • Planning meetings
  • Initiating and receiving homeowner correspondence
  • Overseeing building maintenance & project
  • Conducting inspections
  • Processing work orders
  • Coordinating landscaping needs
  • Distributing information to Members

Whatever your association management needs are, Community Focus is here to help!