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Board

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The first message I saw here today regarded the use of the word “Board” as a synonym for “Association “.  They are not synonymous.  Our tiny board has usurped the owner’s authority. I am wondering if it is permissible for me to send a letter of introduction to my neighbors and a brief summary of issues, responsibilities, and the authority we have as members of our association. People are scared.  I am finding it increasingly more difficult to be silent even as I am forced to pay ridiculous sums to the board attorney.  However, I am disabled. Most recently Covid left me with pulmonary embolisms and I am just tired. I can’t go door to door.  I’d ...
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I hear it all the time. Not just from association members and leaders, but from management companies, community managers, and even HOA attorneys. But I've reviewed dozens of association bylaws, and none of them authorizes a president of the board of directors .  The officers - including the president - are officers of the association .  While some people might think the board and the association are one and the same, they're not.  And I'm sure most of you who have been in the association business know this to some extent, but many of you don't often make the distinction clear when you're talking with homeowners, and boards. "Why is this important?", you ...
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Efficiency has been and continues to be a top priority for property and community managers. According to a notable property management industry report, efficiency matters because associations expect property managers to perform more services in the same amount of time. Interestingly, while it is still very high on the list for about 1/4 of managers, fewer see it as a primary concern today. In 2017, 49% of managers were trying to prioritize efficiency. Now, only about 25% are.      It’s not that these professionals don’t care about working smarter. The more likely explanation for this decline is that community managers have found solutions to help them operate ...
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The holiday season is a time of celebration. Homeowners often take part in the celebration by decorating their homes with a variety of decorations and lights to suit the season. However, these holiday decorations are often left out long after the season ends. This article will provide an overview of what a homeowners association can do to prevent these decorations from staying up all year without limiting the festivities. The board of directors of a homeowners’ association has a fiduciary duty to homeowners to maintain the community to the level that homeowners expected when they purchased homes within the association. Part of this duty entails regulating ...
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Almost exactly one year ago, I published Board Discipline: Has your Board been Naughty or Nice this Year ? While thinking through major themes from common interest community discussion over the last twelve months, a timely and fitting year-end post on the CAI Members Forum catalyzed this year's message.  A homeowner decided to fly the Flag of the United States of America upside down.  The original poster suggests that their Board would like the flag flown "with the stars up" and that several protest signs were removed in response to a violation letter (presumably asserting a rule that yard signs are disallowed).  Those signs are now taped to ...
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Collect data first!  Strategic planning efforts should begin with research; a thorough review of the organization’s current state. In essence, a 360 Review.  Specifically, your planning consultant/facilitator should:  Examine all governing documents to include, but not limited to the organizational structure, bylaws, board and administrative policies, committee charters, financial statements, reserve study reports, and minutes from Board meetings and committees over the past year. Research national or regional industry best practices and the trends that are impacting or could have an impact on the organization’s operations and ability to deliver services. ...
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Stay on Target

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If you are serving on a non-profit or community association board you have 10 key responsibilities to your fellow board members and the organization:    1) Fulfill the mission and purposes of the organization, and advocate for them. 2) Select the general manager or chief executive. 3) Support and evaluate the general manager or chief executive. 4) Ensure effective planning. 5) Monitor and strengthen programs and services. 6) Ensure adequate financial resources. 7) Protect assets and provide financial oversight. 8) Build and sustain a competent board. 9) Ensure legal and ethical integrity. 10) Enhance and organization’s public standing.
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Ask a question or bring a concern to the collective, 2021 will bring new challenges to our industry.  I would like to post a platform for discussion that highlights areas of concern surrounding turf maintenance.  These areas range from  fertilization,  fungus, pest control and more.  The bottom line is what can be done to protect investments and maintain a balance in the environments and budgets.
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The best method to get teams and the individuals within them to move forward in the right direction is by bringing them together to learn about their unique strengths; aspirations for the jobs they are performing; preferred operational norms; and defined priority goals they can collaboratively achieve.   Instead of focusing on what people are doing wrong; highlight and celebrate what they naturally do well – their strengths.  Learn your Team’s Strengths by having them take the CliftonStrengths Assessment. Then have a facilitator compile the results of the whole team and lead a discussion on how the different strengths of each staff member can lend to the ...
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Pose “learning” questions to your Strategic Planning Stakeholders group that will provide you with candid and valuable insight to the current and future operations of your organization.   Allow respondents to give this input anonymously to an outside facilitator.  People are more willing to lend their view or “give voice” to someone who will not judge but listen.  The facilitator can tabulate and analyze the information to identify common themes that will formulate the key areas of focus of your strategic plan.
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Establish a strategic Planning schedule that is deliberate, collaborative, and builds synergies among you, your leadership team, and the Board.  The process of developing a strategic plan is just that, a process.  If done correctly, it also builds a shared understanding and commitment to navigate the organization or community in the right direction.
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In setting out to develop a strategic plan for your organization or community, one of the first tasks is identifying who will be working with you to lead the effort – your Strategic Planning Committee.  It should not be one person but instead a concert of people who will help champion the process and monitor the implementation of the final product.  As such, representatives from your Board, committees, and staff leadership team should be part of this important committee.
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This blog was originally posted 12/25/20 on condoconnection.org . Ho ho ho, what a year 2020 has been! Like all of the world, multi-family residential communities have been tested in a number of ways. For many communities, that means less access to amenities, but hopefully greater access to the inner-workings of your association as meetings and documents have transitioned from in-person and hard-co pies to online and readily available from the convenience of your phone, tablet or computer. All those changes aside, has your b oard of d irectors been naughty or nice this year?! Serving on a nonprofit board of directors at condominium and ...
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Today marks nearly one month since I was nominated president of my condo building. It also marks nearly one month that I've been repeatedly stressed and worried.  I've had many rough nights.  Waking up at 2:30 am in a funk. A month of asking myself more than once, "What in the name of God was I thinking?  Why did I agree to do this?" I have no shame in admitting - I am VERY unknowledgeable when it comes to this position.  I've only been living in my condo for 8 months!  While I'm not a total noob to "home" living - I AM new to home living in a home OF MY OWN.  So imagine me... learning about my own home... and in addition having to learn about the ENTIRE building ...
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The U.S. Constitution mandates that the U.S. Census Bureau conduct a census every 10 years. This year marks the 24th time that the U.S. population has been counted since 1790. The census provides critical data that lawmakers, businesses, research institutions, and many others use to provide products and services, as well as influence decision-making for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to support hospitals, fire departments, education, infrastructure, and other resources based on census data. These results also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and ...
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The first seven months of 2020 have been difficult and uncertain for our country. With the emergence of the COVID19 pandemic, we are all navigating uncharted waters and doing our best to adapt. Amid this unprecedented challenge, racial tensions and inequities have come into focus that require us to consider whether collection practices within our industry contribute to the problem or create a perception that might result in liability for boards and managers. As we considered the impact of traditional collection practices, it became clear that t hese   practices  often  disproportionately impact both the health and finances of ...
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It’s warm, it’s sunny and we all want to play outside. But this summer’s going to look a little different - okay a lot different - for everyone. While we better understand how to protect ourselves from COVID-19, we still have to be extra cautious about keeping our distance from others, washing our hands, and sanitizing surfaces that are frequently touched. Many government officials have now loosened restrictions on outdoor activities and facilities, but people who live or work in a densely populated condo or HOA communities should be prepared to make some adjustments when it comes to operating and using popular amenities such as basketball hoops, tennis courts, ...
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