HOA Managers’ New Year’s ResolutionsJan 16, 2023
By Kelly G. Richardson, Esq. CCAL
[After previous columns proposing resolutions for directors and HOA members, here are ideas for managers. Next week - service providers]
As a community association manager, I resolve to:
- Follow the Golden Rule. (“Treat others as you would like to be treated.”)
- Remember I am a professional. I will give the board the best advice I can. I am not employed to be silent.
- Strive to give the board the answers and recommendations it needs to hear, not just the input the board hopes for.
- Avoid reacting defensively to upset homeowners. I will try to provide the “why,” and not only the “what” regarding HOA rules.
- Try my best to please all, while knowing that I can’t.
- Pursue professional designations with CAI and/or CACM and attend seminars to keep me up to date.
- Be prepared at any board meeting to explain significant deviations from budget or unbudgeted expenses.
- Confirm in writing my advice to the board if it disregards my advice.
- Avoid giving specialized advice and will refer the board to the appropriate specialized professional service provider.
- Help the Board follow the Business Judgment Rule, providing the board sufficient information to make each decision.
- Encourage directors to join the local Community Associations Institute Chapter, knowing educated boards are better boards.
BETTER BOARD MEETINGS:
- Protect the board from overly long or disorganized meetings.
- Create agendas with consent calendars to quickly handle non-controversial items.
- Alert the board when a proposed agenda becomes too ambitious.
- Become comfortable with parliamentary procedure fundamentals.
- Help the board stay on agenda and on topic.
- Alert the board if it is handling matters in closed session that should be discussed in open session.
- Bring the HOA governing documents to every meeting.
- Be prepared to provide a recommended action or recommend hiring the appropriate specialized expertise on each agenda item.
- Listen respectfully when homeowners in open forum criticize my work.
- Strive toward increasing meaningful and frequent membership communication.
- Focus on the association’s community needs as well as its financial, maintenance, and legal concerns while I advise the board and execute its instructions and policies.
- Treat all members the same, regardless of how they treat me.
- Communicate to the entire board when answering a director’s question or giving a report.
- Remember my client is the HOA, not its board or president.
- Not take sides in board elections or recalls, and not assist or advocate for or against any candidate. My personal opinions on those matters will remain secret.
- Reject vendor offers of kickbacks, gratuities, or commissions and promptly disclose such offers to the board.
- Not give my employer (or its related company) any advantage in bidding on HOA contracts.
- Advise the board when specialized expertise is needed on specific issues or projects.
- Provide the board with two or three candidate service providers to consider, not only one favorite vendor.
- Suggest the appropriate consultant before the board evaluates major or complicated bids to help them select the best and most complete proposal.
- Recommend the best bid, not simply the cheapest.
- Follow the Golden Rule.
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