Board Members, Members, HOA President, HOA Officers… who is in charge around here?
When I introduce myself to a new neighbor and decide to represent the Autumn Oaks HOA, I often mention I am a member of the board of directors. Sometimes I even add that I am the president of the HOA. I am of course aware that people attach importance to titles and even gain satisfaction from having their issues heard by someone they feel can “do something”. With this article, I would like to educate you about the different positions within the HOA.
First and foremost we have the individual member. Often thought of as a minor figure in the HOA there is no person more capable of changing the outcome of a vote, swinging the membership in a new direction, or gaining support for a cause than a motivated member. Members are the people who join the committees. Members talk with their neighbors and begin discussions about changes they want in the neighborhood. Members volunteer for board positions and then officer positions. Members are the “meat and potatoes” of the HOA.
Committee members are members who decide to get involved in specific areas of the HOA which interest them. Someone who enjoys the social aspects of the HOA might choose to become a member of the Social & Amenities Committee. Someone who wants to help guide the HOAs spending can get involved through the Finance Committee. The committees are a way to dedicate time and energy to more specific areas of HOA business. Committee chairpersons are the committee members asked by the board to lead the individual committees. These members guide the committees and ensure they stay on task and on time. A committee chair reports directly to the board or a specific board member.
The Board of Directors work together to represent the best interests of the membership. Board members meet to discuss topics of importance to the membership, decide how and when to spend membership dues, find ways to protect property values, and work to enhance the sense of community.
The officers of the HOA are the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The officers carry out the day to day tasks of the association. The officer positions are generally held by board members but in the case of the treasurer or secretary, a non-board member can be called upon to serve as an officer.
It's important to remember that ANYONE and EVERYONE you talk to from the HOA membership can be the most important person. The board members make decisions based upon the needs and wishes of the membership. Outspoken members can voice the opinions of more timid members, causing the membership to demand the board listen. Board members act with the guidance of the committees, and then use the reports brought to them by committees to explain decisions to the membership.
Ultimately, It’s all about participation.
The Board of Directors
Depending on the management agreement, some of the following responsibilities can be turned over to a managing agent
- Chief executive officer and leader of the association
- Presides at all meetings of the board and membership
- Executes legal documents on behalf of the association
- Sets meeting agendas and controls all meetings
- Represents the board before the residents
- May have nominating, if not appointment, responsibility for all committees
- Performs all of the duties of the president in his/her absence
- Typically shares some of the burden of the president regarding appearances, liaison, public hearings, etc.
- Usually assigned liaison responsibility to specific staff or contractors, and to specific committees
- Prepares and distributes board and membership meeting agendas, minutes, and materials referred to in minutes
- Maintains minutes and book on all meetings
- Maintains book of resolutions
- Maintains all official records, including official correspondence, contracts, membership roster, etc.
- Receives, verifies, and maintains all proxies
- Attests, by signature, to the legitimacy of certain documents
- Works with appropriate staff, contractors, and committees to develop and submit annual operating budget for approval
- Maintains adequate records of all association financial transactions
- Maintains roster of disbursement of funds, as authorized
- Prepares period financial reports
- Arranges, subject to board approval, an independent audit of financial affairs
PERSPECTIVES OF BOARD, HOMEOWNER, AND MANAGER
Board of Directors Perspective
- Maintaining the value of the property and a good quality of life for the residential community
- Governing smoothly
- Enforces rules
- Establishing and keeping budget
- Most care a great deal about residences
- Will want service from manager and decisions from Board that will provide a good quality of life
- Problems may arise when expectations are too high or not realistic; this can occur when interests are too specialized or unique
- Working in balance with homeowners, board, and realities of management companies business.
- Multi-task oriented