We suo counity.CommonMattersYour Roadmap To Eective Community Leadership1st Edition
TABLE OF CONTENTSIntroduction 6Learning Objectives 7What Is A Community Association? 7What Do Community Associations Do? 8Building A Community 8Types Of Community Associations 9Legal Considerations For Community Associations 10Rights And Responsibilities Of Members 11Community Association Leadership 12Code Of Ethics 13Having The Right Attitude 15Board Of Directors 16President 16Vice President 16Secretary 16Treasurer 17Committees 18Professional Manager 19How To Be A Board Member 20Community Management 22Governing Documents 23Governing Guidelines 25Working With Service Providers 26Value Added from Service Providers 27Service Provider Checklist 27Guidelines For Typical Service Providers 31Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition
TABLE OF CONTENTSBoard And Association Meetings 34Importance Of Meetings 35Roberts Rules And Parliamentary Procedure 35Meeting Requirements 36Electing Board Members 37Volunteers – Recruiting And Motivating 38How To Deal With Dicult People 38Finances 40The Managers Role 41Reserves 43Communicating With Residents 44Rules 48Adopting New Rules 51Conclusion 53Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition
IntroductionThis guidebook provides an outline of the considerations that a community association should take when establishing, organizing, and managing itself. Through this introduction, you will gain a better understanding of how a community association works through the eyes of the people who provide these services. This roadmap will guide you through the comfort and enjoyment of such living accommodations and show you the beneﬁts of trusting in community association living.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition6LEARNING OBJECTIVESThe goal is to have a better understanding and clear overview of the association. Eective Community Leaders should be able to:• Specify what a “community association” is and the main three characteristics that all communities have in common. • Identify the three dierent kinds of associations.• Understand the dierent legal documents and be able to explain the importance of them.• Relay what makes up a community association as in its governance, rules and regulations, and management. • Recognize and understand the dynamic between both the community members and the operating sta. • Subscribe the responsibilities and rights of the owners as also members of a community association. WHAT IS A COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION?When you become a member of a community association you, the owner, agree to follow the Declaration, Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions, and Rules and Regulations set forth by the Association. But you also have the right and responsibility to help the community grow, adapt, and evolve. Your neighbors are your friends, and they aren’t too far from your doorsteps. You all will share common areas and facilities. Having reasonable guidelines and rules can help a community to have order, preserve property values, and ensure residents are living a happy and peaceful life within the association. A community association is a nongovernmental association of participating members of a community, such as a neighborhood, village, condominium, or group of homeowners or property owners in a delineated geographic area. Such associations have three major and deﬁned characteristics:• Memberships are mandatory when entering a community association. • There are legal agreements put in place for residents to acknowledge and sign. These documents state residents are to oblige to the rules and regulations set to the community association guidelines.• All owners have mandatory fees which will help fund the maintenance and operations of the association. These funds also help with the security and cleanliness of the common areas. “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” CORETTA SCOTT KING
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition7WHAT DO COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS DO?Among other things, the objectives of most community association are:1. Preserve and increase the property values of owners.2. Ensure the collective rights and interested of homeowners are considered and respected.3. Help ensure a safe and harmonious community.4. Help resolve conﬂicts between members and, when necessary, declare and enforce decisions on disputes.5. Run by an elected board of directors who are tasked with fairly representing the interests of all members.6. Cultivate a sense of community and inclusivity among all members.7. Provide services to members which may include logistics services such as trash removal, property maintenance, and insurance. Services should also include community events, volunteer opportunities and celebrations such as holidays, anniversaries, and accomplishments by community members.8. Association leaders protect the ﬁnancial health of the community by responsibly and opening managing the association ﬁnances.9. Associations balance the preferences of individuals with the rights of the collective members.BUILDING A COMMUNITYOne of the chief aspirations of an association is to build a sense of community and community spirit. This is critical to build a vibrant, healthy, and responsive community. This is best achieved with an organized structure through which necessary work can be accomplished, conﬂict resolution, and events organized than can enrich a community and its members.There are many ways in which an association can help build community spirit including, but not limited to:• Organizing national holiday celebrations such as a fourth of July cook out.• Creating community memorabilia such as tshirts, coee mugs or stickers.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition8• Launch a neighbor assistance program oering transport, food preparation, ﬁnancial assistance or landscaping to residents who may need assistance.• Build walking trails, park benches and playgrounds on community owned property.• Support local charities through food and clothing drives. Hold a friendly competition among neighbors or neighboring communities!• Recognize individual accomplishments such as births, weddings, graduations, and retirements on community newsletters and/or social media.• Invite local law enforcement, ﬁre departments and elected leaders to speak at association meetings or set up webinars or information sessions for association members.• Welcome new association members into the community with a welcome package and gifts (see communications below)• Publicize community events happening around your town or city.• Recognize volunteers, committee members and board members often through photos and speciﬁc contributions in newsletters and social media.TYPES OF COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS It has been acknowledged that there are three main types of “Community Associations” Homeowners Association – these HOAs are common in Florida. Each owner owns the property and structures on the lot. The association may own common areas such as grounds, parks, recreational areas, playgrounds, pools, signage and, sometimes, roads.Condominiums – Another type of associations are condominium associations. This means that the form of ownership of real property is comprised entirely of units that may be owned by one or more persons, and in which there is, appurtenant to each unit, an undivided share in the common elements. Cooperative – This style of community is that of a cooperative. In a cooperative, the form of ownership of real property wherein legal title is placed in a corporation or other entity and the beneﬁcial use is evidenced by an ownership interest in the association and a lease or other muniment of title or possession granted by the association as the owner of all cooperative property. Even with all three of these communities being able to exist alone they can very well coexist to form a larger community which may be called a masters association or property owners association. Often times these joint communities will be separate not-for-proﬁt cooperations.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition9LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONSAssociations must carefully and fully consider the legalities surrounding the formation and management of an association. Legal counsel, in almost every case, should be engaged to help manage the legal landscape of local, state, and federal laws.All states have laws, regulations and statutes that allow and govern the establishment of community associations, but they can vary widely as to the authority granted to associations as well as requirements for associations.For example, states such as Florida and California require Condominium Association budgets to include reserves for items that may or may not include property replacement, audits, financial operations, and insurance. Whereas other states are more lenient on such requirements. Community leaders and members should also engage with local government offices and elected officials to assist in not only navigating the complex and dangerous world of legal obligations and rights, but education seminars on emergency preparedness, community involvement, and general knowledge of the area in which you reside.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition10RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERSMembers of community associations have rights that the association and its board of directors should seek to protect. But they also have duties and obligations in order to allow the association to work eectively. Nothing gets done if nobody does anything.Community Association Members Have the Right To:• Be heard and acknowledged by others.• Be treated fairly and honestly by association leaders.• Be responded to and have concerns addressed in a reasonable timely manner.• Have access to association governing documents, minutes, and ﬁnancial records.• Participate in open meetings, voting of leaders, serve on committees and run for board seats.• Live in a well-maintained and safe community.• Proper management of their assessments, dues, and fees.• Appeal decisions against them or their property in a dispute.• Amend the governing documents of the association with the proper percentage of voting members as stipulated in the by-laws or other governing documents of the association.• Aid the board of directors in establishing policy, procedures, or other rules that the owners deem necessary. Note that members that wish to participate in any vote must in good standing with the association.Community Association Members have the Responsibility to:• Understand and comply with the governing documents of the association.• Follow the parliamentary rules of the association governed by Roberts Rules of Order.• Treat others with respect and honesty.• Maintain the property according to the deed restrictions, by laws and local regulations.• Pay association dues, fees, and assessments on time and in full.• Participate in the democratic process by voting on motions and in leadership elections.• Respond to questions and provide reasonable information as requested by association leadership such as contact information.• Share in the ﬁnancial obligations of community operations. NOTE: Community association governing documents are considered contracts in most cases and must be agreed upon if an owner wishes to purchase a property. Depending on the association in which you serve, they are enforceable by law up to, and including, foreclosure and lien on properties.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition12Community associations are typically led by an elected Board of Directors (BOD). They manage the: • Governing documents • Finances • Operations What exactly does the board of directors do? Basically, they are the decision-makers and enforce the Governing Documents of an association with the goal of building a vibrant, responsible, and harmonious community. The BOD has a legal ﬁduciary responsibility to eciently manage the aairs of the association according to the Florida Statutes and governing documents of the association.However, the BOD does not have unlimited authority. While the governing documents grant the BOD authority and obligations to act in certain circumstances, they also limit the board ability to make unilateral decisions in many cases. For example, governing documents typically grant the BOD the authority to:• Enforce rules and regulations• Enter into service contracts• Maintain shared properties• Set goals, standards, and policies• Create and oversee committees• Conduct annual and board meetingsCODE OF ETHICSBoard members should always act ethically and in the best interests of the collective members of the association. Each association should establish a code of ethics which any prospective board member must agree to adhere to.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition13SAMPLE CODE OF ETHICSBoard members SHOULD: 1. Serve in the best interest in the community2. Act within the boundaries of their authority.3. Avoid any conﬂicts of interest and clearly disclose any all relationships with any internal or external parties. 4. Recuse or exclude themselves from any discussions or votes where there is a clear conﬂict of interest present. 5. Follow the association governance documents, rules and by laws and subject themselves to the same penalties for non-compliance as any member of the association.6. Be transparent in all matters unless it is unethical or potentially illegal to do so.7. Act and govern with an inclusive attitude and without bias against any group or individuals who are a member of a protected class.8. Support and stand by the properly conducted decisions of the association and board of directors regardless of their personal opinion or feelings.Board members SHOULD NOT: 1. Violate clear or assumed conﬁdentiality of the association, its members or stakeholders involved in the association.2. Make promises or guarantees of any kind.3. Take any action which violates stage, federal or local law.4. Seek or derive personal gain when making decisions or conducting business on behalf of the organization.5. Be irresponsible with association funds or spend funds on any personal use.6. Accept bribes, gifts or awards of any kind from prospective suppliers or residents which may imply a quid-pro-quo return.7. Lie.8. Make personal attacks against members, board members or suppliers.9. Reveal discussions, opinions or decisions made in conﬁdential executive session meetings.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition14HAVING THE RIGHT ATTITUDEBoard members serve their neighbors, not supervise them. Being service-forward can reduce tension and can result in a less defensive posture when dealing with challenging members and situations or responding to new or controversial ideas.QUALITIES OF A BOARD MEMBERGood Bad• Strong character• Even tempered• Calm• Ability and willingness to serve• Experience with community organizations• Good listening skills• Quick to judge• Argumentative• Personal agenda• Highly politicized• No experience• Unable to work with others• Poor communication skillsAn eective Board not only has members with the right skills and attitude needed to perform but can work together towards the common good. An eective board:Stands united – Even if you did not vote to support a decision, a board member must set the example and respect the decision of the board.Avoids personality conﬂict – While it is bound to happen, personal dierences should be addressed outside of the “board room” and can only serve as a distraction to addressing the needs of the communityIs ﬂexible – Decisions made in the past may no longer be the best option. Be willing to change operations, decisions and directions of the association based on the needs and desires of the community, which can and WILL change over time.Be reasonable – Avoid snap decisions or judgments, keep focused on real problems and don’t be drawn into pointless arguments
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition15BOARD OF DIRECTORSThe board of directors can vary in size based on the size of the association but here is the typical structure of a community association board:PRESIDENTThe president of a community association, unlike in a company, is not the person “in charge” or responsible for all actions of the BOD. The president is a director of discussions, and their vote counts just as much as any director or member of the community. The President has no “special powers” to make unilateral decisions. The Presidents’ authority extends to presiding over meetings, calling for votes or decisions by the board of directors and leading their activities, appointing committees, and ensuring the proper execution of the policies and procedures outlined in the governing documents.The president is the ocial spokesperson on behalf of the board and the association to internal and external parties. VICE PRESIDENTThe vice president’s primary role is to speak and work on behalf of the president when they cannot be available. The Vice president often leads one or more important committees.SECRETARYThe Secretary is responsible for documenting all meeting minutes, producing documents, and communicating with association members. The Secretary may also be responsible for communicating with outside parties. The Secretary is responsible for record retention, storing and retrieving association documents as needed and for keeping association records and documents stored in an eective ﬁling system.The secretary is typically responsible for maintaining membership rolls and contact information as well as taking attendance.NOTE: Published minutes are considered legal documents and are admissible in a court of law. Accurate and complete meeting minutes are critical to a community association.“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” HELEN KELLER
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition16TREASURERThe treasurer is the chief ﬁnancial ocer for the association. They are responsible for managing:• Dues and assessment collection• Budgets• Insurance accounts• Service agreements• Investments • Invoice payments• Reserve planning for both short-term and long-term needs• Filing tax documentsThe treasurer will also work closely with any outside ﬁnancial professional engaged by the association such as an accountant, insurer, auditor, or bookkeeping services.The treasurer should report at each board meeting:• Balance sheet• Income statement• Dues/assessment collection• Bank statements and reconciliations• Expenses• Accounts payable• Reserve account(s) statement• Bank statements and reconciliations• Expenses• Accounts payable• Reserve account(s) statement
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition17COMMITTEESWhile not always required to establish in an association, committees are important to associations for many reasons.1. Delegate “work” from the board of directors so they can focus on their core responsibilities.2. Provide an opportunity for some or most residents to be involved in community decisions.3. Excellent breeding ground to look for potential future board members.There are typically two kinds of committees: Ad-hoc and Standing committees.Ad-Hoc committees are usually formed to address a speciﬁc need or project. They are short-term, formed when needed and disbanded when the issue is addressed, or the project completed.Standing committees are committees with a clear set of responsibilities which are always needed by the association. These are usually formed without an end date in mind. Some examples of standing committees can include:• Nomination and Election committee• Hearing or Fining committee• ARC or ACC committee• Grounds committee• Activities committee
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition18PROFESSIONAL MANAGERA majority of associations due to convenience, complexity, or nature and size hire a paid professional manager to conduct the day-to-day operations of the association. Responsibilities may include:• Managing construction contractors, landscapers, pool maintenance, trash pickup etc.• Submitting invoices for payment, oce operations, bookkeeping, ﬁling, etc• Managing ﬁnances such as budgeting, collections, and audits• Managing HR responsibilities if there are other employees of the association• Escalating complaints and regulatory/legal concerns to the BOD• Arranging social events and activities• Welcoming new association members• Issuing and managing bids for outside service providers• Answering phone calls and emails from association members, contractors, realtors, title agencies, etc.In Florida, all Community Association Managers must be licensed by the State of Florida to provide such services. There are many membership organizations that a Community Association Manager can partner with. Community Associations Institute (CAI) is dedicated to building better communities not only internationally, but right here in Florida! CAI provides information, education, and resources to the homeowner volunteers who govern communities and the professionals who support them. CAI oers many recognized designations that require pre-licensure education and speciﬁc background requires. The most common designations are Association Management Specialist (AMS), Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM), and Large-Scale Manager (LSM).
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition19HOW TO BE A BOARD MEMBERFirst and foremost, you need to communicate, often and eectively with the members of the association and any related parties. Related parties could include:• Other board members• Past board members• Service companies such as landscaping, pool management or contractors/construction working for the association• Local government agencies• Other community organizations• Legal counselPrepare for the role: Board members must be intimately familiar with all the associations governing documents, rules, procedures, and members. New board members should also schedule one-on-one meetings with each board member to understand their roles and responsibilities. All new Board members in Florida are required to complete a certiﬁcation course within 90 days of being elected or appointed. This important course is used to provide community leaders with proper education on the basics of board member activities and what it means to provide a ﬁduciary responsibility to your association members.Meetings: Board members are expected to participate in and contribute to all board meetings and may also be asked to serve as the chairperson for one or more committees.• Read the agenda prior to each meeting• Be prepared to ask questions and answer questions• Keep on topic while in the meeting• Ask for other board members and Association Managers input• Don’t feel the need to comment on every motion, vote or topic• Be respectful to all. If others choose to go low, choose to go highHandling conflict and disputes: Board members are usually the first ones engaged when there is a dispute between neighbors. Oftentimes, these can be resolved by serving as a mediator and encouraging or suggesting a compromise. Try to resolve the issue to benefit both parties. BUT make sure the entire Board is aware of the issue and the outcome. Always seek to listen to both sides of a conflict, acknowledge what they are saying and make it clear that you are not taking sides, just trying to resolve conflict.“Community leadership is the courage, creativity and capacity to inspire participation, development and sustainability for strong communities.” GUSTAV NOSSAL
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition20Understanding Emergency Powers: The Board of Directors are tasked to handle community operations even amid a catastrophe. It is imperative that all community leaders understand and adhere to the emergency powers governance from the Florida Statutes. The Statutes below can be read on Association Emergency Powers:• Condominium Associations: Florida Statutes 718.1265• Homeowners Associations: Florida Statutes 720.316• Cooperative Associations: Florida Statutes 719.128Succession planning: The BOD should always be on the looking for new, future board members or replacement board members should a standing member move, become ill or resign. Characteristics of a good board member may include:• Active participation in committees and activities• Past experience working with or for a non-proﬁt organization• Demonstrated ability to be non-combative or confrontational• Has the time to dedicate to the responsibilities of being a board member
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition22Community associations generally fall into one of three types of management:1. Self-Managed – This is a community managed by the board of directors without any outside oversight of day-to-day operations.2. On-site Management – This type of community will typically hire a licensed Community Association Manager to conduct the day-to-day operations of the association. This is common in large HOAs and Condominiums. This manager is often equipped with back-oce sta and resources from the Management Company behind the scenes. 3. Portfolio Management – Rather than hire an on-site manager, most associations will choose to engage an association management company who will provide a portfolio management module to the association to manage the day-to-day operations of the community. While the dedicated manager is not a full-time employee of the association, the portfolio manager works hand in hand with the Board and its members.GOVERNING DOCUMENTSGoverning documents of an association contain the rules, policies, procedures, organization, and history of an association. The governing documents can vary from association depending on their size and needs but generally include:• The Declaration / The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions• Articles of Incorporation• By Laws• Rules and Regulations• Recorded map, plat, or plansThe Declaration: This document establishes the community association, responsibilities, deﬁnes the owner’s rights and obligations, land dedication, and often thought of as the constitution of the association. Generally, the Declaration:• Identiﬁes the areas owned by individuals and those owned by the association.• Establishes standards, restrictions and obligations ranging from architecture and property appearance to activities that can and cannot be conducted in the community.• Cannot supersede federal, state or local laws.• Deﬁnes the responsibilities of the association and its members to maintain the community.• Establishes the right of sustained funding through assessments and fees required by members.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition23In some special cases like a Cooperative, the objective of the declaration may be executed through a proprietary lease or occupancy agreement establishing the owners’ rights and obligations. Articles of Incorporation: This document is usually crafted once, upon the formation of the association and creates the corporation under state law. This document may also include the purpose and authority of the association as well as the makeup of the board of directors. Think of this as the Mission Statement of the association.By-Laws: The bylaws will be the largest document and will be referred to and edited more than any other document. This is because the bylaws deﬁne the procedures which all members and directors will take when conducting business on behalf of the association as well as the internal operations of the association. Here will include the manner in which meetings are scheduled and held, procedures for elections, duties and functions of the BOD, and committees. The by-laws are the operations manual of the association and typically contain:• Procedures for elections.• Authority and obligations of members and board of directors.• Hold harmless stipulations to protect individuals from actions against the association.• Voting rights.• Cadences and parliamentary procedures to conduct meetings and make decisions.• Requirements for membership.• Procedures for managing rule violations including potential consequences.Rules and Regulations: Often referred to and heavily edited, the rules and regulations contain the rules governing the behavior of members. Rules are changes or clariﬁcations to the Governing Documents of the association. These rules are amended from time to time by the Board of Directors. There are generally four types of resolutions:1. Rules and Regulations or Policy Resolutions impact rights and obligations2. Administrative Resolutions impact the internal operations of the association3. Special Resolutions address individual situations and issues4. General Resolutions are a documented record of board decisionsThink of the Rules and Regulations as an “employee manual” for all members of the association.Recorded Map, Plat, or Plans: A map or plan must be documented in each county’s Recorders Oce and should clearly show the precise location of each unity, property line, shared property and landscape features.NOTE: It is strongly recommended that an outside legal counsel be engaged to help prepare and review the declaration, By-laws, articles of incorporation, and the Rules and Regulations.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition24GOVERNING GUIDELINESHere are a set of high-level guidelines that can help associations and directors set expectations with association members for what the association is responsible for and when to engage the association:• Meetings: Annual, semi-annual, or monthly meetings may be scheduled by the board of directors. Meeting notices and requirements should be obtained via the Governing Documents and be given via a communication channel clearly established such as email, social media, or paper posting (or all 3) to ensure awareness of the meetings and the agenda.• Dues and assessments: Dues and other fees should be collected in a timely manner in accordance with the bylaws. Members in arrears should be treated fairly, with empathy, and arrangements made, within reason. • Communications: Frequent communications such as newsletters, emails, and/or an association social media account can help members feel engaged and provide a level of conﬁdence in the BOD.• Elections: The Board of Directors is responsible for conducting fair and open elections strictly following the bylaws of the association.• Financial transparency: Budgets, spending, assessments, and any other relevant ﬁnancial information should be always made freely available to all members of the association, within reason. • Foreclosure and lien: Only used as a last step, the association may be forced to take legal action against members should a less-severe resolution evade all reasonable eorts of the Board, if applicable.• Legal matters: The Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring that governing documents and decisions are legal. This may require changes to governing documents in response to changes in state and community laws that had not previously involved the association or its members. Always check with the Associations legal counsel. • Conﬂict resolution: The association should deﬁne and manage a process for members to have grievances heard and a decision made in response to the stated grievance. The by-laws should also outline a process for appeal from either side of a disagreement.• Records: The BOD is responsible for maintaining all association records including, but not limited to: > Governing documents > Meeting minutes > Financial statements > Communications• Rules: Rule enforcement is perhaps the most challenging responsibility of an association. This will include contacting association members who violate the rules and enforcing corrective actions, managing changes to rules and regulations, and adopting new rules.
WORKINGWITH SERVICE PROVIDERS
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition26At some point, nearly every association will be required to work with outside service providers such as attorneys, accountants, maintenance, construction, and others. In this section, we will provide guidelines to selecting common service providers.VALUE ADDED FROM SERVICE PROVIDERSService providers should be more than just coming in and going a job, they should be your partners in elevating the community. You should seek advice, recommendations, and partnership from your service providers. Establishing a strong relationship will bring industry knowledge and negotiation power to the table which can be harnessed to beneﬁt your community. Ask them about their experience working with communities in the past. Do they have a newsletter with homeowner advice that they can contribute? Will they be willing to participate in community meetings to answer questions about their service and industry?Seeking to build a relationship with a business partner can have many more beneﬁts than just a simple exchange of money for service.SERVICE PROVIDER CHECKLISTThere are a number of items that a contract should address. The board member or committee working to secure a service contract should consider the following guidelines:• When will the work begin and end?• Is this a one time or ongoing contract?• What are the costs involved and frequency of payment?• What are the penalties for delays and improper or incomplete work?• Who will select the materials to be used, if any?• Where will equipment be stored?• Is there any insurance impact on the association for the work being performed?• What certiﬁcations, licenses and insurance protections is required of the provider?• Who is responsible for damage to property or persons?• What will the project schedule be including milestones and inspections and what formal approval steps are taken at each stage?• How will change controls be managed by both parties?• Will sub-contractors be involved, and will the association be party to their evaluation and selection?
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition27• What are the stipulations around canceling the contract by either party? • Does the contract language satisfy all legal requirements and clearly state that all state, federal and local laws will be followed?• Who is responsible for supervising the work being done by the service provider?• How and when will the association representative report progress to the board and association members?REQUEST FOR PROPOSALAn RFP is a request for a proposal. A document that details what the association requires from a vendor in order to complete a new project; it is the starting point in any successful project. The RFP can be written by one person a joint eect between the Board of Directors and the manager. Contractors who believe they can meet the needs described in the RFP bid for the contract. Designing an RFP document that attracts responses increases the likelihood that the association will obtain the services it requires AND looking at an apples-to-apples comparison on the scope of work proposed. A good, clear, and professional RFP will attract quality potential vendors and save the Board time in completing a top-drawer project.The purpose of the RFP document is to detail the needs of the community from a potential vendor to fulﬁll the requirements of the project in question. Vendors will submit bids based on the requirements outlined in the RFP; the community leaders will evaluate the competing bids to form a short list of contenders or select the winning vendor outright.A sample RFP can be found on the following page.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition28Community Name REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) Vendor Name Contact Information of the Association / Management Company Site Address, Mailing Address Phone, Email, Prepared By: ________________________ Date: ________________________ REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL Community Name RFP Number (Ex. 22-001) SUBMISSION DEADLINE: ________________________ QUESTION SUBMISSION DEADLINE: ________________________ Questions may be submitted in written form no later than ________________________ to: RFP Contact Name: ________________________ Contact Address: ________________________ ________________________, ________________________ ________________________ Telephone Number: ________________________ Email Address: ________________________ INTRODUCTION ________________________ invites and welcomes proposals for their ________________________ project. Based on your previous work experience, your firm has been selected to receive this RFP and is invited to submit a proposal. Please take the time to carefully read and become familiar with the proposal requirements. All proposals submitted for consideration must be received by the time as specified above under the "SUBMISSION DEADLINE." BIDDERS SHOULD NOTE THAT ANY AND ALL WORK INTENDED TO BE SUBCONTRACTED AS PART OF TH E BID SUB M ITTA L MUST BE ACC OMPAN I ED BY BA CKGRO UND MATERIAL S AND REF E RENC E S FOR PROPOSED SUBCONTRACTOR(S) – NO EXCEPTIONS. PROJECT AND LOCATION The bid proposal is being requested for ________________________ which is or shall be located at ________________________, ________________________, ________________________ ________________________. PROJECT OBJECTIVE The objective and goal for this project is ________________________. PROJECT SCOPE AND SPECIFICATIONS SCHEDULED TIMELINE The following timeline has been established to ensure that our project objective is achieved; however, the following project timeline shall be subject to change when deemed necessary by management. MILESTONE DATE ________________________: ________________________ PROPOSAL BIDDING REQUIREMENTS PROJECT PROPOSAL EXPECTATIONS ________________________ shall award the contract to the proposal that best accommodates the various project requirements. ________________________ reserves the right to award any contract prior to the proposal deadline stated within the "Scheduled Timeline" or prior to the receipt of all proposals, award the contract to more than one Bidder, and refuse any proposal or contract without obligation to either ________________________ or to any Bidder offering or submitting a proposal. DEADLINE TO SUBMIT PROPOSAL All proposals must be received by ________________________ no later than ________________________ for consideration in the project proposal selection process. PROPOSAL SELECTION CRITERIA Only those proposals received by the stated deadline will be considered. All proposals, submitted by the deadline, will be reviewed, and evaluated based upon information provided in the submitted proposal. In addition, consideration will be given to cost and performance projections. Furthermore, the following criteria will be given considerable weight in the proposal selection process: • Proposals received by the stipulated deadline must be in the correct format. • Bidder's alleged performance effectiveness of their proposal's solution regarding the Project Objective of ________________________. • Bidder's performance history and alleged ability to timely deliver proposed services. • Bidder's ability to provide and deliver qualified personnel having the knowledge and skills required to execute proposed services effectively and efficiently. • Overall cost effectiveness of the proposal. ________________________ shall reserve the right to cancel, suspend, and/or discontinue any proposal at any time they deem necessary or fit without obligation or notice to the proposing bidder/contractor. PROPOSAL SUBMISSION FORMAT The following is a list of information that the Bidder should include in their proposal submission: Summary of Bidder Background • Bidder's Name(s) • Bidder's Address • Bidder's Contact Information (and preferred method of communication) • Legal Form of Bidder (e.g. sole proprietor, partnership, corporation) • Date Bidder's Company Formed • Description of Bidder's company in terms of size, range and types of services offered and clientele. • Bidder's principal officers (e.g. President, Chairman, Vice President(s), Secretary, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, General Managers) and length of time each officer has performed in his/her field of expertise. • Bidder's Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN) • Evidence of legal authority to conduct business in Florida (e.g. business license number). • Evidence of established track record for providing services and/or deliverables that are the subject of this proposal. Financial Information • State whether the Bidder or its parent company (if any) has ever filed for bankruptcy or any form of Reorganization under the Bankruptcy Code. • State whether the Bidder or its parent company (if any) has ever received any sanctions or is currently under investigation by any regulatory or governmental body. Proposed Outcome • Summary of timeline and work to be completed. Cost Proposal Summary and Breakdown • A detailed list of any and all expected costs or expenses related to the proposed project. • Summary and explanation of any other contributing expenses to the total cost. • Brief summary of the total cost of the proposal. PROJECT OBJECTIVE The objective and goal for this project is ________________________. PROJECT SCOPE AND SPECIFICATIONS SCHEDULED TIMELINE The following timeline has been established to ensure that our project objective is achieved; however, the following project timeline shall be subject to change when deemed necessary by management. MILESTONE DATE ________________________: ________________________ PROPOSAL BIDDING REQUIREMENTS PROJECT PROPOSAL EXPECTATIONS ________________________ shall award the contract to the proposal that best accommodates the various project requirements. ________________________ reserves the right to award any contract prior to the proposal deadline stated within the "Scheduled Timeline" or prior to the receipt of all proposals, award the contract to more than one Bidder, and refuse any proposal or contract without obligation to either ________________________ or to any Bidder offering or submitting a proposal. DEADLINE TO SUBMIT PROPOSAL All proposals must be received by ________________________ no later than ________________________ for consideration in the project proposal selection process. PROPOSAL SELECTION CRITERIA Only those proposals received by the stated deadline will be considered. All proposals, submitted by the deadline, will be reviewed, and evaluated based upon information provided in the submitted proposal. In addition, consideration will be given to cost and performance projections. Furthermore, the following criteria will be given considerable weight in the proposal selection process: • Proposals received by the stipulated deadline must be in the correct format. • Bidder's alleged performance effectiveness of their proposal's solution regarding the Project Objective of ________________________. • Bidder's performance history and alleged ability to timely deliver proposed services. • Bidder's ability to provide and deliver qualified personnel having the knowledge and skills required to execute proposed services effectively and efficiently. • Overall cost effectiveness of the proposal. ________________________ shall reserve the right to cancel, suspend, and/or discontinue any proposal at any time they deem necessary or fit without obligation or notice to the proposing bidder/contractor. PROPOSAL SUBMISSION FORMAT The following is a list of information that the Bidder should include in their proposal submission: Summary of Bidder Background • Bidder's Name(s) • Bidder's Address • Bidder's Contact Information (and preferred method of communication) • Legal Form of Bidder (e.g. sole proprietor, partnership, corporation) • Date Bidder's Company Formed • Description of Bidder's company in terms of size, range and types of services offered and clientele. • Bidder's principal officers (e.g. President, Chairman, Vice President(s), Secretary, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, General Managers) and length of time each officer has performed in his/her field of expertise. • Bidder's Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN) • Evidence of legal authority to conduct business in Florida (e.g. business license number). • Evidence of established track record for providing services and/or deliverables that are the subject of this proposal. Financial Information • State whether the Bidder or its parent company (if any) has ever filed for bankruptcy or any form of Reorganization under the Bankruptcy Code. • State whether the Bidder or its parent company (if any) has ever received any sanctions or is currently under investigation by any regulatory or governmental body. Proposed Outcome • Summary of timeline and work to be completed.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition29STEP 1 STEP 2The Board of Directors or an assigned committee must determine their requirements for a service provider including:• What they want the service provider to do.• How often or by when do they want the service.• Speciﬁc requirements for the task (example: A community may want a trash provider that will only collect refuse between the hours of 9am and 4pm).• How much are you willing to pay (budget).• Formalize the above into a Request For Proposal (RFP). STEP 3• Identify 3-5 potential service providers. • Start by asking for resident input into possible providers, asking other community associations or contacting a local chamber of commerce. • Do some research ﬁrst online to exclude any providers who will clearly not meet your needs.HOW TO SELECT A SERVICE PROVIDER:STEP 4• Send the RFP to selected service providers and schedule a meeting to discuss your needs.STEP 5STEP 6 STEP 7 STEP 8• Receive and evaluate the proposals received.• Negotiate as needed.• BOD accepts/rejects/or questions the recommendation.• Once a provider is selected, a board member (usually the President) signs the agreement.• Recommend a service provider to the Board, if a committee is assigned.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition30GUIDELINES FOR TYPICAL SERVICE PROVIDERSATTORNEYS• Expertise in community association law• Avoid hiring a member of family member/friend of the association due to conﬂict of interest• Board should appoint the CAM or ONE board member to interact with the attorney to control fees and eliminate confusion and miscommunication Look for someone who can provide: Document review and revisions. Provide legal opinions. Able to attend meetings to educate association and board members. Enforce deed restrictions and collection actions. Can represent the association in litigation and legal matters.CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT CPA• Provide written reports including audit results, tax returns, budgets, expenses, and performative reports.• Develop accounting policies and procedures.• Design internal ﬁnancial controls.• Help formulate and manage investment strategies.• Prepare monthly ﬁnancial statements.• Train bookkeepers and sta and help with hiring sta, if applicable.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition31INSURANCE AGENCY• Assists the association to determine a reserve strategy and maintain appropriate reserves.• Recommends insurance coverage for the association.• Identiﬁes risk exposures that need to be remediated.• Help determine bond requirements, limits, and compliance.• Obtain premium quotes and helps the association select an appropriate insurance policy or policies. • Available for association meetings to educate members on liabilities and coverage.• Create a claims procedure manual and helps the association craft the appropriate by-laws, resolutions, and policies, as needed.• Annual review of claims, liabilities, and coverageMAINTENANCE/HANDYMAN• Provides basic non licensing handyman services around the common areas.• Maintain the safeness and cleanliness of the common elements.• Skilled at a wide range of repairs at a reasonable expense.• Often used to complete projects at a lesser cost than a specialized contractor.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition32LANDSCAPING• Understanding of landscaping best practices and industry standards.• Assists the association to come in on budget for landscaping and irrigation services.• Mowing, edging, blowing of contracted or designated areas.• Keep the common areas free of weeds, debris, or other landscaping hazards.• Schedule routine property inspections.• Provide replacement plantings, shrub replacements, and improvements.NOTE: Word of Caution: Hiring a service provider who is ALSO a member of the association has pro’s and con’s. On the positive side, they will likely be more responsive to your needs, available at all times and build a more solid relationship. On the downside, a soured relationship or conﬂict could have much further reaching impacts than a simple business arrangement.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition34IMPORTANCE OF MEETINGSBoard meetings are productive, regularly occurring, orderly and open meetings where members and residents can monitor and participate in the issues and topics of discussion relevant to the association. The primary purpose of board meetings is to:• Discuss and resolve disputes• Discuss and set/modify policies, procedures, and rules• Open forum for resident feedback• Vote on procedural mattersNOTE: An open board meeting is dierent from an executive session board meeting. These are meetings that are limited to elected board members to discuss sensitive matters prior to having an open discussion. Such topics may include pending litigation, personnel issues, or meetings with the associations legal counsel.Annual meetings are designed to review the previous year’s actions of the association and plan the following year’s agenda. Topics can and should include:• Board of director elections• Annual budget review• Committee reportsIt is recommended that the annual meetings include recognition of board members, committee members or community members who have had a positive impact on the community. Tying the annual meeting in with a celebration is an excellent way to foster positive, cohesive community development. Special meetings are called typically to address a speciﬁc matter such as a major dispute, discuss a controversial topic, gain feedback about the development of the association, or review major changes to association governing documents.ROBERTS RULES AND PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURERoberts Rules were created as a way to ensure that formal meetings are productive, friendly, follow a natural order yet also allow all members to participate. It is highly recommended that associations adopt and clearly state that association meetings will follow Roberts Rules of order. Meetings of any kind must be prepared for and conducted in a manner to meet the stated objectives. New business is the time for members to pose new topics of conversation and motions for action. Any attempt by a member to introduce a new topic or speak out of turn must be quickly addressed and tabled until the appropriate time.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition35Here are a few of the key components and advantages of using Robert’s Rules of Order:• Keep discussions focused on one topic at a time.• Easier for the secretary to take organized notes.• Allows time for discussion on any motion prior to voting.• Prevents participants from speaking over one another.• Maintains keeping on the pace of the agenda.• Ensures the objectives of the meeting are met.• Decisions made and recorded through motions, seconds, and votes. The “second” rule can help prevent a single disgruntled participant from derailing the pace and intent of the meeting. MEETING REQUIREMENTSSchedule and notify members of the meeting well in advance using the appropriate communication vehicles accessible by every member. This may mean that some members who do not have email may wish for a paper posting somewhere on the property. Many associations will announce meetings through 2 or more communication vehicles such as a posting, an email, and a social media announcement. The responsibility for ensuring communication typically falls to the Community Association Manager or the Secretary. Develop and publish an agenda prior to the meeting with speciﬁc outcomes identiﬁed. The board and/or president should develop, review, and approve the agenda prior to publishing it to the association.Achieve a quorum. The association governing documents should state the Board of Directors AND membership participation requirements to achieve a quorum. The quorum must be met prior to calling the meeting to order by the president or their delegate.The President will call the meeting to order and preside over the meeting following Roberts Rules of Order.Record attendance and actions taken. The secretary is to document meeting minutes and should include:• Type of meeting, date, time, location, and attendees• Review, approval, and correction of previous meeting minutes• Board member and committee reports• Motions made, who made the motion and seconded and outcome results
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition36STEP 1 STEP 2SEEK NOMINATIONS• This can be done by the nominating committee, through open nominations at a board meeting or other methods stated in the governing documents.• Nominations are announced at an open board meeting prior to the election.• Each nominee may be given the option to formally accept or decline the nomination.INTRODUCE THE CANDIDATES• Each candidate should be given the opportunity to present their qualiﬁcations and intentions for the oce they are seeking. • Association members can be given an opportunity here to ask questions of the nominees.STEP 3APPOINT INSPECTORS• Larger associations may ﬁnd it necessary to appoint inspectors to observe or carry out and oversee the election process. • Inspectors can be any non-board member deemed to be qualiﬁed by the current board of directors.STEP 4CONDUCT THE ELECTIONS• Elections should be conducted at the beginning of the annual meeting and a simple as feasible.• If proxy voting is permitted by state law and properly documented in the association governing documents, Proxy votes are tabulated along with ballots in the meeting.• Inspectors are then to tabulate all votes and present the results to the president or presiding director.STEP 5DECLARE THE WINNERS• The president or director presiding over the election should declare the winners and enter it into the record managed by the secretary.ELECTING BOARD MEMBERSCommunity associations are governed by boards elected by homeowners, so proper elections are essential to the successful operation of the community. The steps involved in conducting elections are as follows:
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition37There are a few cautions to look out for when conducting elections:• Ensure the nomination process is conducted properly to avoid recalls. • It is important to appoint inspectors of the election, even if it is not required, as the legitimacy of the election could be open for challenge. • Do not condone candidates inviting people to endorse them at ocial meetings. • Be diligent when denying the right of an owner to vote, as voting is a right bestowed by the association’s governing documents and state statutes. VOLUNTEERS RECRUITING AND MOTIVATINGThe community is only what the volunteers make of it, so the board must identify, appoint, and motivate them. A successful recruiting program should be clear and simple, repeatedly presented, grab attention, and be speciﬁcally tailored to your community. Popular recruitment methods involve:• Personal invitations• Newsletter articles and announcements• Special mailings• Notices posted on bulletin boards• Announcements on the association website • Public recognition of current and past volunteersLink recruitment techniques to individual talents and interests to association needs. Recruit those who seem to respond or show an interest in special issues but consider all members of the community. Educate the members on volunteer duties and respond enthusiastically to follow-ups on invitations. A diverse set of volunteers and directors can help bring new points of view and voices to the association in an eort to properly represent all association members.Keep volunteers motivated by staying in touch with volunteers as well as thanking them often and publicly. Encourage friendly competition among the volunteers and make volunteer work fun.HOW TO DEAL WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLEFrom time to time, you may have to deal with a dicult person or situation. These can be stressful and frustrating situations to be in. When faced with stressful situations, your body has a physical reaction increasing stress hormones, raising blood pressure etc. These physical reactions can hijack your though processes and fall into a “defensive” mode which can just generate more conﬂict. Here are some suggestions of steps you can take to de-escalate situations and ﬁnd common ground.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition38You may ask yourself why you must change your behavior to deal with someone else’s shortcomings? The reason is, YOU are the one feeling stressed and upset. You will not be able to change anyone else’s behavior, you can only change your own. And if you do it in the right way, you can certainly encourage and inﬂuence others behavior.1. Take a deep breath to ﬂood your body with oxygen and counteract some of the physiological eects of stress.2. Slowly and calmly count to 10.3. Recognize that EVERYONE is a dicult person to someone else.4. If feasible, acknowledge that you are both feeling passionate and suggest a short recess to reset and collect your thoughts, think about what the other person is saying and come back together with clear heads. 5. Acknowledge internally that the other person is probably feeling stressed and anxious just like you are. Separate the person from the behavior. THEY are not bad people, it is the behavior that is causing conﬂict.6. Soften your voice when responding to signal that you are calming down.7. If you ﬁnd yourself stuck in a conﬂict with someone, try to call it out by stating “It appears WE are having diculty communicating. Maybe we should try to look at this more eectively.”8. Acknowledge their point of view whether you agree with it or not.9. Reward them by recognizing their contribution and passions and expressing your appreciation.10. Ask questions trying not to leap to judgment or labeling or thinking about your response while they talk:11. Ask them why. 12. Then ask why again. 13. Then ask again. 14. Ask them why they feel the way they do. Then ask them more questions. 15. The more questions you ask without responding or stating your point of view, the more the other person will feel heard. The more people feel heard, the more they are likely to calm down and maybe move from a point they are stuck on.16. The more you understand their point of view, the more you can predict their behavior and the more you can remove uncertainty.If there is someone with whom you have consistent run ins with, it can be helpful to privately and publicly recognize and reward them for their eorts and especially when they do things that you do appreciate to encourage better behavior in the future. When people like you, they want to work with you and treat you well. When people do not like you, they will do everything in their power to usurp your authority.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition40As a board member, you must manage the association’s ﬁnances by protecting your assets, budgeting responsibly, planning for the future, investing wisely, and by observing all laws and regulations aecting the association’s resources. • Protect assets by setting procedures, policies, and by sound decision making.• Budget responsibly. • If needed, create a two-, three-, ﬁve-year budget plan.• Plan for the future, have reserves. • Observe federal and state regulations.• Hire a CPA to, at least, establish your ﬁnancial plans and conduct an annual review of association ﬁnances. THE MANAGERS ROLEThe manager plays an important role in implementing ﬁnancial policies and carrying out day-to-day activities of managing ﬁnances such as:• Collecting assessments and dues• Following up on delinquencies• Reviewing and paying invoices• Processing payroll• Preparing ﬁnancial reports• Preparing returns, budgets, and ﬁnancial reports• Serving as liaison to the CPA and Reserve Specialist
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition41
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition42RESERVESThe purpose and importance of a reserve is that money is saved for future big-ticket expenses such as roofs, asphalt, seawalls, painting, natural disasters, civil unrest or other disruptive events such as Covid-19. To establish a reserve fund, one must:• Get the owners on board by informing them of important things such as a reserve fund may be required by law and that a reserve fund may minimize the need for special assessments. Most Condominium Association reserve accounts are established at the time of development. • Conduct a reserve study with an Engineer and/or Reserve Specialist.• Set up realistic goals and an investment schedule.• Select a funding plan that’s right for the association. • Decide how often to conduct a reserve study.Reserve funds must be invested properly and available when needed. An investment policy must be written which will provide boards with the structure, consistency, and continuity necessary for any investment decision. Safety, liquidity, and yield of principal as well as investment risks such as inﬂation or interest rates. Below are typical guidelines on how to invest funds might state:• Money-market fund should be invested in if reserve funds needed within six months. • A six-month CD or six-month treasury bill should be invested in if money is needed within six months to a year. • A laddered portfolio of CDs or treasury notes based on future liquidity needs should be utilized if funds are needed after one year. The board should protect, maintain, and enhance association assets. Funds can be invested in several ways, but dierent types of investments are subjected to federal and state taxes such as interest income, rental income, and capital gains. A qualiﬁed Reserve Specialist with years of experience and education can ensure your association prepares its reserve study as accurately as possible. It is important to:• Allocate sucient funds for the reserves in the annual budget.• Remember failure to adequately fund a reserve account breaches a board’s ﬁduciary duty. • Reserve funds are technical documents requiring specialized expertise. • Be aware of the risks associated with preparing the reserve study. • An association’s reserve can be easily over-funded as well as under-funded.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition44Eective communication with residents can ensure the success of the board and association more than any resolution the board may enact or pass. Eective communication can be achieved by: • Communicating frequently• Being positive, open, and direct• Listening and being inclusiveThe following questions can also be answered:• What does the board want to accomplish?• What tone is appropriate to accomplish this goal?• When do residents need to receive this information?• To whom is the message directed?• What is an appropriate expense for delivering this message?Individual correspondence is direct and personal. Some common forms include:• Rule-violation letters, a necessary evil• Thank you letters to volunteers for their work• Thank you letters to residents for compliance• Welcome letters to new residents• Congratulatory letters to sta, board members and even residents for major accomplishments• Business correspondence
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition45Newsletters are valuable ways to communicate with residents. Important aspects include the audience, content, presentation, and design. 1. Audience - What is the make-up of the community? - Are all the residents’ owners? - Will managers and developers see the newsletter?2. Content - Message from the board or president - Reports - Minutes or summaries of minutes - Rule reminders - Events - Association contact information - News from CAI3. Presentation - Snappy headlines - Fair reporting of facts - Well written and easy to use - Dierent or creative presentations - Most important information is up front. 4. Design - Lighthearted and eye-catching - Attractive, consistent, and simple layout
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition46Websites, Shared Document Spaces (GDrive) and social media pages are a cheap, fast, accessible and convenient way of communication than traditional means of communication. They provide immediate and interactive exchange of information. The types of documents that should be on the association’s website or social media pages include:• Governing documents, forms, rules, budgets• Back issues of newsletters• Meeting minutes and annual and committee reports• AnnouncementsEmails allow everyone to communicate eectively due to its convenience, allowing quick exchange of documents, and the providing a written record. Annual reports provide a permanent record of activities, inform members about board and association accomplishments, provide realtors and others with valuable marketing information, and provide valuable data for the resident handbook or welcome packet. They generally include:• A key list of accomplishments.• An overview of the association’s ﬁnances.• Names of volunteers who have worked for the association over the year.• Plans for the year.Welcome Packages help to greet and onboard new members of the association. Welcome packages should be physically presented to the new members by one or more members of the board. Typical welcome packages include:• Name and contact information of all directors.• Location of association digital records such as website, social media account/page or shared drive such as a Google Drive.• A copy of the latest newsletter.• Paper copies of all governing documents including deed restrictions and by laws.• It is also customary to include a welcome gift such as food or a gift card to a local store or restaurant.• Welcome all new residents in each newsletter.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition48Rules provide certainty and order, protect the freedom and safety of residents, interpret provisions found in governing documents, and protect commonly owned resources. Making and enforcing rules based on common law, state statutes, and the association’s governing documents is the right and duty of the board. Basic Guidelines for Making Rules• Develop only if necessary.• Base rules on proper authority.• Be reasonable.• Make compliance easy. • Don’t just focus on new rules, review, and modify old rules at least annually.Work With Residents to Achieve Compliance• Educate residents about rules and give them sucient notice of all dates. • Build community consensus. • Review rules periodically to eliminate or amend them if necessary. • Act promptly when violations occur. • Be reasonable. • Give residents ample opportunity to comply.• Apply rules uniformly and consistently.• Be ﬂexible. When rules are broken, due process, a legal term for basic fairness, is the likely outcome. The essentials of due process include:• Give residents notice of problems and consequences.• Give residents an opportunity to be heard with their side of the story. • Residents have the right to be represented by legal counsel.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition49ASSOCIATION RULES DO’S AND DON’TSMake rules that make sense. Make rules that restrict as little as possibleMake rules that are actually needed.Make rules that are acceptable to residents.Make rules residents can easily follow.Make rules that get that expected result.Make enforceable and legal rules. Don’t make rules that try to regulate the personal lives of residents. Don’t give in to political pressure. Don’t go to extremes.Don’t impose harsh consequences for small infractions. Don’t refuse to make exceptions.Don’t act on anonymous or unveriﬁed complaints. Don’t make rules that create new problems.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition50ADOPTING NEW RULESThere are a few steps to consider when adopting new rules. Here are the typical steps listed in chronological order:1. A new issue or proposed rule is presented to the board from a committee, member, or other group.2. The BOD will discuss and determine if a new rule needs to be considered to address or prevent a recurrence of the issue. a. The new rule may be developed by the BOD b. The new rule may be delegated to an ad-hoc or standing committee3. The ﬁrst draft of the rule is developed, and input is sought from volunteers: a. Gain input from management. b. Gain input from committees or members. c. Gain input from legal counsel if necessary. d. Gain input from outside parties such as other local community association leaders.4. The rule is reﬁned and published for comment a. The rule should be published via the communication channels available to the association. b. Comments on the rule should ﬁrst be collected from individuals prior to public discussion. c. Comments and rule revisions should be discussed with the same volunteers from step 3. d. If the rule is revised, proceed back to the beginning of step 4 and republish the revised rule stated the reasons for the revision.5. Once the rule has received an appropriate level of feedback from stakeholders and everyone has had the opportunity to provide input, schedule a public hearing on the proposed rule. This can be at a board meeting, town meeting, annual meeting, or special meeting to discuss the new rule. All meeting notices, requirements, and steps should be taken as outlined in the governing documents or Florida Statutes. 6. The Presiding board member of the meeting should call for action on the proposed rule based on the feedback and discussion at the meeting. Typically, one of two motions are proposed: a. Call for a vote on the rule i. If the motion carries, proceed to step 7. ii. If the motion is defeated, proceed back to step 3 and return the rule back to committee.
Your Roadmap To Effective Community Leadership | 1st Edition51 b. Call for the rule to be returned to the committee for further discussion and revision i. If the motion is carried, return back to step 3. ii. If the motion is defeated, anyone can either call for a vote on the rule OR no motion is made.7. If a call to vote is carried and the vote is successful, the rule can be considered approved.8. The rule should be formally adopted at the next board of directors meeting. (Following all notice requirements)9. Publish the new Rules and Regulations document to all members of the association.
CONCLUSIONBeing a member of a community can be a rewarding experience for all who participate. From learning about and having a direct impact on the democratic process, to meeting new people and deriving joy in community celebrations, the beneﬁts of communities cannot be overstated. Human beings are social creatures and thrive in communities. A well organized, functional, and eective association is one that members can be proud of and can help them achieve that sense of “home” that we all strive for.Thank you to all Community Leaders for the thankless job of operating your community association.
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