Condo Media - March 2012 - (Page 42)

SELF-MANAGED ASSOCIATION BOARDS by Patricia Brawley, CMCA, AMS, PCAM SELF-MANAGEMENT What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Your Community the meeting, including corporation, governance and operating documents, state ordinances, federal laws and minutes of the previous year’s meetings. You wonder what you have gotten yourself into as you listen to your knees knock. In this series of quarterly feature columns, Condo Media will endeavor to focus on areas of concern for selfmanaged associations and identify responsibilities and best practices, along with proven methods and tools, that selfmanaged boards can implement in governing and operating the community. ou love the townhouse condominium that you purchased a year ago. It was a good price in a great location, and the condominium fee was low compared to other associations in the area because it is self-managed. You liked the idea of the homeowners working together to make decisions about the community, so when a board member asked you if you would be willing to run for trustee, you barely hesitated before agreeing. Now you answer the phone and are told that you have been elected to the board of your homeowner association, a corporation charged with the responsibility for over $35,000,000 in assets. You are informed that your three-year term begins immediately and that your first board meeting is in a week. You are advised that you will be sent several items to review before ADVENTURES IN Trustee Responsibilities One of the biggest challenges to the trustees of self-managed community associations is understanding and fulfilling the responsibilities with which they are charged. As fiduciaries, trustees must make decisions based on their best business judgment; they must place the interests of the trust and its beneficiaries, the unit owners, foremost. The self-managed association functions without the benefit of input from a professional association management company. The members of the board must have knowledge and understanding of their operating documents, including the Master Deed, Declaration of Trust, Protective Covenants, Bylaws and Rules and Regulations, as well as any amendments to these documents. They must understand their authority as well as their responsibilities, and they must ensure that all actions they take are also in compliance with municipal, state and federal laws and ordinances, the violation of which may lead to substantial penalties. A self-managed association must also strive to keep informed of events on the national and local level that may directly or indirectly impact the community. Changes in regulations and policies must be monitored and incorporated into the governance practices and operational procedures. Alterations in economic conditions, zoning changes, reductions in municipal funding for services or increases in the cost of utilities must be factored into decisions about fiduciary matters, budgeting, investment and collection to ensure the financial stability of the community. Y Board Education And Training There are usually few prerequisites for serving on the board of any community association. Sometimes all that is needed to run for trustee is a warm body and a willing spirit. But even if the individual trustees are intelligent, educated, professionally successful, sophisticated and personable, the 42 CONDO MEDIA • MARCH 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - March 2012

Condo Media - March 2012
From the CED’s Desk
Editorial Board
CAI News
CAI Regional News
Asked & Answered
Homeowner’s Corner
Volunteer Spotlight
Vendor Spotlight
Self-Managed Association Boards
2012 CAI-NE Spring/Summer Service Directory
Advertisers Index
Classified Service Directory

Condo Media - March 2012