Condo Media - January 2018 - 64

Ask a Busy Person
Tell me a little about Twin Lakes. It
was built in 1986/87. It has 220 units in
44 buildings set on 150 acres, with a mix
of older residents, like me, who've been
here a long time, and younger owners,
many with small children. There were a
lot of children when I moved in over 25
years ago; then we went through a period
where there weren't many children at all,
and now it's turning around again.
When did you join the board-and
why? It was about 15 years ago. I was
one of several owners who weren't happy
with the existing trustees. They had been
on the board since the association was
created and they really had no idea how
to run a condominium community. They
had no forward vision. We thought the
community needed board members with
a better idea of how to plan for the future.
I got involved because I wanted to be
part of the solution.
What takes most of your time?
Monitoring association expenses. The
board chairman and I have our eyes on
all the invoices. The management company can't put anything through
without our approval. If
something doesn't look
right, we ask for an
explanation.
Most condo owners have no interest
in serving on the boards of their communities. Why do you do it? This is
my home. Serving on the board allows
me to be involved directly in how it is
managed. But this isn't one-sided. I have
to do what's best for the community, not
just what may be best for me.
What is most frustrating for you as a
board member? Most owners only
see what's happening in their part of the
world; they only see what affects them.
They don't see the big picture. So, they
get angry because we're not giving them
immediate gratification. They don't
understand that the board has to set priorities. We have three miles of roadways
to maintain and 45 septic systems, at

64

CONDOMEDIA

but sometimes you need to encourage
individuals to throw their hat into the
ring. For our community, we have been
fortunate the last few years to have unit
owners willing to show interest and serve.

JAMIE STEWART
TREASURER,
TWIN LAKES CONDOMINIUM TRUST
least one of which (and sometimes more)
has to be replaced every year. We have to
consider what's best for all the owners,
not just for one of them.
What's the most difficult decision
you've had to make? Shortly after I
joined the board, we created a six-year
plan, and it was clear that the condo fees
wouldn't cover the expenses we were
facing. So, we approved a 25 percent fee
increase. That wasn't popular, to put it
mildly. Surprisingly, there was no riot,
but it certainly caused a lot of owners to
attend meetings that year.
Why is it so difficult to find condominium owners willing to volunteer
to serve on boards or on committees in
their communities? People get comfortable in their own corner of the world.
Unless something affects them directly,
they don't want to get involved. There
are other things they would rather
do-and I totally get that.
How does your board
combat that? We've
never been in a position where we haven't
been able to fill positions,

What have you learned in the years
you've served on the board? I've
learned a lot more about septic systems
than anyone would like to know. I've also
learned that as you get more experience
as a board member, you're better able to
make decisions that will best
utilize the resources you have
available. It takes a while to
get there. And I've learned that
there is value in having a mix
of older and new members on
the board. I didn't think so when
I first joined the board, when
two members of the old board
stayed on. But they had a level of experience that the new members didn't have.
They were a valuable resource and their
experience proved really beneficial to us.
What advice would you offer new
board members or owners who
are thinking about running for the
board? First, be aware of the time
commitment. You have to be willing
to attend meetings and do the work
necessary to make decisions. For the
board to be effective, all members have
to participate. Second, attend CAI
training programs for trustees. They
help you see the big picture, and explain
what to expect. Third, you have to be
willing to make hard decisions, and you
have to base them on information, not
on emotion. Fourth, you can't be thinskinned. People aren't always nice, and
they sometimes say things that aren't
nice about you if you make decisions
that don't go their way. And finally, you
have to understand that when you're
on the board, your ideas won't
always be accepted. You can't
take that personally either.
It's not a personality contest
and it's not about you. It's
about what's best for the
community.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - January 2018

Table of Contents
Condo Media - January 2018 - Intro
Condo Media - January 2018 - Cover1
Condo Media - January 2018 - Cover2
Condo Media - January 2018 - Table of Contents
Condo Media - January 2018 - 2
Condo Media - January 2018 - 3
Condo Media - January 2018 - 4
Condo Media - January 2018 - 5
Condo Media - January 2018 - 6
Condo Media - January 2018 - 7
Condo Media - January 2018 - 8
Condo Media - January 2018 - 9
Condo Media - January 2018 - 10
Condo Media - January 2018 - 11
Condo Media - January 2018 - 12
Condo Media - January 2018 - 13
Condo Media - January 2018 - 14
Condo Media - January 2018 - 15
Condo Media - January 2018 - 16
Condo Media - January 2018 - 17
Condo Media - January 2018 - 18
Condo Media - January 2018 - 19
Condo Media - January 2018 - 20
Condo Media - January 2018 - 21
Condo Media - January 2018 - 22
Condo Media - January 2018 - 23
Condo Media - January 2018 - 24
Condo Media - January 2018 - 25
Condo Media - January 2018 - 26
Condo Media - January 2018 - 27
Condo Media - January 2018 - 28
Condo Media - January 2018 - 29
Condo Media - January 2018 - 30
Condo Media - January 2018 - 31
Condo Media - January 2018 - 32
Condo Media - January 2018 - 33
Condo Media - January 2018 - 34
Condo Media - January 2018 - 35
Condo Media - January 2018 - 36
Condo Media - January 2018 - 37
Condo Media - January 2018 - 38
Condo Media - January 2018 - 39
Condo Media - January 2018 - 40
Condo Media - January 2018 - 41
Condo Media - January 2018 - 42
Condo Media - January 2018 - 43
Condo Media - January 2018 - 44
Condo Media - January 2018 - 45
Condo Media - January 2018 - 46
Condo Media - January 2018 - 47
Condo Media - January 2018 - 48
Condo Media - January 2018 - 49
Condo Media - January 2018 - 50
Condo Media - January 2018 - 51
Condo Media - January 2018 - 52
Condo Media - January 2018 - 53
Condo Media - January 2018 - 54
Condo Media - January 2018 - 55
Condo Media - January 2018 - 56
Condo Media - January 2018 - 57
Condo Media - January 2018 - 58
Condo Media - January 2018 - 59
Condo Media - January 2018 - 60
Condo Media - January 2018 - 61
Condo Media - January 2018 - 62
Condo Media - January 2018 - 63
Condo Media - January 2018 - 64
Condo Media - January 2018 - Cover3
Condo Media - January 2018 - Cover4
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