Yesterday promised to be a gorgeous day, and I dreaded the idea of spending it in a conference room listening to lawyers expound on the latest nuances of pending legislation regulating home owner association operation. But I had been extended this invitation to attend by Matoka of Charleston Management, our property management company, and I had agreed to attend. Afterall, the conference was being put on by the Community Associations Institute and Brian Wessler, President of Charleston Management, is also the 2011 President of North Carolina chapter of the CAI.
I expected to be in a classroom of 20 or so with some tips on do’s and don’ts of operating within an HOA. What I encountered instead was roughly 300 attendees representing HOAs (60%), property management professionals (35%) and representatives from some of the states most prestigious law firms (5%). The whole event was larger in scope, attendance and level of professionalism than I had imagined.
And here is what I learned. The perception of most homeowners of their HOA boards is that “there must be something wrong with them” to want to serve (ouch). And because of bad practices of some HOA boards, there is a bill before the NC legislature that would require greater transparency in the meeting, rule-making and enforcement process. Finally, as board members, we have to bend over backwards to “wear the white hat”, particularly in the areas of rule enforcement.
we have to bend over backwards to “wear the white hat”
I also learned (with relief) that the Alyson Pond HOA and Board is not one of the problem ones. While we are not perfect, we’re doing a lot of things right.
- Regularly scheduled (every two months) board meetings
- Convenient board meeting location (at the clubhouse)
- Access to policies and forms through the website
- A forum for notifications and discussion through the online blog
- ‘town hall’ type meetings to air and discuss future decisions
So, at the end of the day ( metaphorically), I concluded that the sacrifice of a pleasant Saturday was indeed worthwhile and of benefit to facilitating the work we have ahead.