By Kelly G. Richardson, Esq. CCAL
[Note to readers – After the previous two columns proposing resolutions for directors and HOA members, here are ideas for managers. Next week – service providers]
As the association’s professional manager, I resolve to:
1. Follow the Golden Rule.
2. Remember I am a professional, and will give the board the best advice I can. I am not employed to be silent.
3. Strive to give the board the answers it needs to hear, regardless if it is the answer the board hopes for.
4. Avoid reacting defensively to upset homeowners, and will make sure they are informed as to the “whats” but also the “whys.”
5. If the board disregards my advice, I will document it in writing to the board.
6. Not attempt to give specialized advice, but will refer the board to the appropriate specialized professional.
7. Try to please all, while knowing that I can’t.
8. Pursue professional designations and attend seminars to keep me up to date.
9. Be prepared at any board meeting to explain significant deviations from budget.
10. Understand the Business Judgment Rule, and confirm the board has sufficient information to make each decision.
11. Encourage my board members to join the Community Associations Institute, knowing educated boards are better boards.
BETTER BOARD MEETINGS:
12. Protect the board from overly long or disorganized meetings
13. Create agendas with consent calendars to quickly handle non-controversial items
14. Alert the board when an agenda is too ambitious
15. Become comfortable with the fundamentals of Roberts Rules of Order
16. Help the board stay on topic and on agenda.
17. Alert the board if it is handling matters in closed session which should be in open session.
18. Bring the HOA governing documents, including all rules, to every meeting.
19. On each agenda item, be prepared to provide a recommendation or recommend retention of appropriate specialized expertise
20. When homeowners in open forum criticize my work, I will listen respectfully.
21. Work to increase meaningful and frequent communication with the members.
22. While advising the board and carrying out its instructions, I will focus on the association’s community needs as well as its financial, maintenance and legal concerns.
23. Treat all members the same, regardless of how they treat me.
24. When answering a question from a director, or giving a report, I will communicate to the entire board.
25. Remember my client is the HOA, not its board or president.
26. Will not take sides in elections or recalls, nor assist or advocate for or against any candidate. My opinions will remain secret.
27. Will reject vendors offering kickbacks, gratuities or commissions, and will promptly disclose such offers to the board.
28. Will not give a company related to my employer any advantage in bidding on HOA contracts.
29. Advise the board when specialized expertise is needed.
30. Will not only recommend one favored vendor, but will provide my board with two or three candidates to consider.
31. Before the board evaluates major or complicated bids, I will suggest a consultant to help the board select the best and most complete proposal.
32. Will recommend the best bid, not simply the cheapest.
33. Follow the Golden Rule.
Kelly G. Richardson, Esq. is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and Managing Partner of Richardson Ober PC, a law firm known for community association advice. Submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Past columns at www.HOAHomefront.com. All rights reserved®.
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