I am reaching out to you to share a little of who I am, why I am running for the Board, and my concerns about what is taking place in our community.
I moved into Desert Inn Estates as a renter in 2016. Last summer, we purchased the home from our landlord. My being a “new” homeowner isn’t the same as other new homeowners. Living here these six years has allowed me observe HOA operations from the outside. Some of these observations should concern you.
The current HOA Board of Directors (and some past Boards), do not operate with Transparency or Inclusion. This should be cause for alarm because this style of management creates distrust, suspicion and litigious concerns.
Our community is operated by an ALL-VOLUNTEER BOARD. That being said, each person comes to the position with varying degrees of skills and knowledge. A “desire to serve” is the most basic characteristic we need, but it’s not enough. We need individuals who have a skillset to manage, a desire to learn the skills they do not possess, and a willingness to work with those who have the knowledge to achieve successful results.
“No home can be sound without a strong foundation…. nor can a company.”
Organization is defined as a group of people working in harmony to achieve a common objective or goal. Most business managers will affirm that organization is the foundation upon which the whole structure of management is built and so, is highly important to business success.
Leadership is a vital management function that helps to direct an organization’s resources for improved efficiency and the achievement of goals. Effective leaders provide clarity of purpose, motivate and guide the organization to realize its mission.
My professional expertise is in program design and information system development. In a brief evaluation of our governing documents, I realized there are many inconsistencies. And an unstable infrastructure in place to support success in our community.
There are a bunch of good people coming to the forefront to serve our community. Sometimes we have to look at the motivations and skills of those people seeking re-election and those who remain in place.
PART 1 – ELECTION PROCESS
Let’s talk about that for a second. Our election process is a good example of the lack of infrastructure in our governance. I’m sharing what I have learned and been through myself so far.
Received a Candidate Application in the mail. It was poorly copied and cut off, but the very top statement indicated the first problem with the election information. “The term of each position is two (2) years. The person with the (?) least amount of votes will serve a one year term.” NO WHERE IN OUR GOVERNING DOCUMENTS DOES THIS RULE EXIST. Someone along the way made it up and it’s been perpetuated for several years.
It was then I questioned what else was was/was not taking place as should be?
HERE IS WHAT I LEARNED – AND IT’S A LOT.
I MADE A POST ABOUT MY FINDINGS ON NEXT DOOR, DI2 NEIGHBORS GROUP & DESERT INN ESTATES Facebook Groups. CLICK HERE TO READ IT THE POST.
PART TWO – CANDIDATE INFORMATION
When I submitted my candidate application, I never received additional materials. Nor was I given any information on the process before me.
After researching the “next steps” in the election, I learned there were “Job Descriptions” for the Board. The materials I found have been provided to past candidates. (I am copying the materials Word for Word, definitely worded/written poorly). CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE CURRENT JOB DESCRIPTIONS.
In my opinion, for a person to do a job well, they need clear descriptions of their required duties, training on procedures and support from a team of colleagues and community. I am working on the creation of all these documents and procedures so any future candidates aren’t left in the dark.
PART THREE – WHO CAN SERVE? AND WHO SHOULD SERVE?
We all know the basic criteria of who can run for the Board. If you’re a Homeowner, you can run. But should you?
There is an Insurance Bonding requirement for Board members. I asked for the criteria, but the office informed me they didn’t have this information. It would be a waste of time (and perhaps embarrassment) for a homeowner to get elected only to discover they can’t serve based on the inability to meet the bonding requirement. Perhaps this info should be in an information packet.
Who Should Serve?
While there is no law that establishes required qualifications for those wishing to serve, there are guidelines that are strongly encouraged… and I hope you look at all the candidates and select those who you feel possess these qualities!
Pertinent characteristics typical to exceptional HOA officers:
Honesty – Associations are governed by laws, codes, and covenants designed to help the community thrive and avoid misconduct. HOA officers must be willing to abide by these rules and ensure that all community members follow them. Additionally, certain board positions, especially Treasurer, grant access to and management of association funds; therefore, a trustworthy volunteer is vital to ensuring the financial stability of the HOA.
Reliability – Community members are much more likely to follow association rules when they know their board will follow through on penalties for breaking them. Reliable board officers who fulfill their duties with consistency and with the best interest of their members greatly help to foster an increased sense of unity within the association.
Education or Knowledge – While some larger association CC&Rs require those filling a board position to have a bachelor’s degree, generally a high school diploma or equivalent is sufficient. It’s also helpful for board members to have a background in management or administration, with a working knowledge of accounting and bookkeeping procedures, as well as basic computer skills to help manage account information and communications.
Motivation – HOA officers have a big job, as they are in a position to help create a strong, flourishing community. When they recognize and elect a candidate who is passionate about what they do, board members can be sure that their officers’ actions are always motivated by a desire to improve the association, rather than promote or push their own agenda.
Communication – Running an HOA requires constant communication. Board members must be prepared to distribute association news to residents, make phone calls, and send emails on behalf of the HOA. Good interpersonal skills between board members, vendors, and homeowners are integral in creating a constructive environment for all involved.
Establishing a strong board of directors is a critical step in HOA management and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Carefully elected officers can make all the difference in the quality and success of the association. My hope is to have an opportunity to bring a strong foundation and development process to the community and create an infrastructure which can serve us for years to come.
LOOKING FORWARD TO MEETING YOU AT “MEET THE CANDIDATES” ON MARCH 5th!