HOA Boards can only do so much heavy lifting by themselves. It’s residents participating on committees that lighten the Board’s load and strengthen the association. This extra effort improves the community and makes it a better place for everyone. Today, we’ll explore tips on setting up different types of committees in a Homeowner or Condo association.
There are two types of committees: Fixed and ad hoc. Fixed committees are usually an extension of the Board that address an ongoing area. For example, a pool committee would evaluate pool issues (condition, safety, replacement items, etc.) during the months the pool is in use. Findings are documented in a report to the Board. Other examples of fixed committees include landscape, architecture, and social.
Ad hoc committees are formed to address a specific event or issue, such as a summer BBQ, Christmas party, annual budget research, etc. When the task has been accomplished, the ad hoc committee terminates. These committees also help the HOA Board achieve more than they could on their own.
Whether a committee is fixed or ad hoc, both should have a similar structure. Below are some tips on how to establish successful HOA committees.
• Outline the purpose of the committee and expected communication with the Board.
• Identify committee members and the spokesperson or committee chairperson.
• Establish meeting place, frequency, and length of time committee is expected to exist.
• Designate a committee member to keep meeting minutes.
• Develop a clear description of the tasks and/or expectations for committee members.
• Convey responsibilities for authority, i.e., committees usually recommend to the Board.
• Ensure that committee members do not sign contracts or otherwise direct vendors or contractors unless authorized by the Board.
• Provide framework for budget expenditures and make sure receipts accompany expenses/reimbursements.
• Report at Board meetings so all directors can participate in a discussion.
• Provide written recommendations supported by research so Board can make an informed decision.
Most Board members are already balancing work, family and other personal obligations with HOA work. They can’t do all the work that is needed by a Homeowner Association. Committees offer the opportunity to involve more people and spread the work around. More hands and voices working for the community create a strong thriving association. Isn’t it time for your Board to cultivate committee opportunities so your community can harvest the rewards.
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