The Board of Directors is comprised of community volunteers that have been elected by the membership in which they serve. Boards and their committees play an essential role in the successful management and operation of the community as a whole and in the preservation of your property values.
Being a board member isn’t easy but very doable. The ideal board member has a genuine interest in the community, can look at the “big picture,” and is able to differentiate between pet peeves and major problems and concerns of the Association. They are not interested in managing the community, do not make decisions based on his/her own likes and dislikes, and understand the Association’s chain of command. They have no hidden agenda. And they are willing and able to commit a reasonable amount of time to remain informed on all association matters.
A Board of Directors is made up of four main positions: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Below is a more in-depth description of the role and responsibilities for each of these positions.
Let’s begin at the top. The President is the chief executive officer-the head of the corporation. The powers and duties of this position are far-ranging. It’s the president who most often talks to the Association manager, who finalizes meeting agendas, and who, when necessary, serves as the spokesperson for the community.
One of a president’s primary duties is presiding over the board and annual meetings. The president also has the responsibility of signing any contract approved by the board and entered into by the Association.
The president has only the authority that has been granted by the entire board and the position should never, ever be mistaken for a dictatorship.
A good president will always urge board members to share their ideas and encourage the board to consider each one.
The vice president acts in the place and stead of the president in the event of absence, inability, or refusal to act. The board may also assign additional duties as needed.
The secretary is responsible for making sure that meeting minutes are recorded properly and distributed to the board and manager in a timely manner.
The secretary may also be responsible for signing any documents that the board approves.
The Board treasurer ensures that all monies are deposited in the appropriate accounts (reserves and operating), that bills are paid in a timely manner, that financial statements are prepared, that an annual audit is performed, and that an annual budget is created and distributed to members. In every way, the treasurer is the steward of the Association’s finances.
Appointing and establishing committees is a priority for the board and it should be on the agenda to give committee reports (standard committees are the ARB, Landscaping, Communications, and Social).
Obviously, all this is merely the tip of the iceberg. The intricacies of each officer’s position could fill a book, but they can also be reduced to one term: fiduciary duty. Each board member – officer or not- has a fiduciary duty to the members of the association.
A fiduciary, according to Webster’s New World Dictionary, is “a person who holds something in trust for another.”
Board members should work together with one goal in mind: to make the association a better place to live.