Community association board members are asked to do a great deal for the communities they serve. They give up a great deal of their time and lend their varying expertise to help their communities run as smoothly and effectively as possible. Given that so much is asked of the directors, it is important that they take appropriate steps to delegate responsibilities to committees comprised of association members.
For most community associations, the benefits of involving committees are extremely worthwhile. Not only do they create a forum for the implementation and enforcement of vital policies and decisions, they also serve as ideal incubators for prospective future board members.
By their very nature, committees comprised of volunteer owners and residents should have a good understanding of the best policies and practices for their community. They may be ideally suited to oversee matters that involve the collection of information from the owners as well as the subsequent assessing of the data in order to make strong recommendations for suggested solutions.
Association boards should take the time to closely consider the use of different types of committees and their intended roles and responsibilities. Most association governing documents will include provisions governing the establishment of volunteer committees and how their decisions will be enacted.
Some of the most popular types of committees are:
- Architectural Control Committee (ACC) – Especially for single-family home communities, an effective ACC plays a critical role in maintaining property values by helping to ensure that all of the owners maintain their properties in accordance with the community’s covenants, conditions and restrictions.
- Communications Committee – Communicating association news via e-mail, text messages, websites, blogs, social media, newsletters, on-site notices, mailers, etc., requires a great deal of planning and execution, which may be ideally overseen by a committee.
- Financial Committee – This committee helps to oversee the association’s finances, budget, reserves and investments.
- Special Committee – This committee is charged with enforcement hearings, implementing fines, and the enforcement of the community’s covenants and restrictions.
- Landscape and Maintenance Committee – Primarily for sprawling HOA communities, its members oversee the aesthetics, maintenance and environmental sustainability of the property’s landscaping.
- Social Committee – Getting to know one’s neighbors is always a worthwhile endeavor, and this committee plans events for association members including seasonal festivals, movie nights, barbecues and fundraisers.
By utilizing committees and working to see that they are consistently staffed by dedicated association members who are eager to take part, associations are able to help ensure that they operate as efficiently and effectively as possible while also avoiding overburdening their board members with too many issues and responsibilities. When first establishing committees, associations would be well advised to consult with highly qualified legal counsel to help ensure their proper establishment and operation.