The firm’s latest Miami Herald “Real Estate Counselor” column is authored by partner Shari Wald Garrett and appears in today’s Neighbors section of the newspaper. The article, which is titled “Increases in Community Association Budgets Require Careful Deliberation, Communication,” focuses on the budgetary strains that Florida community associations are now beginning to experience. It notes that directors and property managers are finding it particularly difficult to reconcile required increases with many community home and condominium owners, but there is no avoiding the difficult work that lies ahead. Her column advises:
. . . One of the best budgetary approaches for associations to consider is the use of a finance/budget committee, which is able to give all the important financial questions that come into play the attention and consideration they deserve.
Ideally, finance/budget committees should be composed of three or more dedicated owners who have professional financial/accounting or budgetary oversight experience. This committee should meet year-round to discuss all matters pertaining to changes to the association budgetary plans and finances. The committee’s focus should be on the implementation of the annual budget for the upcoming fiscal year, as well as all the other financial and budgetary requirements based on the association’s bylaws.
Once the committee completes and submits its proposed annual budget to the board of directors for final approval, its members should attend the coming board meeting(s) to discuss the budget and address any questions or concerns.