by William B. Campbell, III, VP of Sales and Marketing, Campbell Property Management
Well organized and efficiently run community committees can produce great results. They can preserve the harmony and desired appearance of the community through friendly, yet firm enforcement of the governing documents and organize social events that bring the community together. Committees can also help aid in the maintenance and values of homes by focusing on the ongoing maintenance and upgrades to a specific area. In order to be successful with your committees, it is essential to clearly define their goals and roles in the community.
Committees are made up of unpaid volunteers that have an interest in the community. These volunteers cannot have a conflict of interest or a personal agenda toward the committee. Most of the time, the Board of Directors appoints members to join and/or recommends a Board Member on another committee to join. Committees can assist with short-term needs, such as a simple clubhouse remodel, and also long-term needs, such as social interactions between residents and staff. The board may wish to have a committee to assist with tasks that they do not have time for. Even though committees partake in a variety of tasks and jobs, they do not create work that is a burden for the Board or Staff. Committees also do no supervise and/or manage staff or vendors, such as landscapers. Monthly committee meetings are vital to the success of the overall association. Committee meetings should be held within the community in order to avoid any possible accusations of being secretive and exclusive.
On the other hand, the opposite can also be true. Poorly organized and run committees can actually create more problems than necessary. They can cause hostility among neighbors and lawsuits regarding selective enforcement and discrimination. On top of that, poorly run committees can result in a lack of community and divisiveness among owners. They can even cause the erosion of home values due to the poor appearance of the common area and inappropriate modifications by homeowners. In some cases, excess staff may be brought in to cater and deal with the issues created by committees.
Does your association have a committee(s)? If so, what are some of the jobs and/or tasks they take part in? How do they maintain their success? Let us know in the comment section below.