Published July 2021
Florida Community Association Professionals’ (FCAP) training is offered on two levels. Level one consists of courses meeting Florida’s continuing education requirements for CAMs, and level two is the Florida Advanced CAM Studies (FACS) course. For further information about the more than 38 online continuing education classes available or to pursue the Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM) designation, please visitwww.fcapgroup.com/membership/education-training/.
REGIONAL DIRECTOR RESIDENTIAL ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT | HOTWIRE COMMUNICATIONS
FLORIDA COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION PROFESSIONALS (FCAP) EDUCATION PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Editor’s Note: This is Part II of a two-part series that addresses employee engagement. The first part was published in the June 2021 issue and can be read at www.fcapgroup.com/employee-engagement.com. It addresses five ways to foster a positive work environment as follows: Get to know your employees, provide them with tools for success, let them know how the community is doing, allow them to grow, and support them. Part II continues with an additional eight ways to foster a positive work environment.
Thank you for the great educational class last year. Thanks to your class and studying and a delay of everything shut down due to COVID-19, I was able to obtain my license in September. Since then, I have met other managers and have come to see that a few of them have CMCA, AMS, or CFCAM after their names, and I am wondering how to obtain those licenses as well. I look forward to any information you are able to provide.
The CMCA, AMS, and PCAM are credentials offered by CAI/Community Associations Institute—www.caionline.org—Our national professional organization.
The CFCAM is a credential offered by FCAP/Florida Community Association Professionals—www.fcapgroup.com—our Florida professional organization.
These are not licenses. There is only one Florida license—CAM. Professional organizations in many industries (real estate, medical, legal, insurance, etc.) offer credentials, and we are the same. Credentials are earned after completion of certain course materials offered by each professional organization.
My friend was elected to the board of a condominium association. He is not an officer on the board, just a director at large. The association was involved in a claim for Hurricane Irma. The claim has been closed. He has asked to view the documents and is being told by both the board president and management company there are no documents. They advised him the documents were with an attorney, and they need to obtain permission from him to share the documents. What do you suggest he do?
Documents that have an attorney-client privilege are not available for inspection by an owner. Once a case is closed, those documents could be available with appropriate portions redacted (if necessary). For instance, any terms of a settlement would be redacted.
You would think that new board members would have an orientation and be briefed on past legal history, but I’m not aware of any law requiring it.
The director/owner could make an official written request to access records. Management has 10 business days within which to schedule an appointment for him to either view the documents and make copies with his portable device or pay for copies to be made. Failure of management to respond to a proper request could eventually result in an arbitration proceeding and a penalty of $50 a day up to 10 days and an award of attorneys’ fees.
I attended one of your workshops back in January. I tried finding the answer to a question in my book but am unable to find it. Our reserve study committee met last Friday to go over the 2021 proposed reserve, which was prepared by the previous board president. They feel that some of the line items are not necessary and some need to be increased. Can they delete a line item and add this amount to another line item in a reserve category, or how should it be handled?
Assuming your community is a condominium association, it is my understanding that line items established when the community was created should stay as line items on the reserve schedule. Line items are added and maintained because they fall within the statutory requirements. If the replacement cost or repair is more than $10,000, that item is to be on the reserve schedule. I’ve not ever heard of removing a reserve line item. That would mean that an asset no longer exists, which would be rare. How to calculate the amount needed for each reserve component is clearly laid out in the statutes. The figures for “cost to replace” and “remaining useful life” should be adjusted from year to year using best business judgment. I don’t see anything in the statute or rules about deleting a reserve item. I would suggest you consult your CPA or attorney.
Does a board of directors have the authority to control its board members? Our board created a code of ethics, but I voted against it. It’s not enforceable, right?
Of course, boards of directors can set policies for how they operate, and they should. Boards of directors operate by majority rule. Without an established authority structure within a board, there is chaos. A code of ethics is not enforceable, but it sets the bar on the expected behavior of board members, which is a good thing. Boards of directors should create policies for how they interact with professional management, attorneys, CPAs, and their owners.
Robert’s Rules of Order contemplates that boards of directors will create policies. Community associations lag behind regular corporate America in creating a policies manual. Most of us have worked in other types of businesses that lived by their policies. We somehow don’t carry that through with us into community association management. Most bylaws refer to Robert’s Rules as the standard by which communities operate their business and meetings. The statutes and the governing documents give the board of directors the power to create policies addressing many issues—owners’ requests to access records, manner of owner comments to agenda items, architectural modification procedures, collections, etc. I have a whole CE course of policies and procedures that boards and management can create.
“I chose to obtain this additional certification because I believe knowledge is power,” says Kelly Mauzy, recent CFCAM certification recipient. “By making the effort to enter into this certification coursework and making time to improve my knowledge on a variety of matters, I can offer information to board members to help make educated decisions. I can also help them to understand the ‘why’ behind those decisions, some of which could have long-term effects upon the community down the road. How can we effectively manage if we are not edu-
cated in the subject matter, as boards look to CAMs to be that field ‘expert’ in a variety of subjects regarding their community assets? As someone who always has a thirst for knowledge, I think you can never know enough. I thank FCAP for providing the springboard to dive deeper into areas that are common practice for association managers to work in.”
Kelly Mauzy has recently moved to Brevard County to continue her pursuit of serving community associations while looking forward to a little more sea salt therapy time on the sandy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean near Cocoa Beach, Florida.