FCAP Community

Published September 2018

       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 50 online continuing education classes available or to pursue the Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM) designation, please visit www.fcapgroup.com/membership/education-training/.

Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM

Because You Asked
By Betsy Barbieux, CAM, CFCAM

     I live in a 55+ condominium association. I also sit on the board of directors, and my question to you, as silly as it may seem, I take very seriously. There is a couple who lives here who used to be friends of mine. We are not friends now for various reasons I won’t go into. They have become antagonistic and nasty in any conversation. I’ve told them I’m willing to talk with them to address any concern, issue, or problem associated with their unit or anything pertaining to our association but unwilling to engage in any other conversation. They told me that’s not good enough; it’s a conflict of interest because I represent them, but I won’t talk to them or acknowledge them when I see them in passing. I’m trying to be professional about this and would like to know if I’m obligated to say “hi” in passing. I’ve never had a problem with anyone else here and the president of our association feels I’ve done nothing wrong. Please, if you can, give me some insight on this issue. Thank you.    

     First, let me “correct” a comment made by your neighbors. You do not represent them—the neighbors. In community associations, ours is not truly a representative form of government; board members represent the statutes and the governing documents. Board members do not serve a constituency.
     Just because you are a board member does not mean you have to associate with everyone. You still have the right to peacefully assemble with whomever you wish.
     Depending on the level of management your community has engaged, it is not a good idea for individual board members to answer questions while out and about in the community. Your comments will be mistaken as an official board answer. Residents with questions should be directed to management for the answer. If you don’t have a manager on site, consider a box (or email address) for owners’ questions, comments, or complaints.
     It seems that no matter what you say or do, they are not going to like your answer/decision. So, if it were me, I would not explain myself to them anymore. Just smile and walk away.               

     Thanks so much for all your great information at Friday’s class. My condominium board is saying that as of July 1, they can meet privately in a quorum to discuss condominium business as long as they don’t vote. I believe you said that this is incorrect, but I wanted to be certain.
     Currently, they are meeting in groups of two to conduct business and are making decisions in that manner. As a result, very large sums of money are being spent. They believe they can continue to do this.
     Thank you for your response.                

     No! That is not what the new law says. Boards cannot, nor have they ever been able to, meet as a quorum to discuss business, whether they vote or not. The only exceptions are meeting with the attorney or to discuss employees.
     What the law will allow as of July 1, 2018, is that all boards—condominium, cooperative, and HOA—may converse via email but may not vote.
     Groups of the board members who make up less than a quorum cannot make decisions, sign contracts, or spend money. Those things can only be done with a quorum of the board at a duly noticed board meeting (48 hours for most board meetings; there are exceptions that require a 14-day written notice to all owners). That business is written in the form of minutes and are official records of the association, open to any owners to inspect.               

     I attended your training class at Amelia Island Management offices in 2016 as a board member of a condominium association. I need some information and cannot find my notes from your class. Specifically, what are the rules governing HOA members during a board of directors meeting? As I recall, you said that an HOA member cannot participate in a board meeting to ask questions or make comments and that if an HOA member wished to make a statement, it must be requested in advance and placed on the agenda. Also, this can only be a statement, not a question or discussion. Is this correct? Where can I find this referenced? Thank you.      

     That would not quite be what I would have said since the statutes do permit owners’ comments. At board meetings for any type of community association, owners may make comments to designated agenda items based on policies adopted by the board. 
     Board members and owners need to be reminded that the purpose of the meeting is for the board to conduct business. Owners are allowed to attend, but the meeting is not for them. Since the meeting is for the board, board members should be sitting facing each other; not panel style facing the owners.
     In order to maintain proper manners at the meeting, the board should create policies for how long an owner speaks, where they stand (asking them to approach the board and speak to the board), and identify themselves ahead of time as wishing to speak by signing an agenda sign-up sheet. 
     Owners may only comment on agenda items. There should not be an open Q&A or townhall type of discussion during board meetings. Those can be held at other types of venues that are more informal and social in nature.
     There are quite a few free articles on my website at floridacamschools.com that deal with meetings as well as materials that can be purchased from our website store. 
    Please consider me a resource and never hesitate to ask a question.  

Marcy Kravit

Marcy Kravit—Promoted to AKAM On-Site’s Managing Director Position

     AKAM On-Site, Inc., South Florida’s Premier Residential Management Company, is pleased to announce the promotion of Marcy Kravit as Managing Director. Marcy joined the AKAM Family in 2016, where she has excelled in her on-site general manager role. Prior to joining AKAM, Marcy served in senior management positions and as an on-site property manager for more than 18 years. Her performance, hard work, and professionalism are recognized throughout the industry.

     Marcy is a contributing writer for the Florida Community Association Journal’s CAM to CAM column and the Education & Training Coordinator for FCAP (Florida Community Association Professionals). She recently obtained the CFCAM designation (Certified Florida Community Association Professionals) and has supported the magazine in shaping the curriculum for the program. Marcy was also the recipient of the 2014 National Manager of the Year Award and 2018 Top Ten National Managers of the Year.

     Marcy’s open communication with personnel and unique management style encouraging teamwork has cultivated an outstanding rapport with residents, staff, and board members. In her new role, Marcy will apply her passionate leadership to advance our client property operations and will be a valuable resource to our team members. Please join us in congratulating Marcy on her promotion!

     To learn how AKAM On-Site can deliver exceptional service to your property, please contact AKAM On-Site’s Director of Business Development Regan Marock at rmarock@akam.com or by phone at (954) 843-2526.

David Cohen
Vice President
AKAM On-Site, Inc.


Marcy L. Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM
AKAM ON-SITE Managing Director
FCAP Education and Training Coordinator

Written Communication of Objectives through Mission and Vision Statements

Encountering a board of directors that is not in unison can sometimes present a burden and a challenge. What do you suggest I do to establish my role in serving as a professional manager in order to accomplish the association’s purpose and goals?

It is vital that the association’s purpose is in written form. Objectives and mission and vision statements clearly outline and answer questions about who we are as professional managers, what we value and want to improve for our association, and where we are going. A mission statement maps out the association’s purpose, and the vision statement can help create a strategy of what the association wants to accomplish for the future.

     The strategic plan is how we as managers can work with the board to achieve the mission and vision statements. These written objectives can clearly outline our purpose, and it is how we gauge our success!

     Here is a sample of some objectives and mission and vision statements. I suggest the next step should be to draft a “wish list” of recommendations and a strategic plan specific to the needs of your property. Include costs to present to your board and obtain a consensus.

Sample Manager Objectives and Vision & Mission Statements

     As manager, I will do the following:

  • Continue to support ABC Association as an owner-driven community and work together with all members, committees, the board of directors, and staff in order to recommend improvements to the property, improve its value, and enhance the lifestyle for the community.
  • Continually strive for excellence in providing the highest standards of customer service as the leader, enthusiastically motivating the committee members, board of directors, and staff of the association to achieve its goals.
  • Ensure financial viability of the community with an emphasis on protecting, maintaining, and enhancing the property values and reputation.
  • Provide cost-effective services through comprehensive sup-port from my resources, networking, training, knowledge as a CAM, and support from my management company.
  • Maintain the highest standards in providing a superior quality of life for all residents while staying within budget and governing the community in accordance with the association documents and Florida State Statutes.
  • Protect and maintain the investment in the asset, the property, for all owners.
  • Continue to create a safe, positive, and harmonious living environment for the enjoyment of all residents.
  • Fulfill the board of directors’ and management’s fiduciary responsibilities by monitoring expenditures in accordance with the adopted budget and reserve study.
  • Monitor and evaluate employee performance and provide and obtain feedback and tools to succeed.
  • Facilitate issues regarding building maintenance, grounds management, upkeep, and repair of common areas and property.
  • Recommend common area improvements and upgrades.
  • Continue to solve problems, listen to residents, and be sensitive to all owners’ issues and concerns.
  • Motivate the association team and strive for excellence in exceeding owner and board of directors’ expectations.
  • Educate staff, board of directors, and owners on new laws, ordinances, technology, economic conditions, equipment, services, etc.
  • Work together with the board to facilitate commitment to the owners through mutual respect and support.
  • Support the board and obtain the trust and respect of the residents of the community by providing consistent communication and transparency.
  • Follow the ethical standards that the CAI (Community AssociationsInstitute), FCAP (Florida Community Association Professionals), and CAM designation have outlined.
  • Continue ongoing professional education, seminars, trade shows, conferences through CAI, FCAP, FLCAJ, and other industry-related organizations and publications.

Establishing Important Banking Procedures
By Janet Romano

Material Contributed by Centennial Bank, www.my100bank.com

     Community association managers wear many hats and manage all aspects of the community’s operations, but by far, the highest ranked responsibility by board members and owners is good financial management. Since financial management is a very broad subject, I have listed these important banking procedures:

  • Review and reconcile monthly bank statements as soon as received.
  • Look at checks paid to be sure that there are no fraudulent presentments, no checks have been altered (washed), and payees and amounts match check ledger.
  • Keep separate accounts for operating and reserve funds.
  • Keep bank signature cards current. Be sure to update signature cards when there is a change on the board.
  • Require two signatures on all checks. Although your bank may not inspect and monitor the two signature requirement, this is a good internal control.
  • Be mindful of the $250,000 FDIC insurance limit, and make sure that your association does not exceed that limit in any financial institution.