The CAM Employment Process—The Board’s Role

The CAM Employment Process—The Board’s Role

An Overview of the Board of Director’s Role

By Marcy Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM / Published October 2021

Photo by iStockphoto.com/monkeybusinessimages

     Editor’s Note: This multi-part series is presenting an overview of the CAM profession and the employment process. Part one was published in the September issue and provided an overview of the CAM’s role. It can be read online at www.fcapgroup.com/the-cam-employment-process/.


II.

Board Members’ Responsibilities

 

  1. Decision-makers for the community association—vote on issues at duly called meetings.
    1. Directors serve at the discretion of the membership and may be recalled at any time without cause.
    2. Education is the key to every industry and should be considered for the association’s directors; i.e., join Community Associations Institute (CAI), Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB), Florida Community Association Professionals (FCAP), and other professional industry organizations. Obtain publications and state division information; attend board certification courses, webinars, and professional CEUs; and utilize those professional organizations.
  2. Fiduciary obligations represent the highest level of responsibility under the law. The agent and the board will be held to the same standards that apply to a guardian or person who has custodial care of someone else or someone else’s money. Webster’s Dictionary defines fiduciary as “holding something in trust for another,” which translates to acting in good faith for the benefit of the membership. If you could have known, you should have known. Accept and seek advice from experts in their respective fields. Don’t assume; take it one step further to seek counsel. Better to spend the money to obtain the information you need now than to potentially set yourself up for spending more money on litigation down the road. Board members must exercise due care and fiduciary care in all dealings with the association and its interests. This includes careful review of financial matters; preparation, reading, and review of minutes; and attention to issues that are of concern to the association.
  3. Set uniform guidelines and policies for rules enforcement. There should be no favoritism, and board members must allow management to carry out the enforcement uniformly without micromanaging. As board members, appoint committee members to make suggestions and recommendations. The committees, if properly formed, can contribute and help expedite the association’s business.
  4. Do not request management to perform duties outside their scope of work that could jeopardize their license.
  5. Do not give direction to the staff; this is management’s role. Do not micromanage. Act as an advisory to management. Allow management to manage. It is unnecessary to spend countless hours in the management office. If you have a good manager, you should only need to attend board meetings and vote on the issues at hand.
  6. Understand your financials, budget, and reserves. Two signatures are required from board members only! Board members monitor the overall financial health of their association by reviewing annual and monthly financial reports. As part of their fiduciary responsibility, board members are actively involved in making sure that the community realistically has the money it needs to operate. To do this, the board ensures that budgets are planned, proposed, and followed so that adequate financial resources exist to operate and properly maintain and provide the necessary services to the association.
  7. Internal controls—establish an amount of money to spend for repairs/bid requirements.
  8. Be alert to possible conflicts of interest:
    1. Do not waive late fees of friends.
    2. Disclose any personal affiliations and abstain from voting to prevent a conflict of interest. This would include family members in bidding for financial gain.
    3. Conflicts arise when a director with knowledge acquired from serving on the board takes a business opportunity that is available to the association. Example: bidding on a foreclosure without disclosing it to the board of directors.
    4. All board members vote, including the president, unless it is a financial conflict of interest.
  9. Maintain a positive and professional attitude and demeanor. Refrain from harassment, name calling, intimidation, derogatory remarks and comments, personal attacks, etc. about fellow board members, association members, guests, employees, developers, or the manager.
  10. Consider and adopt rules that will govern membership and board of directors in conducting meetings using Robert’s Rules of Order.
  11. Listen to the wants and needs of the residents, not personal agendas. Think about what is in the best interest of the association.
  12. Think and be objective about the issues, needs, and wants of most of the community—i.e., don’t decide just because you don’t use the pool, you do not want the pool to be resurfaced.
  13. Each board member needs to provide leadership, and each officer needs to serve his or her position. The association acts through its officers and agents. All positions are equally important; however, each position is unique, and each has specific responsibilities. For optimum performance in accomplishing the association’s goals, each board member must work as an individual player on the team, knowing his or her duties, which, in turn, can make the team win and succeed.
    President—presides over meetings, orchestrates and coordinates activities, and develops the team. Works with the manager in drafting the agenda.
    Vice President—substitutes for the president in the event the president is not available. Stays informed of president’s agenda, duties, and tasks.
    Secretary/Treasurer—sometimes combined in one position, ensures minutes and meetings notices are drafted and records of the association are well kept. A good secretary is invaluable and must have good organizational skills. Treasurer—reviews financial records, ensures timely payment of invoices, makes necessary investment of funds, takes lead role in coordinating the development of the budget with the manager, manages reserve funds, and monitors accounts.
  14. All board members shall exhibit professional courtesy to all community association management professionals. Such professional courtesy shall include not interfering with the community management professionals, contractors, vendors, suppliers, and employees.
  15. A board member engaged in the practice of another profession shall not per-form such other services for the association while serving as a board member if the performance of such services is likely to result in a conflict of interest, real or perceived.
  16. Maintain a positive attitude toward fellow members and toward employees so as to maintain morale and promote efficient employee performance.
  17. Represent the total community and not any special interest group, and use the influence to enhance the reputation of the association and maintain mutual respect between members of the association, management, and the board of directors. Provide for questionnaires and surveys.
  18. Attend all board meetings and actively participate in them. Be prepared for meetings. Accept the responsibilities, commitment, dedication, loyalty, and time involved as an individual serving on a board of directors.
  19. Support the manager in doing the best job possible.
  20. Praise and recognize the positive efforts of staff, contractors, committee members, and management.
  21. Always be aware of the safety and well-being of all owners.

     Board members must act in a manner that represents the best interest of the community and supports the CAM. Respect, recognition, consideration, and appreciation can go a long way toward a professional, well-run community. With the right approach, all parties will display enthusiasm, respect, and professionalism in satisfying their need to serve. The ideal board is one that can work together in allowing the CAM to do what he or she was hired to do, which is to attain the common goal of protecting and enhancing the association.

Marcy Kravit, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, CFCAM

Education Program Director

     Marcy Kravit has 20-plus years’ experience managing community associations in south Florida. She has established a reputation as being passionate about service, driven by challenges, and undeterred by obstacles. Marcy is committed to providing five-star service and educating others in raising the level of professionalism in the industry. She works for Hotwire as director of community association relations. Marcy has earned every higher education credential offered by CAI and is recognized by Florida Community Association Professionals (FCAP) as a CFCAM. Marcy is a contributing writer to the Florida Community Association Journal (FLCAJ) and serves FCAP as their Education Program Director.