Whether you’re considering running for the board of directors of your homeowners association or have already been elected, you may be slightly unclear on the roles of the directors. That’s okay – clear roles can be hard to understand. Each role is important to the success of the association, for various reasons. Over the next month we’ll be posting a series of guides to each role and their duties. This week, we will begin with the role of the board president.
Many people think being the president of any organization is the be and end all. In an HOA, this is not true. A good president of a community association does not micromanage his fellow directors or committees, but rather oversees them and ensures all opportunities for success are taken. Because of this, a board president must have exceptional leadership and management skills.
A president should not make decisions on his own; a homeowners association has a board and not a single head for a reason. During board meetings and when discussing problems affecting the neighborhood, the president should make sure each member of the board has the opportunity to give their opinion on the topic at hand. He or she also needs to ensure the final decision is made only after it is properly discussed and that it is decided to be in the best interests of the community as a whole.
The president works in tandem with the other members of the board on various tasks. He or she prepares meeting agendas and works with the secretary to send notice of the annual meeting as detailed in the community by-laws. Because HOAs are most often incorporated as businesses, the president has a role similar to that of the CEO of a company. As such he or she will co-sign all checks produced by the treasurer. The president will also sign all legal documents and contracts pertaining to the association before turning them over to the secretary to be stored.
When an association hires a management firm to handle the day to day management of the community, the president will often act as a liaison between the community manager and the board of directors.
The power that comes with being president of a community association should not be abused for one’s own gain. The other members of the board and residents of the neighborhood look to the president for leadership in both times of calm and crisis. All decisions should be made for the success of the association and not any individuals. If a president can keep this in mind, there’s no reason for a community not to flourish.