What does a Board Member do?

9 Sep

Our homeowners association is run by volunteers, and as the saying goes; many hands make light work. If you’ve ever wanted to have your voice heard on the association board but were nervous about taking on too many new responsibilities, read on to help put your mind at ease…

This is the 21st century!  The Franklin-Palmer HOA Board conducts most of its business via email.  You can participate from the comfort of your own couch.  We schedule occasional meetings, only when we need to stuff letters into envelopes or review items face-to-face; but whenever a new board members joins us, we provide them with a @franklinpalmerestates.com email address of their very own.  If you wish; you can set up your new email account to automatically forward correspondence to your ‘normal’ day-to-day email account.

In a Nutshell

The job of the homeowners association can be boiled down to two things:

  • Collect money (via annual dues)
  • Spend that money on lawn maintenance and snow removal of the ‘common areas’ (roads, parks, etc).

We hold a small number of ‘officer,’ positions on the board, onto which certain specific duties fall. These duties are somewhat flexible; they can be re-assigned to any board member who is willing to take on a task. Aside from the officer titles, additional members can still serve as “board members,” and take part in some of the decisions we make regarding seasonal service contracts, and spending decisions.

The following list of titles and responsibilities is by no means set in stone; everything can be adjusted to fit the needs of those involved!

President

The title of the President has the following responsibilities:

  • Preside over board meetings
  • Delegate responsibilities
  • Practice fair, impartial decision making
  • Communicate and listen, using any number of the tools we have available via:
    • Email
    • Our official Facebook page
    • Our website
  • Be proactive; plan ahead and identify places for improvement

Vice-President

The title of the Vice-President has the following responsibilities:

  • Communicate with service contractors
  • Find cost-saving opportunities
  • Monitor and address common maintenance issues with the common areas:
    • Fallen trees
    • Dead leaves
    • Grass cuttings
    • Snow removal

Treasurer

The title of the Treasurer has the following responsibilities:

  • Banking-related duties; deposits and withdrawals
  • Pay contractors and insurance providers for services rendered (landscaping, plowing, etc)
  • Pay annual taxes and renew non-profit form with the state
  • Annual audits and budgets
  • Hold the key to the PO Box, and pick up mail on a regular basis
  • Record payments and identify delinquent homes
  • Provide “status” letters to title companies, as requested

Note: We hope to offload many of the responsibilities of the Treasurer to a third-party “financial management” company.  This will greatly reduce and simplify the time commitment required of board members holding this position.

Secretary

The title of the Secretary has the following suggested responsibilities:

  • Record minutes at board meetings
  • Communicate with homeowners by drafting newsletters and/or making posts to the website
  • Answer incoming emails from homeowners with inquiries or complaints

Board Member

If a board member does not hold any of the titles above, they can still help out by offering to take on some of the tasks that the officers would normally take on!  In addition, board members attend meetings and respond to board-related emails, offering input and suggestions, and taking part in periodic decision-making votes!

What we don’t do

Some volunteers may be hesitant to join, incorrectly assuming that the HOA board acts as some sort of authority figure, but that is absolutely not the case.  The homeowners association is not a police force; we have no authority (nor desire) to be involved in any of the following matters:

  • We don’t get involved in disputes between neighbors
  • We are not the fashion police; we cannot levy fines for unmaintained lawns or ‘ugly’ decor
  • We don’t slap anyone on the wrist for littering, or parking illegally

Those issues are the sole responsibility of Canton Township and Canton Public Safety.  If anyone feels that a township ordinance has been violated or a crime has been committed, the most we can do is to refer them to either of those authorities.

Volunteer

Our association board can only function when residents are willing to volunteer; if you would like to take part in our activities and have your vote count, please contact us using the “Contact Us” page!

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