The last time you attended the HOA board meeting for your homeowners association the current board asked you and everyone present to consider volunteering for the board. These are the thoughts that went through your mind:
- It’s a giant, scary responsibility.
- Your neighbors will blame you for everything.
- All your free time will disappear, and you’ll become enslaved to the Association.
- You’ll have to work with bombasts, dictators, figureheads, and puppets.
- You’ll never have any fun ever again.
Besides…there’s no real reason to get involved; the community is in fine shape—the HOA board doesn’t need you. Well, maybe there are some things that you think could be changed.
Let’s just hypothetically say you received the candidate solicitation in the mail for the upcoming election. You’re considering running for the board of directors for your homeowners association. Take a few moments to ask yourself the following three questions:
1. Do I have the time?
As an HOA board member, you'll need to devote several hours of your time each month to Association business. In addition to regular board meetings, you'll need to be active in email discussions and occasional special meetings. During special projects, you may need to spend a little extra time on Association business.
Some board members may also spend more time than others if they work with a committee. Some committees in an HOA include: Architectural Review, Landscaping, Budget, Newsletter, Lighting, Policies and Procedures, Neighborhood Watch, and Parking just to name a few! You don’t have to participate in every committee, but should pick one that you want to be involved in.
2. Can I make tough decisions when it’s required?
The primary roles of the HOA board is to protect, enhance and maintain the Association. This doesn’t just mean approving the budget, but also developing and enforcing policies. Board members are required to step outside their immediate circle of family and neighbors and make decisions based on the greater good of the community. Not every member is going to like the decisions that the board makes. You may have to make some tough and unpopular decisions. But, you and the rest of the board have the best interest of the entire community in mind when you vote on every issue.
3. Can I do all this and have fun too?
It isn’t all about policies and tough decisions. Your community is only as good as you make it, and establishing and maintaining a sense of community is part of an HOA board member’s responsibilities. Planning and attending functions such as social events, the annual membership meeting, and having a presence in the community are as important as any policy decisions you make.
Being an HOA board member can be frustrating at times, but it may also be one of the most rewarding ways you’ll find to volunteer your time. If you’re interested in running for the board or would like more details about your board member’s responsibilities, please contact the HOA manager or a current board member.