As a homeowners association member, it’s important to understand that committees are an integral part of the operations of your community. Committee members help keep a community vibrant; and by augmenting paid staff, they can save an association hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.Without active and effective committees, homeowners association boards face the larger burden of managing their associations, and committees can't happen without the help of many capable members that may be in a position to contribute much of their expertise to the community. Those that do serve on association committees deserve the sincerest thanks of the members.
To help your community be successful, your homeowners association may need to cultivate fresh ideas and encourage additional resident involvement in your committees by:
- Using the Association newsletter to make sure residents are informed about important issues and encouraged to give their opinions.
- Planning social gatherings like a holiday party that give residents a casual way to serve on a committee.
- Stressing the importance of attending board meetings so residents can see first-hand how serving on a committee will help the Association.
Committees give the board a way to gather information, offer new ideas and opinions, and provide a training ground for future board members. All committees are advisory to the board unless given specific decision-making authority by the board or CC&Rs.
After the board appoints a committee it should provide the committee with a job description, goal and mission statement to help it succeed as a community resource.
Your homeowners association may typically have three types of committees:
- Administrative committees, like an architectural control committee, are usually set out in your association’s CC&Rs. They are ongoing, permanent and often have clearly defined power and authority.
- Standing committees, such as finance or landscape committees, are established by the board for an ongoing and specific purpose. These committees generally make recommendations to, and act under, the supervision of the board.
- Ad-hoc committees, such as a summer picnic committee or CC&R revision committee, are established by the board as needed for specific projects and tasks. When the task is complete, the committee is disbanded.
So, if you're thinking about running for the board and want to learn a little more about association operations first, you're interested in helping improve your community, or just want to get out and meet neighbors, most homeowners associations would be thrilled to talk to you about their committees and how you might be able to help. Contact any member of the board or call the association manager for more information.