If you’ve ever served as an association board member, you know that the board can’t do everything – there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Committees can help fill in the gaps by focusing on specific aspects of the community that require additional oversight, planning, and execution. In my community we have four committees:
- The Fining and Enforcement Committee, which votes on board decisions related to covenant enforcement.
- The Maintenance Committee, which makes maintenance-related recommendations to the board.
- The Finance Committee, which reviews finances for proposed capital projects.
- The Social Committee, which plans community events.
These committees not only help our board by allowing them to distribute community responsibilities more evenly, they benefit our entire community in many ways. Here are the top three ways my community has benefited from committees.
1. Committees offer fresh perspectives on community business. The board quickly becomes accustomed to handling every aspect of association business, which makes it easy to fall into a rut. When homeowners join committees, they bring a fresh perspective that helps the board find additional solutions to old problems. These homeowners also provide new ways of looking at the community that boards might not have considered. Insights from homeowners who are willing to help bring ideas to fruition help create stronger community operations and a stronger sense of community overall.
2. Committees give homeowners an alternative way to get involved. Not every homeowner has the time to be a board member – but that doesn’t mean that they can’t get involved in the community. Committees give homeowners the perfect opportunity to help the community achieve its vision in a specific area, which also encourages them to bring their professional knowledge and individual talents to the table. For example, the finance committee in my community includes a CFO and several auditors. The maintenance committee is made up of two retired gentlemen whose careers focused on maintenance. Without committees, our community would miss out on the benefits of their expertise and these homeowners might not have a way to serve the community as meaningfully.
3. Committees act as a check on the board. In school, we all learn about checks and balances in government. In a community association, committees serve as a check on the board by reviewing facts, making recommendations and assessing solutions independently of the board. This helps ensure fair and responsible decisions when it comes to covenant enforcement, budgeting, maintenance, and more while keeping the board from potentially abusing its power.
Committees play an important role in the success of a community. Whether your board needs to establish new committees or existing ones need to be revitalized, knowing how much they can benefit boards and homeowners can help make their development a priority during your next board meeting.