Homeowner and Condo Association board members get the job done
Posted on 03/29/2017
When you sign up for the board of a homeowners association – whether it’s a condo development or houses – you are considered a leader who will assist in managing the duties of running a neighborhood. These duties range from maintenance of common areas and tackling issues such as fallen trees and flooding, to developing a budget and collecting dues.

The City of Northville has many defined subdivisions in addition to streets within the city that are considered a district, such as Cabbagetown, east of Center between Baseline and Rayson, and the nearby Yerkes and Horton Historic District.

Setting up governance for so-called HOAs is typically done when all of the homes and/or condos in a neighborhood have been built, and the responsibilities of the builder and developer have ended. Others set up associations years after a subdivision has been built. Regardless of timing, the HOAs are typically set up as an LLC or nonprofit corporation with a set of covenants, conditions and restrictions.

Recruiting new members is a top concern for existing boards

“The goal of the board is to maintain and improve the property, keep property values up, and be fiscally responsible,” said Laura Keller, who’s been on the seven-member board of Lexington Condo Homes Association for eight years (serving four two-year terms).

“There’s nobody clamoring to take the position.” She added, “I’ve talked people out of resigning. It’s like running a small business.”

Keller’s two-year term as president was up in March 2017, but board members elected her to serve yet another term.

To be more responsive to all condo owners, Keller changed the format at the association meetings so that condo owners have a five-minute open forum at the start to make their issues known. “It has made us run a more efficient meeting. The property manager and secretary take notes on complaints and list the issues that need to be worked on,” she said.

As president of the Northville Estates Homeowners Association, Chuck Murdock has served three consecutive one-year terms. At Abbey Knoll Homeowners Association, Bob Krestel served on the board for years and ended his last term as president in January 2017. The HOA has an annual meeting, but Krestel says it’s difficult to get people to attend and become involved with the association.

Staggering the start of board members’ terms works well for many. At Lexington Commons Association, three board members are elected one year, and four others are elected the next year. Since the annual meeting in November, there are still three vacancies on a board of seven members, notes Todd Farmer, president of the association.

Pheasant Hills has an active board

Dan Wegienka has served four two-year terms as president of the Pheasant Hills Association, which represents 132 homeowners. He said they were fortunate to have two new homeowners volunteer for the board, who joined at a social event that drew 50 neighbors to the Northville Sports Den last fall.

“I want to see our board members retire to an advisory position as new members join the board,” he said, because it’s an easier transition. “I’m always getting information from surrounding subdivisions about how they run their association and neighborhood issues,” he added.

Pheasant Hills has five board members: president, vice president, treasurer, a recording secretary who takes notes at meetings and keeps records, and a corresponding secretary who plans social events and handles communication with residents and others. They have two-year terms that end in November 2018.