By Jim Verhey
I think I may have found the Root Cause Problem of the current ArrowCreek Home Owners Association (ACHOA) Board debacle proposal for the purchase of the 475 acre ArrowCreek Golf Course Open Space from the Friends of ArrowCreek (FOA) at super inflated pricing and unbelievable maintenance costs.
Root Cause Problem: Our Homeowners Association does not have a Community defined Mission/Vision/Values/Principles document to guide the management of our common interest Community!
Last week, I thought it might be good to see how we are measuring up to our stated Mission/ Vision/ Values and sought a copy of our AC Mission/ Vision/ Values documentation.
First, I dug into the limited Associa AC website info about our purpose/mission/vision and found references to Sam Fox’s brief statements as Board Chairman about 1) Controlling our Destiny 2) Maintaining our Property Values and 3) Exercising our CC&Rs. I also remembered Rich Kenny’s Negotiation Committee presentation meeting about pre-negotiation goals but that wasn’t very helpful either.
Second, I emailed Jeanne Tarantino at Associa, our Community Management Firm, and asked for the ArrowCreek Mission/ Vision/ Values statement. She replied that she was not aware of one………………..
So, having struck out, I did a quick search of best practice Common Interest Community Mission/ Vision/ Value Statements, did some downloading, editing, and am now delivering an example of a consolidated model document that could approximate our community statement for your consideration.
Sample Mission/Vision /Values/Principles/Practices
for Homeowners Association, Inc.
Our Mission is to establish, enhance &preserve the sense of community and quality of life in our community through effective and efficient management of common areas, enforcement of rules and covenants, support of initiatives that strengthen bonds among residents, and investment in capital improvements that benefit the greater good of the community..
We envision a community of caring ,friendly, respectful neighbors working together in a private, cooperative voluntary association to achieve an inspiring lifestyle and quality of life while increasing property values by being a desirable place in which to live, volunteer and enjoy the benefits of family, friends and community.
To achieve our vision and mission we value in all our leadership & fiduciary duties & actions: long range cooperative and collaborative leadership, stewardship and financial propriety, respect for others, community participation, transparent communications, wisdom, teamwork, service, honesty, integrity, fairness, best practice management principles & methods,consistent firmness and common sense, cooperation, and sense of community
- Define, facilitate, protect and enhance the value of our common interest Community Brand by promoting and maintaining quality services,through prudent management of common services and areas for sustaining the Community Brand.
- Utilize the experience of well qualified and proactive total community focused Board Members to make and implement responsible decisions and to be good stewards regarding the use of funds and assets belonging to the Association. Conduct business with transparency, perform regular owner services/needs assessments, promote new ideas for community services for the Community Brand, provide regular financial statements including statements of receivables and expenses on a periodic basis.
- Uphold the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and policies of the Homeowners Association by taking a fair, ethical and objective approach in representing the interest of all homeowners to ensure that all additions/changes to lots, homes, and property in the community will preserve and/or enhance the value of the properties as a whole.
- Treat every issue which comes before the Board with respect. Work with residents in a professional, objective, and ethical manner and resolve or respond to requests in a timely manner. Resolutions and responses will be clearly communicated to affected parties. In the event of a denial of a homeowner’s request, a reason for the denial will be provided, and where possible, suggestions to resubmit for consideration will be included.
- Communicate with homeowners in a regular and timely manner through appropriate mediums. Facilitate opportunities for community activities and committees promoting a close-knit neighborly community that works together for the good of all.
Board of Directors Practices:
- Encourage collaborative and diverse participation that includes an involved membership.
- Establish and maintain appropriate and effective forums to actively listen to the concerns of the community.
- Satisfy, maintain and enhance community support requirements relating to property values, legal and safety issues.
- Build community relationships that capitalize on best practices and improvement opportunities.
- Seek continuous improvements in effective and efficient management of the Association.
- Establish and maintain a strong financial foundation for all operations of the Association.
- Be forever mindful of and preserve the Association’s Mission Vision and Values.
- Serve in the best interests of the Association.
- Evaluate all issues on their merit to the Association, our Mission, Vision and Values, and not with regard to any particular interest group.
- Good Neighbors First – There is no better substitute for resolving community issues as neighbors.
- Volunteerism – We highly value participation in the Association that extends beyond the normal commitment(s) of being a member/resident.
- Property Maintenance – Property owners/residents will maintain their respective property in accordance with our covenants, conditions and restrictions that enhances the Association and does not detract from the value of our properties or common areas.
(*This sample is a composite of four example Association statements collected on the web and edited by Jim Verhey, ArrowCreek Home owner. Also see Good to Great an excellent download from the Community Associations Institute which will improve the draft model for a community based collaborative definition.)