I don’t want to sound ungrateful, and as much as I appreciate the fact that I have earned the trust of the board members in the communities we manage, I must remind all directors: No one votes for the manager. They vote for you, the Board of Directors.
I want to encourage community managers to resist the acceptance of any abdication of responsibility from members of the board as they cannot transfer their responsibility to you. You take direction from… the directors. They completed their Intent to Be a Candidate Form, submitted their resume, and campaigned for the position they currently hold on the board. Their responsibilities are outlined in the governing documents. You must not confuse your role as a manager with the responsibility of a member of the board at the community you serve.
I am writing this caution to protect our profession, and the directors and officers elected in common interest communities. Every manager, vendor, owner, director, tenant and guest must be accountable for their part in the management, oversight, resolutions, maintenance, and compliance within the construct of the documents and statutes.
The horror stories we often read about relative to managers or board members taking advantage of a community is due to a lack of accountability and transparency. At our company, we make every effort to ensure we are as transparent as possible with respect to the association documents, financials, front and back office procedures and operations. We make available the “view only” access to the electronic files for any board member wishing to review any item concerning their community at any time. We have nothing to hide. Blind trust of the manager is an unacceptable risk liability.
So… when you are asked to produce a document, financial report, letter, contract or any information related to the management of the community, don’t be threatened or defensive; rather be encouraged that there is accountability, and an opportunity for transparency built on real trust and professionalism.
Endeavor to persevere.
Tanoa Lynne Poirier is the Managing Principal at Poirier Enterprises Inc., specializing in the management of community associations, commercial and investment properties, and individual residences in South Florida.
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