Atlanta Condo and HOA Boards and The Role of Committees

  • Committees are continuously the working force at the heart of any effective Association. Effective Associations are often directly effected by studious committees.   Why are Committees Utilized? Association committees are used to save time during the general meetings and Board meetings. Present issues can be discussed in detail by a committee and recommendations may be presented to the Board. The work of the Association will become more efficient with this implementation. The skills and interests of committee members are used to the full advantage. This allows more of the membership to get involved in the detailed work of the Association. Responsibilities are assigned according to the skills and interests of the committee members. New committee members can gain insight into the Association and develop their awareness by serving on committees. Type of Committees:   There are two basic types of committees: Standing – committees are created by the Governing Documents, Rules and Regulations or Bylaws of an organization. They function on an annual and/or permanent basis. Examples of common standing committees would be finance, nomination, education, etc.
  • Ad Hoc committees are appointed for a specific goal on a short-term basis. An example is organizing a specialized social event. Purpose of Committees Many Associations have too many committees, often with responsibilities that are unclear. You should be able to answer the following before any new committee is established:
  • what’s the goal and authority of this new committee?
  • what are the responsibilities and required tasks of this committee?
  • what are the time parameters on this committee’s goal?
  • what type of reporting to the Board is expected?
  • how are members selected for this committee?
  • What is the budget of this committee?
  • what’s the duration in office for members? How do we fill unexpected vacancies?
  • what resources are available for this committee and what will they need to complete the assigned task? Committee Member Selection Selecting committee members is the best way to ensure that you get people with the needed skills, interests and a commitment to the task at hand. Three to six people is a favorable size for most committees. The committee Chairperson should be selected with careful consideration. The Chair isn’t necessarily the expert of the committee. It’s more important that this person works well with others, can organize effectively, can motivate others, keeps people on task and has good communication skills. Other responsibilities of the Chair include preparing and presenting the committee’s reports, ensuring a proper successor is taught to assume the Chair’s role in the future, setting agendas, calling the committee meetings and ensuring that all members have the ample opportunity to contribute. Committee Reporting Committees are directly responsible to the Association that created them. The committee Chair usually reports to the Board of Directors. Reports should be concise, and should show that a full discussion was held and all available options were considered. The Association should never feel that the chosen committee missed something. The committee should present recommendations. Reports that are for information only do not require a motion. If a committee wants to bring forth new ideas, actions or suggestions to the members in their report, the committee Chair should say, “By direction of the appointed committee, I move to. . . ” Making Committees Work Effectively Committees work effectively when the following questions can be answered with a “yes” response:
  • Is the purpose of the new committee clear to all members?
  • Does this committee recognize it’s time restraints; both in the overall project and at meetings?
  • Is there good communication among the members?
  • Are all members and the Chair well prepared?
  • Are the minutes clear and concise?
  • Does the committee evaluate its’ own performance?
  • Are committee members recognized and appreciated?
  • Is the work of the appointed committee recognized as making a valuable contribution to the Association?
  • Summary A committee is really an integral unit of the organization. It’s the best way to take tasks and distribute them into meaningful and manageable sections. Effective committees alleviate time consuming detail from organizational meetings. They allow more of the Association’s membership to be involved in the development of the Community. Committees build commitment of members to the Homeowners or Condominium Association.