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Subject: Am I out of line to ask all board members cc: me on all emails?
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JackJ9


Posts:0


07/02/2021 7:40 AM  
I'm the board president for our association. I find that once I hand a task off to someone else, I have no idea what is going on with the project. Probably 2/3 of the time, nothing at all is going on and the project dies.

Am I out of line to ask that every other board member cc: me on all e-mails with their projects, so I can be sure that they are moving forward?

That seems a bit heavy handed to me, but we can't let 2/3 of our projects simply die.
MaxB4


Posts:1394


07/02/2021 8:02 AM  
Posted By JackJ9 on 07/02/2021 7:40 AM
I'm the board president for our association. I find that once I hand a task off to someone else, I have no idea what is going on with the project. Probably 2/3 of the time, nothing at all is going on and the project dies.

Am I out of line to ask that every other board member cc: me on all e-mails with their projects, so I can be sure that they are moving forward?

That seems a bit heavy handed to me, but we can't let 2/3 of our projects simply die.



It's called MICROMANAGING. I would not be on that board.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4239


07/02/2021 8:30 AM  
I have to agree with Max - I've seen several of your posts and I appreciate you take the job seriously and want to do it well and see that association business gets done, but at the rate you're going, you are going to burn out. I've been there - I started as a garden variety board member (that is, attend once a month and decide how to spend money, then go home), and then became newsletter editor...then represented the community at the local events sponsored by CAI....then treasurer (that alone took up 50% of my free time!) That's how my 10 years on the board went and why I left in 2014.

In another of your posts, I said every board member should have an area they can oversee, based on their interests and talent. But all of you are adults and if a task has been handed off to your colleague, you need to get out of their way and let them work. They may not do the task exactly as you would, but as long as it gets done and they don't veer too far off course, you must trust them to get it done. If something doesn't get done, there's nothing wrong with asking them why - and they should tell you.

It may be time to have a heart-to-heart with your board at your next meeting and tell them (again) that you cannot and will not babysit. THEY volunteered for the board position and while it shouldn't take up all their free time, everyone has to work together to get the job done. If they volunteer to oversee a project, it has to be done. If they have questions on how to manage it, they should ask. If they run into problems, work it out and if they need help, say so.

I know you don't want to see most of the projects die, but if your colleagues can't or won't do their part, you may have to accept that. When the homeowners ask why something isn't being done, it's ok to direct them to that board member and let him or her explain what happened.

I've also suggested your board look into the education materials offered by CAI - it may be someone took on something he or she really doesn't have a clue on how to address it, and reading a book or two, or taking a seminar (they have online seminars available) may help them.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:774


07/02/2021 8:42 AM  
Jack

I agree with the micromanagement comments. I did not manage my teams in the corporate world like that, in a volunteer scenario I would not appreciate someone looking over my shoulder 24x7.

There may be other ways to understand what is taking place, and when. I understand one of your underlying concerns: people are people and things sometimes go sideways.

Depending on how frequently your Board meets, it is reasonable to have those responsible for running projects present a brief status report (here is where we are, here are the next steps and timelines; not a detailed "On June 12th I called the contractor, he called back on the 13th, the materials will be on site on the 20th, etc.), not just for your edification but to communicate with the Association as a whole. I have seen status reports appended to meeting minutes. This is effective if the Board meets monthly or more often.

If the Board meets quarterly, there is no reason those responsible for projects cannot be asked to provide a simple status report on the last Friday of the month or some such.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8620


07/02/2021 8:43 AM  
With Sheila, I can see and appreciate that you're working very hard, Jack.

First, imo, it's the Board that votes to undertake a project and the Board assigns projects to directors, not the president.

2nd. The director with an assigned project should write a monthly report to the Board about what they've done, who they've contacted, etc., to be submitted for presentation at your monthly board meetings.

Some projects might suggest the Board wants an ad hoc committee to handle the topic.

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11539


07/02/2021 9:16 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 07/02/2021 8:43 AM
With Sheila, I can see and appreciate that you're working very hard, Jack.

First, imo, it's the Board that votes to undertake a project and the Board assigns projects to directors, not the president.

2nd. The director with an assigned project should write a monthly report to the Board about what they've done, who they've contacted, etc., to be submitted for presentation at your monthly board meetings.

Some projects might suggest the Board wants an ad hoc committee to handle the topic.




Sound advice.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8620


07/02/2021 9:44 AM  
I see Bill & my posts crossed. I agree with Bill.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:843


07/02/2021 11:21 AM  
Jack,
As someone who has a similar issue with wanting tasks done I feel your pain. Many times it may not be the board members fault. Contractors are notorious for being flakes and the smaller the job the harder they are you get updates. When they are busy they also decide what jobs they want to do and when they want to do them. He takes time to do all of the follow up and baby sitting. That is normally what Property Managers do. Are you guys Self Maintained?

One possible easy solution is to create a board email address that forwards to the members of the board. Have all board members copy the board when doing board work. This way everyone is in the loop not just you.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17785


07/02/2021 11:40 AM  
Jack,

I don't know how often you hold board meetings.
If it's once a month, there should be a report on the project monthly.

If it's once a quarter, then an email from you to the project manager (whomever was tasked with the project)at the one month mark simply asking how it's going and if they need help wouldn't be out of line.

Insisting on being copied on all emails does seem extreme.

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8620


07/02/2021 1:45 PM  
Mark m reminds me that Jack's sizable HOA with 5 parks has only an offsite PM who spends a few hours a week with his HOA. Imo, they need to cough up the bucks and get a PM who'll work more hours on their HOA and take one some of this vendor stuff.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10534


07/02/2021 1:46 PM  
Not sure why you need to be. You assigned that task onto someone else. They don't need you over their shoulder. Let them do their job and then report it at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is a board meeting. It may or may not be before or after if nothing much is moving forward. You will know what is going on when everyone else involved knows.

Again, if you can't run a away to play a game of "golf" for an afternoon and the HOA falls apart, that is a reflection of your management style. The other positions are there for a reason. To share the tasks and responsibilities.

Former HOA President
BancsS
(Iowa)

Posts:99


07/02/2021 5:24 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 07/02/2021 11:40 AM
Jack,

I don't know how often you hold board meetings.
If it's once a month, there should be a report on the project monthly.

If it's once a quarter, then an email from you to the project manager (whomever was tasked with the project)at the one month mark simply asking how it's going and if they need help wouldn't be out of line.

Insisting on being copied on all emails does seem extreme.




Jack,

TimB4 gives good advice.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1429


07/02/2021 7:29 PM  

i have a different take on this. CC: everyone i.ie PM and board members and or committee person or person performing a task etc is not necessarily micromanaging, it is accountability. For records keeping sake, it makes prefect sense to keep a paper trail. BUT!!!! it depends on the situation.. I digress.
ND
(PA)

Posts:634


07/02/2021 8:16 PM  
I asked this before in one of your other posts, but pretty sure you never responded . . .

What on earth are all of these projects you're constantly referring to? How many projects can an established HOA have that they require frequent hands-on involvement with vendors and daily status updates to you via email?
JackJ9


Posts:0


07/02/2021 9:16 PM  
Posted By ND on 07/02/2021 8:16 PM
I asked this before in one of your other posts, but pretty sure you never responded . . .

What on earth are all of these projects you're constantly referring to? How many projects can an established HOA have that they require frequent hands-on involvement with vendors and daily status updates to you via email?




For privacy, I really can't go into the details. I will say that we are a well funded HOA, however, have a big maintenance backlog because our 5 parks are approaching 20 years in age and it's time to renovate them. We're working our way through the parks renovation process now. I hope this will last about 3 years, at which point we will stabilize into a more maintenance phase and then have less projects going on. Roughly 30% of our annual budget is dedicated to community improvement projects right now, which I think is a huge share of our budget, but our community is gradually looking much nicer because of the investments that we are making.
MikeB23
(Louisiana)

Posts:54


07/03/2021 9:07 AM  
Calling or emailing someone weekly and asking for status is micromanaging. Expecting to be kept advised as to progress is good management. Our Board shares info almost weekly when bigger projects are underway. No one is asking for the updates, we just understand that every board member should be able to provide some answer when casually questioned by other owners in the elevator or around the property.
MikeB23
(Louisiana)

Posts:54


07/03/2021 9:07 AM  
Calling or emailing someone weekly and asking for status is micromanaging. Expecting to be kept advised as to progress is good management. Our Board shares info almost weekly when bigger projects are underway. No one is asking for the updates, we just understand that every board member should be able to provide some answer when casually questioned by other owners in the elevator or around the property.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


07/03/2021 9:27 AM  
Posted By JackJ9 on 07/02/2021 9:16 PM
I will say that we are a well funded HOA,
I am curious about the above statement. JackJ9:

-- When was the last reserve study done?

-- Did the most recent reserve study recommend assessment increases in the coming years?

-- What is the "percent funded" value for your reserves? E.g. if your HOA has only the parks to maintain and the cost to replace all the equipment and landscaping yada is $1,000,000, and the life expectancy of the equipment and landscaping yada is 20 years, then a well-managed HOA would budget to add $50,000 ( = $1,000,000 / 20) years each year to the reserve fund, with some tweaking as time goes on and thing change. All other things equal, at the fifth year, there should be $250,000 in the budget. Suppose instead after year 5 there is only $100,000 in the reserve account. Then the percent funded value is 100,000/250,000 = 40%.
JackJ9


Posts:0


07/03/2021 10:07 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 07/03/2021 9:27 AM
Posted By JackJ9 on 07/02/2021 9:16 PM
I will say that we are a well funded HOA,
I am curious about the above statement. JackJ9:

-- When was the last reserve study done?

-- Did the most recent reserve study recommend assessment increases in the coming years?

-- What is the "percent funded" value for your reserves? E.g. if your HOA has only the parks to maintain and the cost to replace all the equipment and landscaping yada is $1,000,000, and the life expectancy of the equipment and landscaping yada is 20 years, then a well-managed HOA would budget to add $50,000 ( = $1,000,000 / 20) years each year to the reserve fund, with some tweaking as time goes on and thing change. All other things equal, at the fifth year, there should be $250,000 in the budget. Suppose instead after year 5 there is only $100,000 in the reserve account. Then the percent funded value is 100,000/250,000 = 40%.




The last reserve study was done in 2020. We plan on our next one in 2022.

We are about 75% fully funded in reserves, which is considered "good" by reserve study standards. It did recommend an increase in reserves, which we did increase our annual reserve set aside.

I am very curious to see what our next reserve study will show because that will be after we complete a number of renovation projects, and have eliminated much of the near term items. We've been careful not to draw down reserves to pay for most small-ish things in the last couple years, and will be funding a good chunk of the renovations out of operating budget, so I am expecting our reserves will show a healthy number.

Side note - my experience is that the reserve study woefully underestimates the cost of repair. Usually our bids are coming in about 50% higher than what the reserve study estimated. In this situations, we are careful to pull only 71% of the reserve study estimate from reserves and pay for the remainder of the cost from operating budget.

Keeping a healthy reserve fund is one of my goals for our association.

AugustinD


Posts:1695


07/03/2021 11:08 AM  
Posted By JackJ9 on 07/03/2021 10:07 AM

The last reserve study was done in 2020. We plan on our next one in 2022.
FWIW I think every five years is fine, with possible adjustment of the last study done by a competent treasurer in the years where no reserve study has been completed.

We are about 75% fully funded in reserves, which is considered "good" by reserve study standards. It did recommend an increase in reserves, which we did increase our annual reserve set aside.

I am very curious to see what our next reserve study will show because that will be after we complete a number of renovation projects, and have eliminated much of the near term items. We've been careful not to draw down reserves to pay for most small-ish things in the last couple years, and will be funding a good chunk of the renovations out of operating budget, so I am expecting our reserves will show a healthy number.
FWIW, I concur with your observations and planning as given above.
Side note - my experience is that the reserve study woefully underestimates the cost of repair. Usually our bids are coming in about 50% higher than what the reserve study estimated.
I think you all ought to have a chat about this with the company that did the study. In my experience, the companies are happy to make reasonable adjustments to the study, based on input from the HOA.

To be preachy to the unwashed: Reserve studies are not an exact science. I think they are a vital tool for extremely important guidance. Without reserve studies, I think many boards would not even think to set aside money for infrastructure. Infrastructure does in fact age and wear out.
In this situations, we are careful to pull only 71% of the reserve study estimate from reserves and pay for the remainder of the cost from operating budget.

Keeping a healthy reserve fund is one of my goals for our association.
Assuming you are not skimping on operating budget needs, and with acknowledgment that I am sitting in the cheap seats, (online and a total stranger), this sounds good to me.

Care to share the annual revenue for the HOA? You might have posted the assessment and the number of units earlier, in which case one can come up with a good estimate of annual revenue.

Also about how much is in the reserve fund at this point?

If you want to preserve privacy and so not answer these further questions, no problem. I have been there.

Thank you for responding to my other queries.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


07/03/2021 11:27 AM  
Jack pretty much answered my questions in an earlier thread, at https://www.hoatalk.com/Search/ForumSearch/tabid/87/forumid/1/postid/306149/view/topic/Default.aspx:

About 250 - 300 homes, operating budget around $250,000 per year. ... Our HOA has about 5 community parks that include 4 separate play areas. We have many acres of community property, much of what is irrigated. Our annual landscaping budget is about $70,000 per year.
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