As some of you may know I have the distinct honor of being the Community Associations Institute - California North Chapter President this upcoming year. I had the opportunity to share my vision for 2015 in The Voice a few months ago and wanted to share it with you again here.
A Message From the Incoming President
Building Community: Aspiring Beyond Administration
After working with community associations for the better part of 25 years, I have witnessed many styles of community association well-being. One thing is for certain, many of the same problems board members face today are the same problems board members faced 20 years ago. Unfortunately there seems to be this perpetual cycle that starts over and over again when new board members are elected.
It has been said that community associations fit into one of two categories: administrative and aspirational. The first and by far the largest category is the administrative association. They operate under the premise that community association is essentially a neighborhood housekeeping organization. The purpose is to maintain common elements and enforce rules. Management is to furnish competent administration, maintenance, and enforcement of operations of the association. Resident apathy is regarded as a compliment. The more invisible and unnoticed the board and association becomes, the happier its members are presumed to be.
The second and much smaller category is made up of aspirational communities. The role of the board and manager is as much about building the social and civic well-being of the community as it is about administration and maintenance of the community.
This is where I believe CAI and our California North Chapter can serve the needs of property managers and, more importantly, the community association volunteer leaders (CAVL). My vision for our Chapter is to be the preeminent source of leadership and inspiration to CAVLs and property managers. We should strive to be "community builders" and to set a tone that is light-hearted and fun. I believe it should be a joy to be active in the community; volunteer activity should be based on a desire to help others and embrace community living. Community-based social service projects help engender a sense of community pride. They build community traditions that residents look forward to year after year, recurring events that will create countless memories and become ingrained in the pattern of life in the community.
The task will not be easy. It will take perseverance and determination, but, most of all, it will take a commitment from property managers and business partners to encourage CAVLs to come to our events. We should align our events around the goal of providing the leadership and inspiration to CAVLs so they can transform mere housing units into vibrant neighborhoods and communities.