Top Five New Years Resolutions for Community Association Volunteers and Professionals

1. Review your association's position on rights and responsibilities.

When associations, owners, and residents recognize and take ownership of their respective rights and responsibilities that flow from living within one community, all parties tend to benefit. The Community Association Institute (CAI) provides information on rights and responsibilities and even provides recommendations for implementation.

2. Take an interest in the public's perception of homeowner associations.

The numbers are in. People enjoy association living! Community associations provide stable, comfortable, and pleasant living for millions. If you believe Associations have a positive impact on your homeownership or on community don't let your voice be drowned out by the vocal minority. The concerns of unhappy homeowners should certainly be addressed by associations as they work to build strong communities, but they should also be tempered by the masses who would come out in favor of association living.

3. Take responsibility.

Most people can agree that less legislation and fewer mandates set in place against associations would be preferable. Not because associations do not want to govern responsibly, but because the cost of hasty legislation can sometimes outweigh its benefit, especially when so may associations already govern in responsible manners. How can we avoid legislation? By continuing to govern responsibly by urging all others in our industry to do the same, and by showing that not only do associations strive to meet the minimum level of responsible governance required by statute but they also push beyond the minimum to provide the best level of governance possible.

4. Learn, learn, blog.

In keeping with the spirit of pushing the envelope beyond what is required by statute, association volunteers and professionals should continue to seek out information about community associations at the local and national level and stay abreast of new developments. One great way to do this is through the numerous blogs that focus on community associations. If you're reading this, you already know about our blog, but there are many others. Ungated is a blog sponsored by CAI. The Community Associations Network also sponsors several interesting blogs. Approach blogs with some caution as they are essentially unrestricted publishing, but don't shy away. They often provide a wealth of information and opinions, as well as a platform to communicate with others about how they have approached the very situations you may now be facing. Blogs have created a national conversation among those interested in community associationsóconsider yourself invited to participate.

5. Focus on community.

We thought a focus on communities was so important that we actually made it our firm motto: "Focused on Communities." Community is truly the key word in "community association" and the more we focus on that as we govern, manage, or counsel associations, the better our communities will become.

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