It takes a lot to run a successful building—there are employees to hire, services to contract, boards to elect, new residents to review, general technical maintenance to take care of, and all the rest on that ever-present "to do" list with which both managers and board members are certainly familiar.
With all the responsibilities that come with living within a homeowners association, it only makes sense that some of the tasks would be split up among its members. Wise boards and management understand the value of delegation and put their heads together to either appoint or elect special committees to handle certain responsibilities and improve their community's quality of life.
According to Jim Quinn, former president of North Shore Towers, a massive 1,844-unit co-op development on Long Island in New York, choosing or appointing people to serve on decision-making committees is one of the board president's most important responsibilities.
"We set up committees and assign committee chairs," says Quinn. "I don't think it changes if you're 50 units or 500. There might not be many committees—there might only be one—and I think you might do all these things a little more or a little less formally, but you still do them." In other words, says Quinn, responsibility must be delegated so that the business of the condominium or co-op development is conducted in a proper manner.
And it's important that committee members be the right people for the job. In HOA communities, committees handle everything from what kinds of mailboxes residents may choose, how the association should invest its reserve funds, or how to establish rules to determine when to take action on various improvements, additions and repairs.