Volume 100 No. 107
Climb On Board - Election Time
It will soon be time for voting in and initiating new community association board members. Hopefully, these are people who have already taken an active part in the community by managing a project or serving on a committee. Encouraging and mentoring volunteers who are graciously willing to make a contribution to their community insures there will be quality community leadership from which to draw.
Every community and board is unique based on the culture and needs of the community. There is nothing wrong with strategically looking at and comparing the expertise represented on the board and the needs of the community. If someone with financial skills is needed, who in your community might you encourage to run for election? A not-for-profit board of directors is often strategically composed of people who can help fulfill the goals and mission of an organization. A community association board has the same fiduciary responsibility.
Conducting elections that involve friends and neighbors can sometimes be awkward. Unfortunately, in situations where there are only a couple board vacancies and three candidates, be ready to offer a significant committee or project opportunity to the person that does not win election to the board. Don't let them leave empty handed. They may some day become the best President the board ever had as they continue to gain experience.
Here are some things to keep in mind when conducting elections. Be sure votes are tallied correctly based on the legal definition of your community. The value of a vote for condominium communities is based on the owner's percentage of ownership. In most other community associations, a vote has the value and power of one.
The election date and slate of candidates should be provided to the community not less than 10 nor more than 30 days in advance. Candidates should be given the opportunity to provide their own biography for circulation stating why they would be a good candidate for the job. Discourage any negative commentary between candidates. The board must remain completely objective. Once the election takes place and the new board members are elected by the community, the board reconvenes to vote on and confirm the board officers. Unit owners do not play an electoral role in this process. If you have questions regarding balloting and other election procedures, your Cagan Property Manager can help.
Don't Boil Over Your Boiler - Prepare It Now!
As hot as the summer was, we will soon address another Chicago area winter. Maybe we will be lucky like last winter and it will be mild...but this is Chicago, and betting on the weather is truly a gamble. Your boiler better be ready or you may be boiling mad and the boiler stone cold!
Do you live in a beautiful older community building and enjoy the intense moist heat generated from a radiator? Hot water heat can curiously be a luxurious and toasty experience. The time is fast approaching when you will need to have your boilers back on-line.
In order to accomplish this, a qualified boiler and radiator technician should be involved. An annual get-ready inspection should take place. Both the fireside and waterside of the boiler should be cleaned. New gaskets may be needed. The low -water cutoff should be inspected and cleaned. Safety devices should be checked, especially the safety relief valves. Flame safeguard checks and a leak test should be run on those safety relief valves.
These are just a few of the things that should be inspected by a qualified professional. Your Cagan Property Manager will arrange for this inspection because they also believe better boilers behave better because basic maintenance banishes boil-overs and boiler bail-outs. Just ask them!
Survey of Satisfaction
We're confident that most residents are happy living in their community associations-and we certainly hope you are among them. But how do the more than 62 million Americans who live in homeowners associations and condominium communities feel about their own associations? Are they happy with their elected boards? How do they feel about the rules? What about their association assessments?
The Foundation for Community Association Research, an affiliate of Community Associations Institute (CAI), sponsored a recent national public opinion survey to answer these and other questions. Here are some of the key findings:
- 70 percent of residents in common-interest communities say they are satisfied with their community association experience, while 8 percent express dissatisfaction and 22 percent are neutral on the question.
- 88 percent of residents believe their association board members strive to serve the best interests of the community, while 12 percent disagree or aren't sure.
- 73 percent say their professional managers provide value to their communities, while 21 percent say their managers aren't an asset to the association and 6 percent say they aren't sure.
- 76 percent believe their own community association rules "protect and enhance" property values. Only 3 percent say the rules harm property values, while the rest see no difference.
- 81 percent of residents say they get a "good" or "great" return for their association assessments, while 18 percent say the return is "not so good or bad." The rest were unsure.
At Cagan, we take pride in the fact that our clients do much better than the national averages, so please tell us what you think we can do to make your community an even better place to live. We encourage you to get involved. Your community is and will be what you make it. There is no substitute for active and constructive involvement and no better way to build a true sense of community. A community is a team of people working on its own behalf and we manage building communities as if they were our own. Your success is our success.
More national survey results, which include comparative data from similar surveys in 2005, 2007 and 2009, are available under "Research Projects" at www.cairf.org
|Cagan, Today--2013 and Beyond|
Why wait for 2013? Cagan has launched a state-of-the-art Field Service Department. We would like to introduce Kristina Grbvavc and Jason Christensen. They are working hard at developing our new Field Service Department. What does this mean for your community? Here is a list of things that field supervisors contribute to your management team:
- Assist your property manager in conducting building inspections on a planned schedule.
- The addition of yet another trained pair of eyes reviewing the condition and status of your building and community using tablet computers, photography and information sharing programs will support scrutinized analysis.
- Accessible historic reports for future and past reference along with composite reports generated based on multiple inspections will be available.
- Better targeting, planning and implementing of preventive maintenance.
- Reduce costs by recognizing early prevention and correction opportunities so contracting for preventive maintenance can be planned and immediate.
- Security and safety requirements, as well as general housekeeping initiatives and measures become routine and pre-planned.
Meet the Field Service Department
who comes to Cagan with experience in both condominium and rental property management is now serving as a Field Assistant. When inspecting a building, Kristina uses a wireless tablet with specialized apps that make it possible to create a report onsite and immediately (real time) send it to the Property Manager. If there is an immediate need, she can instantly notify an appropriate vendor or service professional.
Jason Christensen has both a construction and maintenance background and is working with Kristina Grbvavc to develop responsive systems and protocols for this division. As a Field Supervisor, he inspects buildings and assists with special projects.
Cagan Leadership Seminar
Cagan Leadership Seminar should be on your calendar- Monday, October 15, 6:30PM
in Cagan training room. A light supper will be provided. You may confirm your reservation by contacting Janet Nelson, Cagan Operations Manager at 847-324-8961 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. Provide your community association name and the names of those attending. It will be great to see everyone. Here is the program for the evening:
Paul H. Wieland, CPA
Process of Preparing a Community Association Budget
Weiland & Company, Inc.
Developing a Request for a Proposal
Michael J. Shifrin
Process of Updating Old Declarations and Bylaws
Kovitz, Shifrin and Nesbit
Offices in the Chicago area and Wisconsin
Cagan Management would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the American families who lost their innocent loved ones eleven years ago on 9/11. They are the finest of American Heroes.
Cagan Management Group would like to wish everyone in the Jewish community a happy new year filled with peace, good health, and days filled with happiness.