Volume 200 No. 107

Community Associations
Advocacy, Support and Growth



Cagan's holiday wish is that peace, hope and love continue to abide and grow in all communities.  Enjoy the season with the warmth and comfort of your friends and family.
CMCA?...What does that mean?   



You see this designation after the name of your Cagan Property Manager. Besides confirming a person is a properly licensed property manager in the state of Illinois, it also indicates you are probably talking to one of the most eclectic problem solvers you will ever meet. Volunteer community association boards and the property managers that guide them deal with an infinite list of issues. Here is a broad list just to name a few:
  • Community Culture and Satisfaction
  • Governing Documents
  • Rules and Regulations
  • Financial Planning and Asset Replacement
  • Building Operations
  • Maintenance and Renovation
  • Insurance, Security and Protection
The more than 10,000 U.S. CMCA-certified professionals manage every type of community: condominium associations, homeowner associations, cooperative communities, resort communities and commercial tenant associations. Based on information provided by the Community Association Institute, 24% of U.S. homes are in community associations and 63.4 million people live in them. Running a community association is like running a business when it is done right. The majority of community associations are not-for-profit corporations. The best way for homeowners to protect their investment is by hiring a qualified, board-certified CMCA.

The CMCA is administered by the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB). Their purpose is to ensure that community association managers practice with professionalism, integrity and knowledge. Here is what is required of a licensed CMCA:
  • Coursework in accounting, collections, ethics, finance, governance and the law.
  • A rigorous examination.
  • Adherence to a code of professional standards and ethics.
  • Commitment to continuing education and professional development.
The Community Association Institute has long been an advocate of licensing. It provides a channel for maintaining and raising standards of service in the industry. It also protects homeowners in providing for what is for most people, their most valuable asset.

The Illinois Legislative Action Committee


The effectiveness of community volunteer leadership extends far beyond community association boards. The Illinois Legislative Action Committee (ILAC) is actually a volunteer committee of the Community Association Institute (CAI). ILAC is a legislative watch dog that protects the interests of community associations in the state of Illinois. It shares the mission of CAI in supporting homeowners and professionals in serving community associations. However ILAC focuses on local and state legislation such as:
  • ILAC reviews and takes positions on all legislative bills affecting community associations.
  • ILAC lobbyist, Jeff Dixon educates legislators in Illinois.
  • ILAC communicates important legislation to community associations and their managers.
  • ILAC members visit legislators in their districts to keep them educated regarding community association issues and needs.
  • ILAC serves as a resource for legislators when legislation affecting community associations is under consideration.
The next regular legislative session starts in January of 2014. If you want to learn more about proposed legislation which may impact community associations, visit www.cai-illinois.org.
Board Administration and Voting  

(Information provided by the Law Firm of Harry W. Carls, Esq. of Taylor & Carls, P.A.)   


The following is a guide to assist a director of a condominium association or homeowner's association when considering his or her vote:
  • Directors may not vote by secret ballot.  This issue can arise when a board is faced with a particularly divisive issue, and directors may wish to avoid offending particular persons or groups.  The only exception for the rule that directors cannot use a secret ballot is when the directors vote for the election of Association officers.
  • Directors may not vote by proxy.  If a director is unable to attend the meeting, or must leave a meeting before a vote on a particular issue is taken, that director cannot give another director a proxy to cast a vote for the absent director.
  • A director who attends a meeting of the board will be deemed to have agreed to the action taken unless the director actually votes against the action, or abstains from voting for a legitimate reason.
  • The Vote of each director must be listed in the minutes of the board meeting.  Similarly, if a director abstains from voting, that fact and the reason for abstention must be recorded in the minutes.
  • Directors are permitted to vote by telephone so long as a speakerphone is used at a duly noticed meeting so that all directors and all members in attendance can hear and speak to each other.  Thus a Florida condominium or HOA director can be on a fishing trip to Alaska and still participate in a valid board meeting, including casting a vote.
  • Directors are permitted to abstain from voting, but only for conflicts of interest which they must announce.  It is not a valid reason to abstain from voting simply because a director wishes to avoid offending a particular person or group.  An example is when a director must vote to enforce a particular rule and the alleged violator happens to be a neighbor. If a director believes that his vote would be biased in favor of the neighbor because of the personal relationship, then such is a legitimate reason to abstain from voting.  But if the director only wishes to avoid offending the neighbor by casting a vote in favor of enforcement, such is not a valid reason to abstain.
Condominium directors are permitted to submit either a written agreement or disagreement to actions taken at a prior meeting where they were not in attendance.  However, such a document does not serve as an actual vote nor can it be used to create a quorum where one did not exist at the time of the meeting. 

Generally speaking, if a positive vote of the majority of the board of directors is required to approve a motion, then the community must be given a minimum 10 day notice of the meeting during which the vote is to take place. If a vote of the entire community is required for approval, then a 30 day notice should be given. However, it is important that you confirm this based on the requirements in your state and your community's governing documents.
You, Cagan and The Chicagoland Cooperator Expo   



The recent Chicagoland Cooperator's Condo, HOA & Co-op Expo on Navy Pier in Chicago has been declared a success. The Manager of Cagan's HOA Division, Shanna Modisette served on a panel for one of the seminars. Michael Daniels, Cagan's Chief Operating Officer as well as other members of our staff enjoyed seeing those of you who visited us at our booth. The Cooperator Expo's Director of Marketing, Joanna DiPaola said, "We gave attendees the chance to meet service providers and professionals who answered their questions; they made invaluable connections and attended educational seminars." The next Chicagoland Cooperator's Condo, HOA and Co-op Expo is already scheduled for October 28, 2014.  

Cagan October (10-10-13) Leadership Seminar    



The Cagan Leadership Seminar held in the Cagan training room at our corporate headquarters was rated a 10 as a successful learning opportunity for the board members and community leaders who attended. Many of our Cagan Property Managers were also present to support the learning process and just enjoy some good times with their building community leaders.  Information was presented regarding best practices for budget development, snow management and related technology, and wholesale energy solutions. The Leadership Seminar schedule for next year will be announced in an upcoming newsletter publication. We hope you will join us and share in the collaborative learning process in 2014.  

Notable Notes 
  • Chicago is the third largest condominium market in the country. There are an estimated 260,000 condo units in more than 13,000 buildings in the city.
  • 20% of condo owners currently rent out their units.
  • When Outer Drive East, the now famous condominium community on Randolph Street in downtown Chicago was completed in 1963, it was the largest apartment building in the world and it stood all alone. The infamous Lake Shore Drive "S" curve actually curved around its famous bubble-domed swimming pool. The "S" curve has since been straightened and standing with Outer Drive East are many residential condo communities.    
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