This Is our Village

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Is there a solution?

A lot of our small associations—those with 20 to 26 units—have it tough. They can’t find willing and able-bodied owners to be board members. The reason is not hard to find. It’s often a matter of simple arithmetic.

It isn’t uncommon for half the owners of units to be snowbirds. You can have some snowbirds on your board, but you need some on the scene year-round.

Unless your association does not permit renters, it’s not unusual for a number of owners to be landlords who live out of town.

Add to this, owners who are too elderly or infirm to serve on a board, a handful of owners who simply refuse to serve, and some who everyone knows would do a poor job, and by my arithmetic you could be down to zero, or less.

We are the only one of the four Century Villages to have so many (309) associations. It has been suggested by some that several small associations become one association: for example, all the Sheffields become one or two Sheffields. But how on earth would that work? It wouldn’t be fair from the day they combine to treat them all alike, because some have done a better job of maintaining their physical plant than others, and some have more money in reserves because they have been more prudent and charged more in dues.

An assembly of 309 (or is it more?) delegates makes for a very unwieldy UCO board of directors, too. I guess we all realize this.

With the drop in prices over the past few years, it has gotten worse, because more and more people are renting. And like it or not, the lower prices have resulted in more “problem” people moving in.

I wish I knew the answer to this problem. 


  1. You have asked the question of the age, Lanny. There are too many separate associations(with all the issues you mention)here at CV--an error Mr. Levy apprently corrected in subsequent CVs to our south. But how to correct it...???

  2. Hi Lanny,

    The answer is simple, in a word; "Consolidation"

    Yes, there will have to be some relinquishing of "power", but that is the price for the common good.

    FS-718 has an interesting message, for Associations who cannot field a legal Board, the court may appoint a Receiver (LCAM) who will run your Association with the powers of a king.

    Guess who pays the LCAM salary, the Association of course.

    Dave Israel

  3. I am part of a 14 unit building. The unit owners that don't want to be bothered should think twice. I didn't want to be on the board when I first moved here but joined anyway. It makes a big difference when you truly care where you live and how to make it better and more safe. We strictly go by our by-laws. I feel very fortunate that most of our unit owners are permanent residents. I am learning a lot now that I am the president and share everything with the rest of my association board. We only have 3 on the board which is working out fine. We also have an Umbrella Executive Board that overlooks all our buildings with good advice. We are very fortunate to have all these volunteers who work very hard all year for us.

    So, for those of you that don't want to be bothered, really think about it. You can make a difference in your building no matter how little you contribute. Go to the meetings and voice your opinion, it's your right as a unit owner.

  4. Cathy sounds like you are not one of the orphan associations. How much time do you put in, and how much time correcting, following, and aiding the management company.

  5. I really can't measure the time I spend. We do whatever is needed. If I cannot attend a meeting I have backup. Each of us have a task and work very well together informing each other of our progress. Seacrest is our management company and we also meet with them once a month at our Umbrella meeting with any issues. I am still new at being president but as long as I have my other board members to help it is not a chore. Someone has to do it.

  6. Consolidation is not a new thought. This has surfaced many times over the past 30 years and the problem was always the same. The individual associations did not want to relinquish their powers. Whenever a court appointed receiver was brought up and the cost said to be in 5 figures annually, paid by the unit owners, this thought quickly died. we are again.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. The solution is to reseach Pembroke
    Pine's ( the last CV, built)
    I beleive their manner of operations
    would best serve our Community!
    Perhaps a "Town Hall" meeting ?

  9. The difficulty with consolidation, as I see it, is in attempting this after so many years. If this had been done at or near the outset, our buildings and grounds would be far more alike––roughly the same age, in the same or similar condition, etc.

    Now, so much time has gone by, some buildings have kept up with repairs to the concrete elements and some have not. Some have new roofs, others older roofs. Some have upgraded their electrical components, some have not. Some have been repainted recently, some not for several years. Some have had the portions of the roofs overhanging the second-floor catwalks strengthened, some have not. Some have added features that need maintenance (a patio, for example), some have not. Some own their laundry machines, some rent them. Etc., etc.

    How--ASSUMING THOSE IN CHARGE ARE FAIR-MINDED PEOPLE--presumably operating out of one financial kitty, do the associations get treated with any kind of fairness?

    Or is there a way those in charge could treat the formerly separate associations as separate entities with separate bank accounts? I expect this would be asking way too much of the board members and subject them to almost constant criticism. (If resignations because of exasperation are rife now, what would they be under such a system as this?!)

    I have questions, but alas, no answers!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.