Living in a condominium community means working together. Cooperation and a spirit of volunteerism are visible every day in community gatherings, board meetings, even in the scheduling of time on the tennis courts. The men and women who volunteer their time to work as part of board committees play a large role in ensuring that the community functions smoothly and as a whole.
How do committees work? What are their responsibilities and what is the best way to recruit active, engaged committee members? Every community is different and every community has its own needs that its committees will be asked to fill. With that in mind, it is always best to start at the beginning: What are the most basic needs?
Board committees are most often seen in larger developments, says attorney Howard Goldman of Goldman & Pease in Needham, Massachusetts. “In developments of 25 units or less, there are usually no committees.”
For communities large enough to have committees, the most popular volunteer duty is serving on the landscaping or grounds committee. “The cosmetic committees, like landscaping, painting or interior design, are the most common,” says Ian Gopin of G&G Management in Newton, Massachusetts.
The grounds or landscaping committees most often deal both aesthetic and financial issues, choosing, for example, what types of plantings will be made in the common outdoor areas or making recommendations on which landscaping businesses will provide the most value for the dollar. Making decisions for an entire community can be a tricky affair, even in something as seemingly innocuous as landscaping. A lot of homeowners may want to maintain their own lawns or yards, but the committee may feel that front yards may look best with roses on display. It’s up to the committee members to come up with a plan that will satisfy the needs not only of the community but of the individual unit owners as well.