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New BoardApr 30, 2007


A new board just gained control of our co-op and have inherited quite a number of issues that have gone unresolved for a number of years. This is the main reason we were elected.

Each time we investigate an issue we uncover more work to be done and another challenge.

We replaced our super and our management company, and while they are getting up to speed, how should we determine which issues must be tackled first.

There are so many issues that, at times, it is overwhelming.

Any advice is helpful here.

Thank you.

Join the Conversation Comments (5)
Re: New Board - PGrech Apr 30, 2007


I always found it best when taking over a building to make three lists. One Prioritized, one based on cost and the other by simplicity.
Then I begin to knock the simple ones while working on those that are Priority yet with in budget.
When faced with multiple issues, multitasking is important and delegation allows more to get done. Always keeping in mind that Resident Safety, Health and security are TOP issues.

Pgrech

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New Board - AdC Apr 30, 2007


The new board took over and is already discouraged???

Well, it's all a problem of breathing in-out technique and understanding that the computer was not invented by Adam and Eve or Second World War did not start nor won in one day. IN other words, there are many things to accomplish but a few that we can humanly and financially accomplish in one year.

The problem is vision, will or tenacity and making sure you stay on course. As PGretch stated, prioritize is the #1 lesson; divide an conquer is the second lesson. So, once you prioritize according to financial returns and safety to the co-op, you must understand what are the financial resources the required to do #1, #2, #3 priority, etc. Then proceed according to financial resources, safety concerns and shift priorities if necessary.

Once you do this, state your goals for the year as a board so you know what you are to accomplish (divide and conquer). Don't try to be overly ambitious. Being modest about your goals according to your maintenance and reserves makes the task easier. Every year as you complete or achieve the goals BLOW the trumpet loud and clear to shareholders; they will become awayre that you have done something positive and at least, you pad yourself in the back -- no one will do it for you!

Finally, don't dwell in the past. Look forward and don't try to find justification by digging the past. The past is only good to know payment history so that you don't pay double; to know what was done that may not need to be done again. The past only drags your progress. Turn over the page and think of what you need to accomplish. Otherwise, it becomes a justification for not doing anything positive.

AdC

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Objectives for a new board - TedT-NJ Apr 30, 2007


Establish a long term objective (ten to twenty-five years) with a plan to meet the objectives.

1. For instance, one objective could be never to reenter the debt market.
2. Another objective is to eliminate all long term debt ten in twenty years.
3. Still another is to fund capital reserves and capital projects via assessments each year.
4. Eliminate any outstanding receivables greater than thirty days to less than 1% of monthly income.
5. Ensure that all contracts are put out to bid and assessed by competent outside consultants.
6. Reduce dependency on single suppliers


The plan can be:
1. Obtain an engineering assessment of the infrastructure within four months as required by AICPA rules.
2. Obtain a line of credit to be used only for “capital improvements” until the assessment income is available, to then be repaid each year without fail.
3. Increase monthly maintenance each year between 3% to 5.5%.
4. Establish a program to require capital assessment each year equivalent to one time or one and one-half times the gross monthly maintenance; to be collected over a six to nine month period such that funds are isolated from maintenance for IRS purposes.
5. Establish committees with friends of the “board” and with one or two board members on the committee for key areas: capital projects, maintenance of hallways and lobby; maintenance of heating and cooling plant; etc.
6. Establish a rigorous program with attorney to require payment of receivables.
7. Employ “industry experts” to assist in creating and evaluating “bid packages” as part of standard program for all major contracts bid.
8. Require that all purchases be made from multiple suppliers (round-robin) so that dependency is eliminated and maybe, not nice to say, collusion.

Use a few simple rules such as above to be the guiding light. Too many and it will be difficult.

Yes, it can be done. See my posting a few questions down.
http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?disc=94379;article=8107;title=Habitat%27s%20Board%20Talk

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Resolving many issues - BP May 01, 2007


Jeff - PGrech's advice on dealing with issues is sound - make 3 lists by priority-cost-simplicity.

If, as you say, your issues are so overwhelming, this may help: Sort them first by "subject" - financial, building, staff, owner problems, rules/policies, legal, etc. Each board member could work on a few subjects and sort them by priority-cost-simplicity (the 3 lists), then the full board can tackle all issues on each list. Delegating does get things done more effectively and quickly, assuming people given certain tasks don't slack off.

When you have many issues and each one keeps unearthing even more problems, you have to say "Wait a minute. We have to get organized before we can accomplish anything."

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Re: New Board - pgrech May 01, 2007


If the board is overwhelmed, which can happen to a new board, perhaps getting a consultant of sorts may help to give you an detached opinion and help guide you. Having both new management, and a new super, with a new board is tough going at first. Not sure if new managing agent is detached enough for that.

It is an option the board may concider.
Pgrech

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