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Community associations are unique entitiespart corporate business, part government municipality, part social club. Governing and managing these hybrids is no small challengeeven in the smallest of associations. Most community associations assign the policy setting to an elected board and assign the management of day-to-day operations to a professional manager. For a few associations, however, these differing functions are combined in one extraordinary group of dedicated peoplethe self-managing board. These are highly committed individuals who make countless sacrifices on behalf of their communities, and it was for them that Self Management: A Guide for the Small Association was first written.
Whether youre self managing a condominium, cooperative, homeowner association, or other mandatory-membership community association, this guide is intended to help you fill the dual roles of governance and management without the benefit of professional management services.
The second edition of Self Management has been significantly expanded to include additional information on nearly every topic covered in the first edition. Nevertheless, it is, as the name states, a guide. It doesnt attempt to be a comprehensive treatise on all aspects of a self managers responsibility, but it does contain enough basic information to get you started in the right direction. If this guide makes you aware of the nature and scope of your responsibility, if it helps you avoid problems, if it makes your job just a little less formidable, it will have accomplished its purpose.
As in so many endeavors, education will be a key ingredient in your success as a self manager. Reading this book is a good first step. At the end of each chapter youll find information about related resources that will continue your education. Many of the recommended resources are GAP ReportsGuides for Association Practitioners. Thats what self managers areassociation practitioners. As this second edition of Self Management goes to press, there are 28 titles in the GAP series, and more are planned for the future. Possibly one of the best and most comprehensive guides to self managing an association would be a complete set of these reports.
Community Associations Institute (CAI) also provides other educational resources for those who are self managing their community associations, and youll find more information about CAI at the end this book.
The principles and information contained in Self Management are relevant to all community associations regardless of their size. Some small associations employ professional management services and some large associations function very successfully with volunteer managers. Regardless of your situation, this guide will be extremely useful.
Numerous experts in all areas of community association management contributed their expertise to the content of this guide. It represents the combined wisdom of managers, accountants, attorneys, reserve specialists, engineers, insurance specialists, and parliamentariansall of whom are recognized leaders in the community associations industry. Their shared expertise will make your job a little easier and your experiences more enjoyable.