Our Board, and its role, was reorganized about two years ago after adopting a Task Force report, which looked at how we were managing ourselves. The major and initial change was opening up Board Meetings to greater Villager participation. Other important changes involved expanding the responsibilities of the six Directors and, more recently, initiating full Board participation with management in informal Leadership and Planning sessions.
To understand why a Village Board exists, it is first necessary to look at the role of management and our staff. We pay our monthly fees and, in turn, they provide the services that are necessary for the Community to function. But just feeding us, maintaining our living spaces and their total package of services doesn’t really fill the active quality of life that we, collectively, would want – living here in a collaborative community. The Board exists to serve and represent the Villagers and to support activities Villagers desire. I see our major functions as:
- Communication. We act as a voice both to and from management. It is critical to inform Villagers what’s going on and equally important to keep Management in the loop so they can respond to our needs. In addition, through speakers at Board Meetings, bring information of interest and value to Villagers.
- Coordination. The Board coordinates and supports our 50 committees and budgets funds to run them. That requires that we maintain our own funds and manage committee budgets and collect annual dues.
- The “all other” category. This is hard to define. Things come up that need doing – discussion, decisions, reports and appearances. Some are known in advance and some just happen. These tend to be spread out as assignments to Board members.
Even after having been a Board member for three years, I find coming up with a nice, clean explanation of what we do is difficult. We clearly are there to represent the interests of all the Villagers and to try to act as both a focal and a doing point to help the Village thrive. We are all here with 100% freedom as to how we manage our lives. We’ve elected to make the change from individual living – as most of us did in our homes – to community living as part of our Village. We also all know that it is a significant adjustment. It can also be seen as an opportunity quite simply to be part of our Village and contribute your part to our totality. Again, I’m having trouble finding the right words but I think that you get it.
So, at the end of the year 2015, I hope you had a good one plus a happy holiday season. My wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.
— Dick Neiley