From now until nearly the end of the year Resident Committees play a significant role in the formation of operating expenditure budgets, providing feedback for future capital works projects and assisting with annual meeting proceedings.
This month in the DCMI Village Manager PD program we have been discussing the role of the Resident Committee and how building collegial relationship with them can in fact be extremely beneficial to the village, resident satisfaction and harmonious operations.
The role of the resident’s committee is really as the voice of the residents, a safeguard mechanism for the residents financial/lifestyle interests.
Whilst there are some variances from state to state on the specifics of the role of Resident Committees, in nearly all states Resident Committees are not the decision making bodies. Instead they are bodies that represent the residents.
One of the most important activities you can undertake with your Resident Committee is to document the agreement of roles, responsibilities, behaviours, expectations and process.
This will assist to provide clarification on who is to do what, what the expectations are of each person in the relationship and timelines for identified activities.
Some items to consider when documenting this process might include:
- Meeting with the Chair prior to the meeting to jointly prepare
- The provision to table research or issues for discussion prior to meetings
- Process for communications outside of meetings – perhaps nominating one person from each party as the communication medium (Chair/Secretary)
- Type of activities the Resident Committee is happy to assist with (research perhaps)
- A timeline for review of the process
- Communications to residents after the meeting
- Process for disagreements or escalation
In my own experience when the relationship between the Resident Committee, the Village Manager and the Operator is one based on trust, respect, and honesty, then great things can be achieved in villages, and village operations tend to be more efficient.