What is the board of directors?
Tahoe Donner Association is governed by a five-member board of directors. The directors are elected by property owners and govern the financial management and general operation of the association. The annual budget of the association, including revenue, expenses, required reserve funds, and annual assessments, is in excess of $24 million per year. Operations include the physical management and maintenance of the association’s common areas, operation of the resort amenities, and enforcement of the land-use restrictions and architectural standards that create the unique character of Tahoe Donner.
Fiduciary relationship and responsibility
Members of the board of directors have a fiduciary responsibility to the owners within the association. This fiduciary relationship imposes obligations of trust and confidence in favor of the association and its property owners. It requires members of the board to act in good faith and in the best interest of the association and all home owners. It means that board members must exercise due care and diligence when acting on behalf of the association, and it requires them to act within the scope of their authority. The fact that the association is a not-for-profit corporation and that the members of the board are volunteers and unpaid does not relieve them from the high standards of trust and responsibility that the fiduciary relationship requires.
What sort of issues come before the board?
Within applicable legal constraints, the board determines everything from the amount of the annual assessment to which major projects should be pursued by the association. It governs the general overall operation of the association in conjunction with the association’s general manager. It decides on appeals from association members who disagree with rules interpretation or enforcement. It gives guidance to the association’s committees on topics ranging from recruiting and retaining employees, to which auditor to hire, to defining any new rules that should be put in place. Important items for the board to review and decide upon over the next two years include: continued implementation of the Association Master Plan, fiscal monitoring of the association’s amenities, establishing appropriate funding levels for the association’s reserve and development funds, utilization of open spaces, and fulfilling the vision of Tahoe Donner.
What are the qualifications for directors?
Article VII, section two of the restated bylaws requires that candidates for election to the board satisfy the following qualifications:
- Be an owner of at least a 25-percent separate interest (residential property) within Tahoe Donner.
- Be in good standing with the association, meaning that all assessments with respect to all separate interests owned have been paid current, and the candidate is not subject to any suspension of membership privileges.
No property owner is eligible to be a director if:
- A co-owner (another holding an interest in a property of the candidate) will be serving on the board at the same time as the candidate.
- He or she is an employee of the association.
- He or she has served two elected consecutive terms of office.
Your fellow owners will be looking for and will vote for candidates with qualifications they feel will best support the association’s interests and welfare. Direct experience in leadership, management, finance, and resort operations are all experiences that would serve the needs of the association well. Those with other skills, experience and knowledge relevant to association operations and governance would also be welcome candidates for the open directors’ positions on the board.
What is the time commitment?
Being an effective director does require time. Regular board meetings are held once per month. A briefing packet is prepared by the Tahoe Donner staff for each meeting, and a significant amount of time is required to review and research information, including occasional meetings with staff to clarify particular issues, in order to be well prepared for the board meetings. Monthly board meetings usually last most of the day, depending on the agenda items and number of member appeals of enforcement actions taken.
There are also occasional special meetings to review items that cannot wait until monthly meetings. Additionally, each board member serves as liaison to one or more of the committees serving the association; this involves additional regular meetings scheduled during the week. The scheduling, time periods required and number of committee meetings are held at the convenience of the committee chair and depend on the particular task being addressed.
Is it necessary to be a full-time resident in Tahoe Donner to serve on the board?
There is no requirement to be a full-time resident of Tahoe Donner. It is desirable to have representation from owners who are full-time residents as well as those who are part-time residents. However, the time commitment may make that difficult for some owners. The association is equipped for teleconferencing for those times when it may be difficult to attend meetings in person.
What is involved in running for the board?
Those interested in running for the board must first submit an application available around April. Once eligibility is confirmed by the elections committee, candidates are invited to:
- Submit a candidate's statement which will be mailed to the membership in the election packet.
- Participate in a candidates informational forum attended by senior staff, committee chairs, and current board representatives. This is the candidates' opportunity to ask questions and help them understand how the association works.
- New this year! Record a 60 second video with the marketing department introducing them selves. This will be posted on elections page of the association website. It is the candidate's opportunity to put a face with a name for the benefit of the membership.
- Participate in three elections committee sponsored events, intended to give the membership opportunities to meet the candidates and ask questions about their campaign platforms in order to inform their vote.
The bottom line!
Serving as a director for Tahoe Donner Association carries many of the same duties and responsibilities as overseeing any other large business. Being a board member is a valuable and rewarding experience that should be undertaken by those who see it as an opportunity and have the time to serve their fellow neighbors while protecting and enhancing the assets of the community. It is serious business, but also a responsibility worth doing well in order to safeguard the investments of every owner.