As negative reports of homeowners associations surface in the media, it is important to remember that the bulk of HOAs have been an immensely positive force in our Las Vegas metropolitan area neighborhoods and properties. The few bad apples shouldn't reflect poorly on all the hard-working, ethical volunteer HOA members who continually strive to do the right thing and keep neighborhoods intact despite shrinking budgets.
At Community Associations Institute's Nevada chapter - the nonprofit organization that represents community homeowners association volunteers, community managers and industry partners statewide - many educational opportunities and programs are made available throughout the year for homeowner volunteers.
One important program CAI offers is the Dedicated Community Association Leader Ethics and Education program. Through this battery of classes, the volunteer learns all aspects of proper community association governance.
The DCAL program developed by CAI's Nevada chapter combines valuable education classes and guidance in the areas of ethics, conflicts of interest and volunteer board member standards in all facets of the day-to-day operations of homeowner associations. DCAL is a one-of-a-kind educational program that recognizes the volunteer board members' dedication and quality of service to their communities.
A DCAL designee must follow these rules and regulations:
1. Be consistent in all dealings.
2. Be faithful in attendance at board meetings and/or committee meetings.
3. Insist that professional management be responsible to the board of directors.
4. Allow the professional manager to manage.
5. Keep a watchful eye on the financial reports.
6. Communicate with fellow board members and homeowners.
7. Deal honestly with all individuals whether within or outside of a community.
8. Resist using their position for personal gain.
9. When serving on a board of directors, remember it is operating as a Nevada corporation.
10. Encourage all board members to obtain education and knowledge of their management roles in a common interest community.
A DCAL candidate has to fulfill all of the predesignation education requirements and still observe the rules of conduct and code of ethics while performing his or her duties. They can remain a DCAL as long as they promote the aspect of positive living in a common-interest community and continue to seek and promote proper education for homeowner volunteers.
The application and requirements can be found on the CAI Nevada chapter's website at cai-nevada.org, or call 648-8408.
At CAI, we believe following a code of ethics is a must. We are proud to offer assistance through classes and other programs that will help volunteer homeowners to move constantly in the right direction and keep current with all rules affecting community associations.
Anne Calarco is the co-chair woman of CAI Nevada chapter's Education Committee. CAI's Nevada chapter is part of a national organization, Community Associations Institute, that has provides education to HOA members and community professionals.