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central florida times

WWW.CAICF.ORG | FIRST QUARTER 2019


First Quarter 2019

contact information P.O. Box 941125 Maitland, FL 32794 www.caicf.org exdir@caicf.org 407-850-0106

2019 board of directors Ken Zook, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, President Frank Ruggieri, Esq., Vice President Michael Kulich, CMCA, President-Elect Kent Taylor, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Secretary Leslie Ellis, CPA, MSA, CGMA, Treasurer Lou Biron, Past-President Suzan Kearns, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Past-President Chuck Strode, CAM Robert L. Taylor, Esq. Matt Vice

a message from the president

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t’s spring and your chapter is full steam ahead with events and meetings to make your networking and learning potential greater and more fulfilling. First and foremost, I wanted to thank all of our volunteers and contributors who work so hard in bringing our programs to our members! From those who serve on the Chapter Board of Directors and our Committees as well as to our sponsors who provide the means for us to grow and be successful. I can’t say thank you enough to all of you who have spent so much time and energy serving our membership and this amazing chapter. As President, its been truly a pleasure watching everyone come together to bring us meaningful education and networking while making all of this fun and full of energy! I can speak first hand that by becoming active in the chapter, it has paid off for me in building friendships and by far, making my position as a community manager for a large scale community a lot easier. I am humbled by those who preceded me to make the chapter better each and every year. Please find time to commit to CAI Central Florida and know that while it may require a little elbow grease, you will get so much more out of your participation. I promise that! A special shout out in print to everyone who worked so hard in making this year’s CA Day such a huge event! WOW! If you did not attend, you missed one amazing opportunity. Check out some of the pictures from the event on page 20. This was by far one of, if not the best, trade show and educational events to date! We had well over 100 booths, and one of the biggest crowds of attendees I have seen. Even our Volunteer Homeowner members were in attendance in large numbers. To all the folks who participated in the educational sessions, thank you as well! In making the rounds myself, I heard nothing but great feedback from all across our membership. A job well done to all! And would you believe we don’t stop there. The 2019 Board of Directors is committed to bringing all of us effective education and programming that we can all benefit from. On April 12th, the Board will be participating in a Strategic Planning Session with the assistance of CAI National to work on some of our challenges and build on our successes. This will be a first for us and if I may, another learning opportunity for all those who participate. Off the heels of all this planning and discussion, we roll right into the National Conference being held right here in Orlando. From May 15th-18th, at Rosen Shingle Creek. Feel free to check out the event and all of the educational classes that are available by going to www.caionline.org. To top off this large event, the best part is the Chapter Party! That’s right, we have some plans for you! Come to Connect, Learn and Explore on May 16th at CAIddyshack from 6:30pm-10pm at Drive Shack off of the 417. We’ll have entertainment by the Marcus Gullen Band. Registration can be done online and these events are a huge hit as each city that hosts the National Conference tries hard to beat out the last party host. I know we have done it this year!

President’s message continued on next page 2


President’s message continued There is one other person I would like to thank that works non-stop making sure things come together and is the glue that keeps all of us on track - Reini Marsh, our Executive Director. Please take a moment when you see her to say thank you. Sometimes we forget about all the work and energy that goes into keeping us successful and in my short leadership role so far, she has never failed taking a call, following up and keeping me in the loop of all she does. Thank you Reini! And thank you to all our members for just being there and providing us feedback on all we do. Sometimes we hit it out of the park and sometimes we strike out. But all of us have a desire to serve and make a difference and I’m proud that we all have that same DNA embedded in each of us! Enjoy the start of spring! Warmest Regards,

Ken Zook Ken Zook, CMCA, AMS, PCAM 2019 President, CAI Central Florida Chapter

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a message from the CED Thank You Volunteers!

REINI MARSH Central Florida Chapter Executive Director

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I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to my wonderful volunteers! You go above and beyond the call of duty. It is because of you that our events are so great. The Membership Committee makes the registration process warm and welcoming at our monthly meetings! The Trade Show Committee along with all our volunteers, did a great job - truly stellar! To the Chapter Party Committee, we are on track to do great things for National Convention. The Golf Tournament Committee is just firing up and we will have an

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excellent tournament this year. The Communications Committee is doing some fun things; look for us on Facebook - @CAICentralFlorida! The Board of Directors are wonderful and I treasure them all. Thank you so much for all you do. There are so many volunteers, that I cannot name you all in this note, but know that you have my undying gratitude and love. I could not do this without you! You are all valued and loved!


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central florida chapter update 2019 calendar of events More details regarding upcoming events will be posted to caicf.org under the “Events” tab. Check back regularly for the most up-to-date information. CAICF Board Meetings will be held before or after each of the Monthly Meetings. Please be sure to register for all events in advance, as we need an accurate head count for space and food purposes prior to the event. Thank you for your help! • April 13th: Sunshine Foundation Dream Village Volunteer Work Day at 8:30am. RSVP today at caicf.org. • April 25th: Spring Happy Hour from 4pm-7pm at Gator’s Dockside (45 W Crystal Lake St., Orlando, FL 32806). Free event; just meeting up with our CAI friends! • April TBD: New Member Breakfast • May 2nd: Monthly Meeting: Luncheon - Understanding D&O Insurance presented by AssuredPartners at Dubsdread. Registration begins at 11:30am. Register today at caicf.org. • May 15th-18th: CAI Annual Conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando. The conference provides education sessions on operations, leadership, innovative business practices and new products and techno​logies. Industry professionals and homeowner volunteer leaders from around the world come together to discuss critical issues, network and learn about the latest community association trends.​Learn more at caionline.org.

• June 20th: Happy Hour from 4pm-7pm. • July 11th: Meet the Managers from 4pm-7pm at Dubsdread. $275 for Business Partners and free to Managers. See page 32 for more information! Registration opens soon! • August 1st: Monthly Meeting: Luncheon - Lakes & Ponds CEU at Dubsdread. Registration begins at 11:30am. • August 19th: Happy Hour • August TBD: Business Partner Roundtable at Leland Management in Orlando. • September 5th: Monthly Meeting: Breakfast - Stress Less presented by Betsy Barbeiux of Florida CAM Schools at Second Harvest Food Bank. (Please bring along a nonperishable or canned food donation!) Registration begins at 8:30am and the meeting begins at 9am. • October 3rd: Monthly Meeting - Legal Panel

• May 16th: CAIddyshack National Chapter Party at the Drive Shack in Orlando from 6:30pm-10pm. Entertainment by the Marcus Gullen Band. Tickets are $100 and include two drink tickets. Register today at caicf.org. • June 6th: Monthly Meeting: Luncheon - Service Animals CEU presented by Dara Lahav, from Garfinkel Whynot Association Law at Dubsdread. Registration at 11:30am.

• October TBD: Annual Golf Tournament • November 7th: Monthly Meeting: Luncheon - 2020 Legal Update. Registration begins at 11:30am. • December 5th: Annual Meeting, Gala & Fundraiser

SPONSOR AN UPCOMING CHAPTER MEETING! There are six more opportunities to sponsor a Chapter Meeting in 2019. Each sponsor for the Chapter Meetings receive face time in front of the membership with the microphone to talk about your company. You will also be able to put give-away items and collateral on all the tables. Space is also provided for our sponsors to display their marketing materials. Every sponsor is important to our chapter and your generous donation goes directly to off set the costs of the program. Only 3 sponsors are permitted per program. Please consider sponsoring today! Click the links below to register as a sponsor at one of the upcoming meetings! May 2nd | June 6th | August 1st | September 5th | October 3rd | November 7th

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are you ready to testify? BY JOSEPH F. SMITH, III, ESQ., BURG SIMPSON ELDREDGE HERSH JARDINE

W

hile most lawsuits that a community association is a party to settle before trial, there are plenty of times when you, as a board member or manager, may be required to testify. The thought of it doesn’t raise your blood pressure or make you decide to schedule a long vacation IF you take some time to understand your role and consider how you can be most effective. A trial is nothing more than a formalized communication platform. The parties, through witnesses (managers, board members, others) and their attorney, tell a story to the audience (a judge or a jury). It is the telling of the story that is important in having a successful day in court. Attorneys act as a guide to help witnesses tell the story.

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you need to be prepared, professional and confident; 2. The Effective Story Teller has a message to deliver, has a definite purpose in giving that message, and is consumed with the necessity of getting that message across and accomplishing that purpose – know your part in the story and make sure you have the facts, details and information to help the audience understand your part; 3. The Effective Story Teller analyzes and adjusts to every speaking situation – with the guidance of your attorney make sure you understand the people you are speaking to – their biases, background, knowledge, etc.;

As you prepare your story and become an effective story teller it is good to remember these 10 Principles:

4. The Effective Story Teller chooses topics which are significant and appropriate – don’t be led astray or try to color the story a certain way;

1. The Effective Story Teller is a person whose character, knowledge, and judgment command respect – that means

5. The Effective Story Teller realizes that the primary purpose of speech is the communication of ideas and

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interested in getting more involved? join a caicf committee! If you are interested in getting more involved in the chapter, joining a committee is a great thing to consider. Below are the different committees that we currently have active. Please feel free to contact any of the following committee chairs: CA Day/Trade Show Committee Gina Holbrook Premier Association Management gina.holbrook@premiermgmtcfl.com Chuck Strode Associa cstrode@community-mgmt.com Communications Committee Benjamin Isip Towers Property Management, Inc. ben@towerspropertymgmt.com Education Committee Gary van der Laan Leland Management gvanderlaan@lelandmanagement.com Phil Masi Assured Partners pmasi@assuredptr.com

Gala Committee Lou Biron Sihle Insurance Group lbiron@sihle.com

Membership Committee Jason Martell Martell & Ozim jmartell@martellandozim.com

Golf Committee Scott Pollock Sentry Management spollock@sentrymgt.com Legislative Committee Lou Biron Sihle Insurance Group lbiron@sihle.com

Jessica Cox Leland Management jcox@lelandmanagement.com

Meet the Managers Committee Chuck Strode Associa cstrode@community-mgmt.com

Social Committee Tara Munoz Your Private Adjustor tara@yourprivateadjuster.com Sunshine Foundation Committee Jennifer Agravat Asphalt Restoration Technology Systems jennifer.agravat@asphaltnews.com

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are you ready to testify? feelings in order to get a desired response – be human, be approachable, be real; 6. The Effective Story Teller reads and listens with discrimination – listen carefully to questions asked and be open to correcting misstatements or responding to new information; 7. The Effective Story Teller secures facts and opinions through sound research and careful thought so that the information is worthy of the listener’s time – give your information as succinctly and thoughtfully as appropriate; 8. The Effective Story Teller selects and organizes materials so that they form a unified and coherent whole – make sure your files are organized so that the necessary information is easy to follow;

10. The Effective Story Teller makes his/her delivery vital and keeps it free from distracting elements – don’t let personality conflicts with the other party or attorney color your story and your presentation. Remember as you are preparing for your testimony that the jury doesn’t know anything and the judge and attorneys don’t know as much as you would like. You are in the best position to educate them and tell the association’s story – one of the keys to a win!

Joe Smith is a licensed attorney in Florida and Colorado as well as a Colorado licensed architect with over 25 years of construction law and construction defect litigation experience. If you would like more training on Manager Testimony and How to Become a Star, Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, a Professional Corp.,

9. The Effective Story Teller uses language that is clear, direct, appropriate, and vivid–paint a picture with your words and emotion and avoid slang and acronyms which our industry is dominated by;

offers a DBPR approved seminar on this topic and would be happy to present it to your team over breakfast or lunch. Feel free to contact Joe at jsmith@burgsimpson.com or Annika Mantius at amantius@burgsimpson.com or 941-777-6776.

Do you want to become

a better board member? We’ve got you covered! Robert Riddick, the Foundation’s PresidentElect, is a volunteer board member in his community and has relied on Foundation Best Practice Reports to navigate the good, bad, and ugly situations that have developed over the years in his own association, all while improving the quality of his neighborhood.

Or earn your PCAM? Former Educator of the Year Paul Grucza, also a Foundation board member, shares that Best Practice Reports are an important component of CAI’s education curriculum.

Then, check us out at www.foundation.caionline.org where you can access our free reports and show off your smarts, promote your company,

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Donate to the Foundation’s Big Picture campaign with a gift as little as $40 and your peers, colleagues, and clients will know that you make decisions based on factual data that has already been tested, vetted, and approved!

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McGowan Program Administrators, Community Association Division

The Board of Directors’ Test 1

The association board of director’s authority is set forth in the articles of incorporation.

2

The association by-laws set forth how (a) directors and officers are elected; (b) notice requirements for

True False True

False

meetings; (c) who is eligible to vote; (d) the terms for officers and directors. 3

Original by-laws can be amended to reflect the changing needs of the association.

4

The procedures for amending the by-laws require a unanimous vote of the association membership.

5

State law requires that board members read the by-laws prior to taking office.

6

By-laws take precedence over state law.

7

The procedures set forth in the By-laws are only advisory and need not be followed.

8

Actions of a Board can be invalidated if the board was not properly elected or formed.

9

A Not For Profit community association is not held to the same standard of a For Profit board of directors.

10

The board of directors’ cannot be sued if it chooses not to enforce the rules set forth in the CC&Rs.

11

The board of director’s is only responsible for claims asserting monetary damages.

12

The board does not need to read the CC&Rs or the By-laws. That is what a management company does.

13

The CC&Rs take precedence over state law.

14

The CC&Rs need to be updated periodically to comply with new changes in the law.

15

The board is not responsible for conduct of the management company and or its employees.

16

The CC&Rs do not apply to board members if he or she has not read the CC&Rs and By-laws.

17

The board of directors are required to adhere to all rules promulgated by the hired property managers.

18

The advice of an attorney creates immunity from liability for the board.

19

The board cannot be sued if the community association fires or harasses an association employee.

20

All D&O policies provide coverage for the failure of the board to obtain or maintain insurance and the only issue is to purchase the least expensive policy, because all policies provide the same coverage.

21

All D&O policies provide coverage for breach of contract claims by a third parties/business partners.

22.

The Board of directors, the association, or association volunteers cannot be sued for defamation, because they have volunteer immunity.

23

The board of directors has no exposure if there is a data breach of association information, even if the association information was the result of the management company being breached.

24

A board or its association is only liable for damages up to the amount of its insurance limits.

25

If the board of directors has insufficient insurance limits, or deficient coverage, the association members

can not be held responsible as long as the policy purchased was the cheapest policy offered. 26

Any duly elected board member can make unilateral decisions throughout the association as they deem necessary.

For answers contact Joel W. Meskin, Esq., CIRMS, CCAL Fellow, MLIS for answers at: jmeskin@mcgowanins.com 800/545-1538 ext 2240 12

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insurance BY JOEL W. MESKIN, ESQ., CIRMS, CCAL FELLOW, MLIS

The Price of Insurance v. The Cost of Insurance: Pay an Amount Certain Now, or be Surprised Later

C

ommunity associations are creatures of budget. The primary purpose of a budget is to provide certainty and avoid surprises as the board complies with its obligation to protect, preserve and enhance the association assets.

the insurance proposal is proper coverage to protect, preserve and enhance the association assets.

More often than not, board members primarily focus on “price” when purchasing insurance. However, “price” is only relevant if the options presented substantially provide the same coverage apples for apples; or there are never any claims.

More often than not, the management agreement with the Association requires that the association unilaterally indemnify the Management Company and the CAM for claims arising out of services provided.

Caveat: Remember not all insurance is created equal!

The board is obligated to protect, preserve and enhance the association assets. Primarily focusing on price in the insurance decision process is counterintuitive to this duty. Where in the governing documents does it provide that the board has a duty to save the association money when purchasing insurance? Nowhere! Rather, the duty is to determine what insurance will best protect the association assets.

The reality is most boards never make the ultimate insurance decision, because they defer this task to the CAM. Not only do they defer to the CAM for insurance decisions, they do not meet in person with the community association insurance professional. It is one thing to defer the insurance leg work to the CAM, however, it is another thing for the CAM to make the insurance purchase and maintenance decisions on their own. In my humble opinion, focusing primarily on the point of sale premium should be the last decision. The key obligation is to determine whether 14

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CAUTION: BOARD MEMBERS BEWARE

Boards are authorized to seek counsel from professionals when an issue is beyond the knowledge of the average board member. Insurance is one of those issues. Moreover, why wouldn’t a board


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insurance cont. CAUTION: CAMS BEWARE! Many management agreements expressly provide that the CAMs assume the task of purchasing and maintaining the association’s insurance program. In other situations, many management companies take on this role voluntarily and may involve preferred insurance business partners in the process. This practice in and of itself is not necessarily a problem. However, there are a number of traps for the unwary, including who is ultimately responsible for any errors in the purchase and maintenance of insurance. The key individuals that should be most concerned here are management company “owner” and Boards.

1. INDEMNIFICATION Most management agreements have an indemnity provision that provides that if the CAM is sued for something it did for or on behalf of the association, the insured needs to provide the CAM defense and indemnity. Accordingly, the managed association must be able to fund that obligation. Many CAMs and Boards “assume” that this can be funded by the association’s Directors and Officers policy where the CAM is almost certain to be added as an additional insured, or are included in the policy definition of insured. As a result, the funding of the obligation owed the CAM is by the associations assets, special assessments or a loan. always seek counsel from a community association professional? Boards are always looking for cheaper anything. Why not obtain counsel from a community association insurance professional who does not charge. The “cost of insurance” is not the same as the “point of sale premium.” The “cost of insurance” is the total amount the association incurs at the time of a loss or claim plus the value of peace of mind that the association receives during the claims process. If the board made sure they purchased the best coverage for the association, the cost of insurance will have been a good deal. However, if the focus was the point of sale price as opposed to coverage, there is a very possible reality that the cost of insurance could be significantly higher than the price, because the association will be self-insured for the coverage that was sacrificed for the cheaper price. Caveat: More important for associations than “point of sale insurance premiums” is not being surprised by uncovered claims!

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It is also important that the Management Company or CAM understand the indemnity provisions of your state. Not all states will allow indemnification for someone’s active negligence, and many if they do allow indemnity for active negligence, that provision must be expressly set forth in the agreement, and in some states follow a certain formula.

2. COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION D&O POLICY Most Boards, Management Companies and CAMs “assume” that since the management company was working on behalf of the association, and since it is an additional insured on the D&O policy, that the CAM will be covered and that is how the insurance claim against the CAM, for whom the association agreed to provide defense and indemnity will be funded. Unfortunately, virtually every D&O policy on the market “excludes” coverage for claims by the association against the Management Company or CAM. Even worse is that there are some D&O policies where the Management company or CAM is not even covered under a policy.


3. MANAGEMENT COMPANY/CAM PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE Virtually all CAM Professional Liability Insurance “expressly excludes” any claims arising out of insurance claims. This should make sense, because a professional liability policy is intended to cover the professional from its industry professional services. CAMs are not licensed Insurance professionals.

4. CONFLICT OF INTEREST Some management companies or CAMs have their own preferred insurance professional who in turn has its own preferred insurance carrier. There are also some where the insurance is a division, affiliate or subsidiary of a management company. These may in fact provide the best products to protect the association’s assets. However, there are two key requirements. First, any such relationships must be expressly disclosed to the association board. Second, under this scenario, the management company or CAM must still conduct its due diligence as to the best available coverage, and not just the best price.

5. BUSINESS GOOD WILL There are “Good Will” issues that can arise from insurance issues. First, very often the management agreement has a unilateral indemnity agreement flowing from the association to the Management Company or CAM. Theoretically, if the CAM does not purchase and maintain the appropriate coverage, it is still protected, because the association must defend and indemnity the management company or CAM. Who will tell the board that we the management company are being sued, but you have to defend us. As long as the management company is not concerned about losing the client, there is no problem. Does the management company and CAM have an obligation to disclose this to the association before the agreement is entered?

they are additional insureds on the association insurance policies, but they do not make sure the association’s policy is not the best. The management company and the CAM’s coverage is only as good as the associations.

TAKE AWAYS • Community Association Insurance Professionals do not charge to meet, counsel or present to your Board. Make the Insurance Professional’s E&O on the line, not the Management Company or CAM. The Insurance Professional, not the CAM is the licensed insurance expert.

• Boards should exploit community association insurance professionals for two reasons. First, boards owe a fiduciary duty to the Association and relying on a licensed community association insurance professional. By doing so, the board develops a strong defense to a strong business judgment defense. Second, the counsel is free.

• CAMS should never sign an application on behalf of an association. The association does not pay the Management Company or the CAM

• Always make the board review the application, make any changes they need and have the appropriate board member sign the application.

• Not all insurance coverage is equal.

Joel W. Meskin, Esq. is the Managing Director of Community Association Products for McGowan Program Administrators. For more information, contact Joel at jmeskin@mcgowanins.com or 440-333-6300, ext. 2240, or visit mcgowanprograms.com.

Second, what will the neighbor associations or other associations think when they hear about this? What will the impact be on the association property values?

6. MANAGEMENT COMPANY CEOS BEWARE One of the biggest mysteries I have encountered in my years in this industry is why there are Management Company CEOs, executives and owners who do not make it one of the highest priorities to make sure the association’s insurance program is the best. Management Companies spend so much time making sure

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recent chapter events

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Some say first impressions are everything. We say it’s the lasting ones that count. Be confident about the message your landscape sends. Partner with our team of landscape experts whose tailor-made solutions, dependable service and consistent results ensure your resident’s first experience is never their last. Susan Chapman 407 702 4929 Susan.Chapman@brightview.com

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trade show

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welcome new members! BUSINESS PARTNERS

Slider Engineering Group, Inc. Ms. Kim Wilt

Ms. Jazmine Rojas Leland Management, Inc.

Addresses of Distinction Street Signs & Mailboxes Mr. Reinhardt Cyphers

Whitaker Contracting Corporation

Mr. Eddie Vargas, Jr. Leland Management, Inc.

MANAGEMENT COMPANY

Mrs. Wanda Texas Melrose Management

Advance Tree Pros Mr. Brandon Cipollone AllStar Backgrounds Mr. Carlos Guerra Branch Land & Tree Service, LLC. Mr. Nathan Branch Community Management Professionals-Orlando Mr. Jesse Uribe Expert Inspectors Inc Mr. Dave Kolodzik Fiebig Architecture PLLC Mr. Matthew Fiebig Florida Capital Bank, N.A. Mr. Stewart Baker Nicolette A. Kramer, Attorney at Law Ms. Nicolette Anne Kramer Sedgwick Valuation Services Ms. Chrissy W. Castro Sitex Aquatic, LLC Mr. Joseph Craig

Oracle Elevator Company Mr. Harper Smith

MANAGER MEMBERS Ms. Ellen Barr

Yen T Tran Cruz RealManage Mr. Antonio D Shaw, CMCA Rizzetta & Company, Inc. Mr. Richard E. Kjellstrom, CMCA Southern States Management Group, Inc

Mr. Jeffrey F Calvert

May L Morales Towers Property Management, Inc.

Mr. Jarrod Cruz Mr. Christopher Ersson Ms. Shelley Sue Kaercher

VOLUNTEER LEADERS

Ms. Sandra Elizabeth Noto

Mr. John Goldsnider

Ms. Amy Blackman Ardenwoods Homeowners Association

Ms. Lisa Mason North Shore at Lake Hart Homeowners Association

Mr. Todd Haskett, CMCA CCMC

Mrs. Jennifer Schmitt North Shore at Lake Hart Homeowners Association

Ms. Kristina Lueth CCMC

Mr. Steve Smith North Shore at Lake Hart Homeowners Association

CAI Volunteer Leadership CAI is governed by dedicated members who help shape the future of the growing, international organization, CAI chapters and the community association marketplace at large. CAI is governed by a 15-member Board of Trustees. The Board is supported by three Membership Representation Groups, elected members who give their constituencies a voice in crafting CAI policy and work to ensure that CAI continues to provide services and benefits that members need and value: Business Partners Council, Community Association 22

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Managers Council and Homeowner Leaders Council. The Membership Representation Groups recognize the unique characteristics and needs of each of the CAI member classes, give them a stronger voice in crafting policy and provide a vehicle for making recommendations on CAI services and benefits. Find more information about CAI leadership at www.caionline.org/ leadership. One of our very own Central Florida Chapter members was named to the Community Association Institute’s Business Partners Council for 2019! Please help us congratulate Jennifer Agravat of Asphalt Restoration Technology!


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navigating large hoa maintenance projects BY SPERLONGA DATA & ANALYTICS

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n lieu of a special assessment for the project, a loan can defray the cost over time and it will impact the reserve the least. Eventually, an HOA board must brace itself for major construction, reconstruction or infrastructure projects. It’s taken for granted by boards that they will eventually be required to install new sewers, remove trees or completely replace roofing all projects that take a big chunk out of an annual budget. With a single family home, the homeowner may need a loan to underwrite the costs of a project; the same alternative can work for an HOA. Because the cost of major projects is shared by the homeowners, a special assessment could cover the cost, but if major reconstruction is required for a large development, financial assistance could be a more favorable alternative. If a board decides against a special assessment for the project, a loan can defray the cost over time and it will impact the reserve the least.

cash for a large project, the need may supersede the cost. A reserve study helps to ascertain the financial health of the HOA, includes a financial analysis of the HOA, and explores financial alternatives in funding future projects. A reserve study will also include a needs assessment that will detail which projects should be addressed as the community ages. 2. Hire a Construction Manager to Perform a Site Review A construction manager is not the same as the contractor. He is the “middleman” who keeps the Contractor(s) on schedule and reports back to the HOA Board and property manager. Construction managers are vital to maintaining communication between the various parties and helps to make sure the involved parties are paid during the course of progress payments. He will make sure that all the substantive details of each segment of the project are performed as required.

STEPS PRIOR TO PROJECT START 1. Perform Reserve Study Even if your reserve study finds the HOA short of immediate 24

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3. Site Review In order to assess project cost, a site review is a must. For example, replacing sewer lines is not as simple as removing and replacing


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navigating large hoa maintenance projects cont. just the sewer lines themselves. It could require city permits, reserved parking (if the development does not have enough existing parking for contractor vehicles), tree removal services, concrete, and landscaping services. The construction manager, in tandem with the HOA board, performs the site review - the construction manager, because of his expertise, and the board, because of its knowledge of the property. 4. Write Project Specification After the site review, the construction manager will compile the project specifications. These not only include the building aspects of the project but ancillary items such as storing equipment and materials, proper disposal, permits, sanitation, safety, timelines, payment schedules, warranty of work, certificates of insurance, and copies of contractors’ licenses. At this point, the construction manager should supply a report to the HOA board with recommendations for contractors and an overall estimate of the cost based on prior similar projects. 5. Request Bids After the construction manager has compiled his specifications and provided the HOA board with his report, the board may wish to preliminarily vote for the construction manager to move forward with requests bids for the project or the various project segments, if applicable. This may take some time as the construction manager, property manager and/or board president may obtain several bids and testimonials for each contractor. During this time, if a loan is the best financial alternative, it is time for the HOA’s accountant to try and remove as many negatives as possible from its balance sheet (fines, late fees, or foreclosures). The cleaner the HOAs books are, the more likely the association is to obtain a loan at a favorable rate. Once bids are gathered and contractors voted upon at a board meeting (which may take up to 2 months to complete), it’s time for the next step.

payment schedule. If weather impacts progress and therefore progress payments, frequent communication among all parties is a must.

SCHEDULE AND COMPLETION Depending on the type of project, a start date must be chosen. Obviously, in rainy climates, it’s unwise to start a roofing project during the rainiest month of the year. Generally speaking, regardless of the location, spring is the start of drier weather (more specifically, from May through October). Unless it’s a smaller community, this should be a rule of thumb, even for sewer projects where water runoff can affect worker access. A schedule of approximately 4 to 6 months can cover both the preliminaries (from hiring a construction manager to signing contracts) and the job itself. If the job involves extensive reconstruction of a larger community, it may mean a schedule spanning more than one calendar year. During the project preparation, it behooves the HOA board to keep residents advised of any obstructions, noise, blockages, as well as of progress and expectations. It’s also important to keep in touch with contractors to ensure the job is being performed on schedule and without incident. Keeping all parties in the loop will make the job run smoothly and lessen the likelihood of delays. Once completed, the board and construction manager must perform a walk-through to make sure all work is done to specification. Staying on top of maintenance helps the HOA avert emergencies and plan for necessary projects. Creating a plan for large projects is critical for the long-term well-being of the community to not only maintain the quality of living but property values as well.

PROJECT COMMENCEMENT Disclaimer: This article is intended for general information purposes

After choosing contractors but prior to actual project start, the parties must sign a contract and a Notice to Proceed. The latter specifies the project start date and what paperwork (contractor’s license, certificate of insurance, contact lists) will be required of the contractor. After the necessary documents are signed and compiled, the construction manager schedules an on-site meeting with the contractor to assess the construction site to minimize impact upon the residents and to the surrounding homeowners, as well as city-owned property. If multiple buildings are under construction, as in the case of a complete roofing upgrade, it’s important to discuss a project timeline, as well as inspection and 26

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only and does not necessarily represent the thoughts, views or opinions of Sperlonga Data & Analytics and should not be construed as legal advice. For more articles like this one, please visit www.sperlongadata.com/blog.


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bioengineered living shorelines BY J. WESLEY ALLEN, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST AND REGIONAL MANAGER AT SOLITUDE LAKE MANAGEMENT

BEFORE

AFTER

The Newest Erosion Control Solution

W

hen development companies design community associations with lakes and stormwater ponds, they envision them as beautiful aquatic resources to attract homeowners, connect with nature and enhance the surrounding property. Without proper management, however, these waterbodies can quickly become eye-sores that produce harmful algae and bad odors, lead to damaged and eroded shorelines, and result in displeased community members. Most aquatic management professionals will tell you that when a property manager calls about an issue at their waterbody, it’s often past the point of a quick fix. This is regularly the case when we arrive onsite to look at an erosion issue on a lake or pond embankment. Rather than finding a few problematic patches of rock or soil, we discover steep, unstable banks, deep washouts and extensive bottom muck caused by years of sedimentation. Erosion is a natural process caused by wind, rainfall, poor design, cultural impacts like mowing and recreation, or simply an aging aquatic ecosystem. These erosion issues are all exacerbated by human disturbance. Unfortunately, erosion can also negatively affect

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your lake, stormwater pond, canal or coastline by causing loss of habitat and property value, nutrient loading, reduced storage volume and waterbody depth, and excess runoff. When topsoil is displaced, stormwater pipes and structures can be exposed and damaged. Overtime, erosion can lead to the formation of trenches and gullies that pose a serious danger to the public. There are many ways to correct erosion with rip-rap, bulkheads, and other hard armoring systems; in certain situations, they may be the preferred option. In my experience, however, reestablishing the embankment utilizing vegetation, whether turf grass for recreation or native vegetation for habitat, has always been an excellent way to halt erosion and enhance community waterbodies. There are several best management practices that can help stop erosion and establish vegetation, but a lot of them have a shorter life-span or planting restrictions. Fortunately, there is a new solution available for both the immediate and long-term stabilization of shorelines and hillsides. Bioengineered living shorelines are the latest technology in erosion control. These patented woven systems offer an innovative, environmentally-friendly solution to immediately stop shoreline and


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bioengineered living shorelines cont. logs comprised of coconut fibers. Installed in areas with direct water flow, these biodegradable logs can help redirect water movement while reducing erosion along delicate banks. Coconut “coir” logs are biodegradable, compact and excellent solutions for properties in need of a truly custom erosion control approach. Whether you decide to move forward with a complete shoreline restoration or are several years away, it’s imperative to properly budget and integrate proactive management strategies that protect your banks and hillsides, while preserving the water quality of your aquatic resource. Cultivating a beneficial vegetative buffer with flowering native vegetation will help stabilize soil during rainstorms. Deep-rooted flowering plants can also help pull excess nutrients from stormwater runoff, preventing the growth of nuisance weeds and algae in the water resource. Undesirable nutrients can be further combated with the professional application of naturally-occurring nutrient remediation products, which permanently “lock up” and prevent nutrients from fueling aquatic weeds or algae.

embankment erosion and create a natural foundation for vegetation. The most effective systems available are designed using a combination of ecofriendly, biodegradable burlap sock-like fabric and heavy-duty knitted mesh. The socks can be filled with local pond muck and sediment, which is why many property managers choose to pair this solution with proactive hydro-raking projects. After the woven mesh systems are filled, they are then secured to the embankment and can be immediately sodded, planted with native beneficial buffer plants, or seeded through the mesh and fabric layers.

Just like lawncare, lake and stormwater pond management is an ongoing commitment that requires different approaches throughout the year. While no two waterbodies are the same, each and every aquatic ecosystem is susceptible to shoreline erosion and can benefit from custom management plans that integrate buffer management and nutrient remediation, as well as other sustainable tools like hydro-raking, aeration, biological augmentation, and regular water quality testing. Whether your waterbody is in its prime or has seen better days, contact your lake management professional to restore and prolong your water resources—starting with the shoreline.

J. Wesley Allen is an Environmental Scientist and Regional Manager at

As an Environmental Scientist, I’ve utilized several different shoreline restoration techniques over the years, but this innovative system is certainly creating some excitement! It provides immediate stabilization while effectively filtering and buffering run-off water, removing harmful contaminants and benefiting waterways and water quality, all the while providing a seamless planting platform and longlasting erosion control. Restored banks and hillsides can be walked on within just a few days, making bioengineered shorelines a fast, aesthetically-pleasing and long-lasting solution for most properties. Depending on your waterbody and specific erosion issues, goals and budget, your lake management professional may recommend other natural restoration tools. Lakes and ponds that experience heavy water movement may be suitable candidates for erosion control using 30

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SOLitude Lake Management, an industry-leading environmental firm. He has nearly two decades of experience leading high-profile shoreline stabilization and wetland restoration projects. This article is the second in a series featuring new break-through technologies that will revolutionize the management of lakes, stormwater ponds, wetlands and fisheries in 2019. Learn more at www. solitudelakemanagement.com/knowledge.


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