As I have reported before, we have been trying to cooperate with individual board members of the Resident Association (RA) by having meetings on Tuesday's. All season long we have been met with various demands and a general feeling (from both the RA and us) of beeing frustrated. Every meeting we remind the RA that they are an impressive and appreciated Social organization; however, they are not "the voice" of all homeowners, and most importantly, they do not represent our voice in business matters. We have been concerned that the RA board members may be over stepping their "identity" by misrepresenting themselves to homeowners as being “their voice.” However, each meeting we were assured that the RA was clear with the Residents about these very important distinctions. As the season and discussion progressed there continued to be confusion, frustration, and disappointment for a small number of residents while we remain frustrated and concerned that contrary to what we were told, the RA may be playing a different hand to the homeowners then what they were saying to us.
Then it happened. Monday, I received a copy of the 2018 Resident Association membership drive form letter. What I read was a disappointing “smoking gun." In part it says: Why join the RA? "*We act as a go-between Management and Residents trying to resolve problems.” Farther down: “Remember, the Terra Mar Village Residents’ Association is YOUR VOICE in the park and the more voices, the LOUDER we sound."
The problem is: Both statements are not true. The RA is not a go-between homeowners and management, and the RA does not represent anyone's "voice" but their own.
So there it was. This is probably why a small group of residents seem impossible to talk with, and also seem to remain mad, frustrated, and chronically disappointed!
Therefore, on Tuesday I met with the RA board President and informed him we would no longer be meeting with the RA to discuss Terra Mar Business. Instead, direct communication would be the only way to be sure our customers received direct answers to their questions. I also assured him there was no hard feelings and that EVERYONE loves the Social Activities, which I remain committed to support financially and otherwise.
RESIDENT ASSOCIATION FAQ:
Q - Is the RA a "conduit?"
A - NO. The RA does not represent anyone but itself, and is not trained or qualified to answer homeowner questions about Terra Mar Village business related questions.
Q - Is the RA the legal "voice" of the homeowners of Terra Mar or Management?
A - NO. The RA is organized as a social organization and its opinions, answers and demands do not represent anyone’s opinion but their own.
Q - Do Terra Mar Village homeowners have to join the RA?
A - NO. The RA is purely voluntary. It is a most excellent and very much appreciated social organization who’s number one mission is FUN!
Q - Do the RA and Management cooperate with one another on social Activities and other non-business related projects.
A - YES. Most social events are coordinated with the front office from a calendar perspective, and Terra Mar’s owner donates his money to cover the costs of most of the meats served at these events. The bulk of the social events are a wonderful synergy of volunteer Residents giving effort and hard work for many to enjoy. There has also been a number of other nice projects that have been worked on - like park benches on the waterfront and a “Memorial” tree planting.
Q - I have question(s) about Terra Mar Business (my bill, the amenities, ongoing repairs and maintenance, future plans, rules, selling my house, buying a house, my dog, etc.). Should I get my answers from the RA?
A - NO. The RA is not our voice.
Q - Why do the RA “general meetings” focus primarily on Terra Mar Village business matters and the developers business with the Residents?
A - Because the RA purposely holds these meetings to represent itself as a “go-between.” Unfortunately, this has caused much frustration and heartache for a minority of homeowners and Management alike.
Q - The RA tells Management that some Residents are afraid to ask questions directly to Management because of “retribution.” Should I be concerned with this?
A - NO. NO ONE should EVER be concerned with “retribution.” First, it is against the law. Second, it is immoral. Third, it has never happened and will never happen. Last, this rumor, wherever it came from, is a scare tactic the RA has used in meetings with us to create a “solution” to a “problem" that does not exist.
Q - The RA board President says the RA does not want to be “trivialized” as only being a social organization. Shouldn't their input count for something?
A- Absolutely! ALL input is helpful. The RA can make suggestions and communicate with us just like anyone else. Everyone has the right to congregate and discuss whatever they want to discuss. Everyone also has the right to fair dealings and the only way to have fair dealing is to deal with one another honestly. Come on in, tell us what is on your mind. Write us an email. Set an appointment for a one-on-one meeting. Fill out a communication form if you don’t want to email, call, or make an appointment. Good service, fair dealings, starts by sharing information directly, from the "horse's mouth."
Q - Can the RA become "the voice" of all homeowners?
A - Absolutely! However, before that happens, there are very specific legal steps that must be accomplished, documented in writing, and the RA board may even need specific training! What the RA can not do is make believe it is something that it is not. That simply causes problems.
At the end of the day, most everyone at Terra Mar LOVES the RA for its wonderful and most excellent Social events. We also welcome your comments and concerns in this matter. Please feel free to call or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your voice heard!
KJW: Father, Family, Pilot, General Manager of TMV, LLC