The Villas of Trentdale III





Helpful Information & Tips


Nov 2006 Neighborhood News

Home Improvement Projects by Home Depot 

Lawn Care by Scott's Lawn

Pearls of Wisdom

Be a Good Homeowner

Be a Good Neighbor

Be a Good Board Member

Be a Good Leader

Have Productive Meetings

Work with Committees

Develop A Successful Budget

Enforce the Rules and Deed Restrictions

Renters and Kids, Parking and Pets

Work with Complainers

End Apathy

Know When It's Time to Go

10 Ways to Destroy Your Association

10 Commandments for Board Members



Lawn Care Summary

Early Spring
Spread Scotts Turf Builder® anytime in early spring. Builds thick, green turf from the roots up without burning your lawn.
Late Spring
Spread Scotts Lawn Weed Control any time in late spring when rain is not forecast for at least 24 hours. Weeds such as dandelions, clover, and buckhorn will fade away and disappear completely.
Spread Scotts Turf Builder® anytime. Builds thick, green turf from the roots up without burning your lawn.
Late Summer
Either Scotts Turf Builder® with SummerGuardTM or MaxGuardTM may be applied to control summer lawn insects while feeding and strengthening your lawn. Specific product availability may vary by geographic region and/or retailer.

Scotts Turf Builder® with SummerGuardTM
Spread Scotts Turf Builder® with SummerGuardTM on a dry lawn and water in after application. Provides effective control of lawn-damaging, surface and nuisance insects. For best results, apply in summer to help strengthen and prepare your lawn for harsh summer elements like heat, drought and insects.
Scotts MaxGuardTM
Spread Scotts MaxGuardTM on a dry lawn and water in after application. Kills tough lawn insects typically found in southern climates including fire ants and keeps them away for up to two months.
Late Fall
Spread Scotts Winterizer™ Fall Lawn Fertilizer any day. Grass will stay green longer into winter and green up earlier next spring.

Click here to give us your e-mail address, and when it's time for the next lawn care program application for your lawn, we'll send you a friendly reminder along with other helpful information and lawn care tips to keep your lawn at its best.

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Pearls of Wisdom!

116 Tips to ensure a Happy Community Association Experience

Compiled by Kenneth M. Budd


Common Ground's little instruction book for serving your community association, gleaned from 20 years of CAI publications and periodicals

H. Jackson Brown, Jr., wrote Life's Little, Instruction Book to provide his son with wisdom he could refer to as he lived his life. In that same spirit, Common Ground has combed through 20 years of CAI publications and periodicals to offer similar instructions for community association life.  Here then are 116 pearls of wisdom to guide you and ensure that your community association experience is a happy one.

Be a Good Homeowner

  1. Review the documents before you buy your unit. 

  2. Read them again when you move in. 

  3. Pay your assessments.

  4. Attend the annual meeting.

  5. Read the newsletter and the minutes.

  6. Follow the rules. 

  7. Serve on a committee.

  8. Serve on the board.

  9. Don't expect someone else to do it for you. 

  10. Remember that you are a member of the association. What is good for it is good for you.

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Be a Good Neighbor

  1. Love thy neighbor. 

  2. Respect thy neighbor.

  3. Curb thy dog.

  4. Don't play the stereo too loud. 

  5. Park in your own space.

  6. Don't be a six-car family.

  7. Clean up after yourself.

  8. Take care of your property.

  9. Help form a neighborhood watch.

  10. If there is a problem, talk about it - direct conversation is more effective than sending a letter or banging on a wall.

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Be a Good Board Member

  1. Serve because you care, not because you have a hidden agenda.

  2. Use CAI courses and information to learn how to run a community association. 

  3. Study the documents before you enforce them. 

  4. Don't go on a power trip.

  5. Remember your fiduciary duty to protect, preserve, and enhance the value of the property.

  6. Let the manager manage. 

  7. Focus on policies, plans, and objectives. 

  8. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

  9. Communicate some more. 

  10. Conduct a reserve study.

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Be a Good Leader

  1. Establish clear goals. 

  2. Articulate them. 

  3. Don't put things off.

  4. Set high standards. 

  5. Make decisions.

  6. Do what is right, not what is popular.

  7. Be positive.

  8. Ask others for input.

  9. Plan and save for the future. 

  10. Send thank you notes.

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Have Productive Meetings

  1. Distribute materials - financial reports, agendas, bids - to board members a few days before the meeting. 

  2. Study this material.

  3. Prepare an agenda.

  4. Follow it.

  5. Follow the rules of parliamentary procedure.

  6. Act professional - don't let the meeting turn into a social event. 

  7. Don't serve alcohol.

  8. Don't call people names. 

  9. Open the meeting to other owners.

  10. Allow questions only after the meeting.

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Work with Committees

  1. Define the committee's purpose. 

  2. Support the committee members.

  3. Keep in touch with them. 

  4. Seek their opinion.

  5. Ensure that they follow the rules of parliamentary procedure.

  6. Give them objectives.

  7. Give them deadlines.

  8. Remember - a committee usually offers recommendations, not solutions.

  9. Offer them love, praise, and acceptance. 

  10. Reward them.

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Develop A Successful Budget

  1. Obtain input from owners, board members, committees, and management. 

  2. Conduct research to ensure the budget is accurate.

  3. Develop a month-by-month evaluation - don't just divide by 12. 

  4. Talk with contractors to estimate costs. 

  5. Be realistic.

  6. Raise assessments if necessary. 

  7. Be straightforward about it - don't use gimmicks or emotional appeals. 

  8. Plan for the future.

  9. Look for ways to cut expenses, but don't reduce the level of services or quality without telling the owners. 

  10. Communicate the budget to members.

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Enforce the Rules and Deed Restrictions

  1. Give residents a voice when creating a rule.

  2. Make rules specific and reasonable.

  3. Communicate the rules.

  4. Review the rules - new ones may be needed, old ones may need to be discarded.

  5. Make the first contact with violators informal, if possible. 

  6. Never "look the other way."

  7. Offer compromises. 

  8. Hold a hearing. 

  9. Try arbitration or mediation.

  10. Hold public meetings on divisive rules.

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Renters and Kids, Parking and Pets

  1. Don't treat renters as outcasts involve them in the community. 

  2. Publish a tenant's handbook. 

  3. Plan events for children. 

  4. Let the children help organize the events. 

  5. Give them a place to play. 

  6. Tow cars only as a last resort.

  7. Place parking signs where they can be seen.

  8. Give pets a place to walk.

  9. Encourage the purchase of fish.

  10. Watch Old Yeller.

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Work with Complainers

  1. Remember: the only way to improve is through constructive complaints. 

  2. Be diplomatic. 

  3. Listen. 

  4. Appear interested.

  5. Remain calm.

  6. Don't say anything about anyone's mother.

  7. Try working together - two people cooperating are more effective than one person telling another to change. 

  8. Do not allow complainers to insult you or use foul language.

  9. Never complain about complainers - your words will get back to you.

  10. Invite them to volunteer.

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End Apathy

  1. Recruit new residents. 

  2. Promote volunteer ism as a positive experience. 

  3. Be enthusiastic.

  4. Publicize the association's accomplishments.

  5. Recognize volunteers.

  6. Give awards.

  7. Meet people.

  8. Hold social events and "meet the owners" nights.

  9. Give owners motivation to serve.

  10. Ask for volunteers in the news letter, in-house bulletins, and through face-to-face contacts.

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Know When It's Time to Go

  1. Check your blood pressure. 

  2. Determine if you are buying aspirin in bulk. 

  3. If you're burned out, get out - new volunteers can offer new energy and ideas. 

  4. Make yourself available to new board members. 

  5. Continue to read the newsletter. 

  6. Pat yourself on the back.

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10 Ways to Destroy Your Association

  1. Stay away from meetings. Show up at meetings only if you have a problem or complaint.

  2. Decline office or appointment to any committee. Then, get angry if you are not nominated. 

  3. Insist on describing the association in negative terms only. 

  4. Never prepare an agenda, never plan the details of an event, and never coordinate with affiliates.

  5. Don't do any association work if you can avoid it. Then, when the old reliables pitch in and get the job done, accuse them of being a clique.

  6. If you do come to a meeting, don't speak until the meeting is finished. Then, criticize and say how things should have been handled.

  7. Oppose all new programs as being a waste of the membership's money. 

  8. When nothing new happens, complain that the officers lack imagination. 

  9. Read your bulletins infrequently. Then, complain that you don't know what's going on. 

  10. Never introduce yourself to new members or visitors - make them come to you.

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- John E. Matheson, Board Briefs, May/June 1992


The 10 Commandments for Board Members

Thou shalt

  1. Be consistent in all thy dealings 

  2. Be faithful in attendance at board meetings

  3. Allow the professional manager to manage 

  4. Insist that professional management be responsible to the board of directors

  5. Keep a watchful eye on the financial reports 

  6. Communicate with your fellow board members and homeowners 

  7. Deal honestly with all thy fellows 

  8. Do not use thy position for personal gain 

  9. Always remember that you are a board member operating a business 

  10. Encourage the association to be members of CAI - Terrence P. Crawford, CAI News, 1981

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Those Who Made the Pearls

These pearls of wisdom were taken from articles in Common Ground and CAI's newsletters and publications, and were written by the following authors and contributors:

Robert B. Aglar, PCAM David G. Baratti Bradford J. Brady, PCAM David Gibbons, PCAM Jim Groth F. Scott Jackson Carol Murphy Michael E. Packard, PCAM Carol Paul, PCAM Arnold Sanow Sherri Schmoekel James Strichartz John Trimble Vivian Walker, Ph.d. Virginia S. Wolf