Welcome To The February Edition Of "The Green Marble" Newsletter

The February Issue Includes:

- Tribute to Paul West, Partner with Clayton & McCulloh 
- Community Connection - Orlando Pet Alliance 
- "Former Board Members Must Turn Over Association Files - Part II" 
- Upcoming Seminars/Events/Meetings
- Directors Workshops 
- Who's The Most Awesome In Your Association?
- Reserve Studies Make Business Sense
- Did You Know?
- Quote Of The Month
- February Birthdays

Tribute to Paul West, Partner with  Clayton & McCulloh 
Saturday, February 11, 2017, the good Lord took inventory of the angels in Heaven and decided He needed a very special angel.  And only one person could fill that place - Paul West, one of our firm's Partners.  The Lord brought one of his most gregarious, generous Christian men to Heaven to be with Him.
Paul cared very much for his clients and co-workers.  He viewed practicing law as an opportunity to live out his faith.  He was very effective and successful with how he applied his Christian principles to his practice.

Continue reading and picture slideshow .

Community Connection -  Orlando Pet Alliance
By: Nathan Knoebber 

We orchestrated a donation drive with the Orlando Pet Alliance that turned out be an amazing success. We were able to collect three full shopping carts of blankets, towels, and dog/cat food to help our furry friends at the Orlando Pet Alliance. We sent our Public Relations Department to hand deliver our donations. While there we had an opportunity to interact with some of the volunteers and the lovely pets we were helping with our donations. We truly appreciate everyone that was able to help by bringing in items for donation. Moving forward if you did not get a chance to contribute with this donation drive we will be continuing our efforts to help the Orlando Pet Alliance. We plan to work more closely with the Orlando Pet Alliance to drive donations to our offices with our next drop off planned for some time in July. Until then, keep a look out for those two for one deals on pet food, and as the volunteers at the Pet Alliance put it "cat litter is like gold around here." 

"Former Board Members Must Turn Over Association Files - Part II"
By: Clayton & McCulloh

In my prior "Blog" entitled " Former Board Members Must Turn Over Association Files", we discussed Directors' responsibilities and requirements to turn over their respective HOA's, Condo's and Co-op's "Official Records" when their term as a member of the Association's Board of Directors has terminated.  Part II of this Blog discusses the advisability of X-Directors taking reasonable measures to protect them, before timely relinquishing the Official Records in their possession.

The first Cardinal Rule, as far as this attorney is concerned, is that you should not provide copies of anything which you feel may be incriminating or involves a breach of your duty as a Director, without first consulting your own attorney (who is not the Association's present or past attorney or law firm).  The reasons for this are many, and should be discussed with your attorney at that time.  Importantly, this is NOT advising you to violate Florida law by not timely providing the Official Records to the Association.  Merely that you should get legal advice before doing so, if you are concerned about any future exposure to liability for your or the Board's actions while you were a Director. 

Upcoming Seminars/Events/Meetings

Our upcoming seminars and events are listed below.

Community Connect Chats are a new and improved spin on our popular Fireside Chats which originated in 2010! Community Connect Chats are small educational classes covering a wide variety of subjects both for Community Associations and issues that affect you and your family. Each month, we will be featuring various small group, one to two hour classes presented by our legal team complete with refreshments, ample time for questions and answers, a copy of the PowerPoint presentation, and a certificate suitable for framing. These classes will be hosted at our Maitland and Melbourne offices featuring free parking and are available for 1 or 2 CEUs for managers.  Check out our website for information on specific classes by clicking  here.  

Tuesday, February 21 -   Hosted by Clayton & McCulloh 
Maitland Office.  Registration at 9:00 a.m. Attorney, Jennifer Davis, will be presenting "Foreclosure Sale - Now What?"  A complimentary class including a continental breakfast with quiche.  For more information click  here .

Tuesday, March 14 - Hosted by Clayton & McCulloh
Maitland Office. Registration at 6:00 p.m. Partner, Joe Stayanoff, will be presenting an "HOA Board Certification Class." A complimentary class with appetizers including a complimentary glass of wine. For more information click here.
Thursday, March 16 - Hosted by Clayton & McCulloh
Melbourne Office. Registration at 6:00 p.m. Partner, Brian Hess, will be presenting a "COA Board Certification Class." A complimentary class with appetizers including a complimentary glass of wine. For more information click  here.

Tuesday, March 28 - Hosted by Clayton & McCulloh
Maitland Office. Registration at 6:00 p.m. Partner, Brian Hess, will be presenting a "COA Board Certification Class." A complimentary class with appetizers including a complimentary glass of wine. For more information click  here.

Thursday, March 30 - Hosted by Clayton & McCulloh
Melbourne Office. Registration at 6:00 p.m. Partner, Joe Stayanoff, will be presenting an "HOA Board Certification Class." A complimentary class with appetizers including a complimentary glass of wine. For more information click  here.

Directors Workshops
We are pleased to offer to our clients this two-hour educational and informational workshop for board members to prepare them to assume their roles within the Association.  This workshop is generally conducted by our Director of Public Relations, our Collections Manager, or Coordinator of Client Services. 

This workshop provides practical information on what is expected from a director, an introduction to our Public Relations, Collections, and Client Services Departments, and how those services can assist your Board Members fulfill their roles. Also covered in this workshop is our Case Status Reports, how to organize effective committees, suggestions on how to curb homeowner apathy within your Association, and many other topics.  This workshop does not provide any legal advice.  This workshop can be hosted at your Association or you can coordinate this event with several other Associations and host it at a convenient clubhouse or other meeting place.  The fee is charged per Association so as many Directors can attend as are available at no additional costs.  This service is available starting in June of each year.

For more information please contact  our Director of Public Relations, Arlene Ring, at  (407) 875-2655 x129.
Who's The Most Awesome In Your Association?

The Most Awesome Award is currently accepting nominations for the Second Quarter Most Awesome Board Member and Manager. We are looking forward to announcing our First Quarter Most Awesome winners in our next issue, but until then, make sure you get your new nominations in. We know there are a lot of very deserving Managers and Board Members out there that need more recognition. The winner will receive a framed certificate marking their achievement, and a $25 Visa gift card! The Second Quarter Most Awesome Award deadline is April 6, 2017. 
Use the buttons bellow to nominate a Manager or Board Member you know who has truly gone above and beyond the call of duty for your Association. Be sure to elaborate  and make sure we know why your nominee is the Most Awesome!

Res erve Studies Make Business Sense
By: Nick Brenneman, Reserve Advisors, Southeast Regional Account Manager
Over the years, homeowners volunteered to serve on the board because they had expertise and skills from professional careers that were applicable to the association. Examples include attorneys, accountants, and engineers.  Boards are made up of people with these skills, as well as, other owners who are simply concerned about protecting their most important investment - their home.
This approach generally worked well in the early years of the association industry. Today, however, community associations are being managed more like a business with the help of outside attorneys, engineers, and accountants who specialize in community association property.  Now more than ever, associations are using the services of independent engineering firms that specialize in 30-year reserve studies. A professional reserve study determines accurate, supportable annual reserve contributions necessary for the repair or replacement of common property as it wears out over the development's life.
Professional reserve studies are designed to eliminate special assessments by ensuring that sufficient funds are available when property components need to be repaired or replaced.  Elimination of special assessments offers peace of mind to owners and reduces claims of financial mismanagement.  Most homeowners view their home as a financial investment. Therefore, associations are increasingly emulating business management because of the fiduciary nature and responsibility of association boards.
Florida Statute 718 requires reserves for roof replacement, building painting, pavement resurfacing and, "any other item for which the deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost exceeds $10,000." {FS 718.112(2)(f)}  While regulations vary for homeowners associations (FS 720) and cooperatives (FS 719), there is a strong trend toward more legislation rather than less.
One may wonder what his "fiduciary duties" are under these statutes.  As director of a community association, your actions (or inactions) have an impact on your and the members' financial well-being now and in the future. Successful boards know that sound financial and business decisions for the future cannot be made without a reliable snapshot of where the organization is now, as well as, where it is planning to go.
Boards and management companies alike look to firms specializing in reserve studies for an independent, accurate projection of future capital repair costs and realistic useful life information. The reserve study provider will determine the current financial status of the association and a future funding plan, usually for the next 30 years.  Some reserve studies even contain valuable information about the condition of the property and scope of replacement projects to further educate the board on the nuts and bolts of their association.  The reserve study becomes the blueprint that the current and future boards will rely on with complete confidence.  Regardless of the board members individual experience, education or background, a professional reserve study will prepare the board to better fulfill their fiduciary responsibility.
Nick Brenneman is the Southeast Regional Account Manager for Reserve Advisors, Inc.  Mr. Brenneman has been in the Reserve Study industry for over 6 years. As an experienced educator, he frequently attends industry seminars, trade shows, and events. He can be reached in the firm's Florida office at (800) 980-9881 or Nick@reserveadvisors.com.

Did You Know?
HOA Reporting Mandated By The State
A 2013 Florida law mandated that all homeowners' associations report specific information to the Division of Florida Condominium, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes ("the Division"). This has been a mandate since that time and if you have yet to submit this report, the Division is still looking for this information from your association. You can check to see if your HOA has submitted the necessary information by looking up your association in this jumbled list on the Division's website (just a hint, use the "control key + F" command to pull up a search bar on a windows PC, or the "command key + F" on a Mac. Then type in your association to verify). If you do not find your HOA within the list in the link above, you will want to print and fill out this form (also from the Division's website). You would then send it to the following address:  Department of Business and Professional Regulation Division of Florida Condominium, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes  2601 Blair Stone Road Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1030 to ensure that your HOA comes up as having reported this information in accordance with state law.  The following is a link to the frequently asked questions section of the Division's website that addresses this law in greater depth.  
Quote Of The Month

Get The Latest Trending News!
Like us on Facebook and you will receive:
  • Late breaking news on topics affecting Community Associations;
  • Seminar invitations;
  • Legal Updates;
  • Human Interest Stories; and
  • Much more!
This isn't your parents' law firm Facebook Page. Like Us on Facebook !

Join Us In Celebrating These February Birthdays!

Ceara Keck - Accounting Assistant, Clayton - McCulloh - February 18
Michelle Tylutki -
Collections Manager, 
Clayton & McCulloh  - February 23
Diane Suchy - Manager, Bosshardt Property Management - February 24
Like us on Facebook Like us on Facebook     Connect on LinkedIn View our profile on LinkedIn
Orlando Office: Maitland
The Clayton & McCulloh Building
1065 Maitland Center Commons Blvd.
Maitland, FL  32751
Phone: (407) 875-2655
Fax: (407) 875-3363 
Melbourne Office: Suntree/Viera
Baytree Corporate Park
1301 Bedford Drive, Suite 101
Melbourne, FL 32940
Phone: (321) 751-3449
Fax: (321) 751-3450 
Toll Free: (888) 793-1486
After Hours / 24/7: (407) 808-2553
You are receiving this e-mail as you fall into one of the following categories:

* You are currently a client or client's manager; and/or
* You have requested to be on our mailing list.

If you elect to be removed from this e-mail service, we will no longer be able to send you seminar invitations, information on changes in the law concerning Community Associations, newsletters, or any other information regarding the Community Association industry.  You will not receive solicitation for business unless you have requested that information.  We sincerely hope we can continue to assist you with the challenges that face Community Associations today through this service.