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Welcome to CAI’s new e-newsletter, created just for you. Each colorful, easy-to-navigate issue will arrive every month in your inbox containing the most up-to-date news, data, and calendar items created specifically for CAI informed members—and those who want to be. Everything you need to know about communities, courses, webinars, meetings—and especially about other CAI members—is now at your fingertips. And each new issue will be customized to include the articles you want to read most.


SMART WATER PROJECT

The Foundation for Community Association Research investigates alternative sources of water in California. 

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Water may be the most valued and sought-after natural resource of the 21st century. Climate change, drought, and population growth are creating stress in areas previously considered water-rich.

To help the 45,500 community associations in California, which represent 9 million homeowners, the Foundation for Community Association Research commissioned a research project to investigate water use and reuse in communities throughout the state. This activity, conducted from 2016 to 2018, became known as the Smart Water Project, the results of which are now available on the Foundation's website at www.cairf.org.

Every day, our coastal areas discharge 12 billion gallons of wastewater into estuaries and oceans—equivalent to 6 percent of the country's total daily water use. Reusing this water would directly impact the nation's water supply and promote better conservation practices.

The Smart Water Project's goal was to investigate the current use by community associations of nonpotable (recycled) water for irrigation and water feature maintenance and to identify potential incentives, barriers, and challenges to more communities adopting these practices.

People are starting to rethink how and where they live, work, and play based on availability and scarcity of water. There is no question that Americans waste water and that we need to be more attentive to conserving this vital natural resource. One place where we can make a difference is in the management of residential communities with large green space, golf courses, trails, and water features.

By identifying and analyzing current practices, issues of concern, and practical case studies, this report aims to help community association leaders conduct thoughtful evaluation and make informed decisions about adding or expanding nonpotable water reuse to community operations.

While California has a long history of controlled water use management, the Smart Water Project's report has value for any community considering how to improve conservation and environmental activity in the face of changing climate conditions.

The full report is available here.

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lEGISLATOR, LITIGATOR, COMMUNITY LEADER

Award-winning legislator Mitch Landrieu will be 2019 Law Seminar keynote speaker. 

02CAIAtHome_WatchTheBoom.jpgVoted America's top turnaround mayor in 2016 for leading efforts on public health, infrastructure, and gun violence, Mitch Landrieu, a two-term mayor of New Orleans, will be the Wayne Hyatt Lecture Series keynote speaker for the upcoming 2019 Community Association Law Seminar in New Orleans, Jan. 23–26.

  • Elected New Orleans' mayor twice by nearly two-thirds of voters, Landrieu inherited a city crippled by Hurricane Katrina. He was able to secure billions in federal funding for schools, hospitals, parks, and critical infrastructure to help New Orleans become one of the nation's great comeback stories. During his second term as mayor, Landrieu was awarded the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for advocating for and overseeing the removal of four Confederate monuments in New Orleans.

    A graduate of Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and Loyola University New Orleans Law School, Landrieu studied mediation and negotiation with the Harvard Law School Negotiation Project, the American Arbitration Association, and the Attorney Mediators Institute. He is a member of Louisiana's Supreme Court Task Force on Alternative Dispute Resolution, which was responsible for developing the pilot mediation program in Orleans Parish. He has also taught alternative dispute resolution as an adjunct professor at Loyola University Law School.

    In addition to highlights from his two terms as New Orleans' mayor, Landrieu will share with Law Seminar attendees his experiences as Louisiana's 51st lieutenant governor from 2004 to 2010 and his many years as a lawyer and representative in the state's legislature.

    >>To register for this one-of-a-kind event sponsored by CAI's College of Community Association Lawyers, visit www.caionline.org/lawseminar19.​

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protecting your association's money

Homeowner leaders and community managers should know how to protect community association finances.

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Despite alarming stories on the internet and in other media about management companies and board members embezzling funds—homeowners' money—from community associations, most managers and boards manage their association's funds responsibly and honestly. Whether an association is guided by a professional manager or management company or is self-managed, community leaders are responsible for fulfilling their fiduciary duties to the community, exercising discretion in a manner they believe to be in the best interests of the community, and making sound business decisions that follow established management practices.*

For starters, board members should take their fiduciary responsibility seriously by reconciling bank statements promptly; reviewing the balance sheet and profit-and-loss statement; and comparing expenses to the approved budget every month.

Annually, boards should have association financial records audited by a certified public accountant and have reserve accounts analyzed to ensure they are adequate for future needs. Communities also should consider instituting a reasonable investment policy that safeguards the principle of any invested funds, a collections policy that ensures adequate cash flow, and a signature policy—such as two signatures on every check over a specified amount—that safeguards operating funds.

Other steps boards should undertake regularly:

  • Keep cash transactions to a minimum, particularly payments to vendors. Always write a check so the bank and the association have a record of the transaction.

  • Never make out a check to cash, and don't make out a check that's payable to the bank unless it is to pay a bank obligation, like a loan or mortgage.

  • When a cash transaction can't be avoided, make sure that more than one person handles it.

  • Separate financial responsibilities, i.e., the person who writes the check should be someone other than the person who approves the expenditure, and the person responsible for recording transactions and balancing and reconciling accounts should be someone other than the person who approves the expenditure or the one who writes the checks.

  • Don't co-mingle funds, i.e., operating funds and reserves should be in separate accounts.

  • Only accept checks made payable to the association; never accept a check made out to a board member.

  • Deposit incoming checks daily and have a lockbox account at the bank for collecting assessments.

  • Require two signatures on check deposits, particularly for large amounts. Never use a stamp as a signature on a check.

  • Keep blank checks securely locked up at all times. All association checks should be numbered, and each outgoing check should be listed on the check register. Report any missing checks to the bank immediately.

  • Notify the bank immediately when authorization for writing checks changes, i.e., when a board member's term expires or a new association employee is hired.

  • Make sure the association has adequate insurance coverage for embezzlement or fraud.

  • When a new staff member is hired or someone new in the association is authorized to handle finances, check each person's background and credentials thoroughly. 
>> CAI has numerous resources to help guide association boards in financial management best practices. For more information about association board members' fiduciary responsibilities, see The Board Treasurer, 2nd edition: Roles and Responsibilities in Community Associations. Member price: $15.

Also see Best Practices: Financial Operations​​​. Member price: $6.95. Both are available​ at www.caionline.org/shop

*From Rights and Responsibilities for Better Communities: Principles for Homeowners and Community Leaders, available at www.caionline.org/HomeownerLeaders​.​

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upcoming webinar

06CAIAtHome_HitTheRoad.jpgDish Issues: Understanding the FCC's Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule
Wed., Sept. 12​ • 2 ̶ 3pm​

This one-hour live webinar offers case studies and valuable resources that can guide attendees in developing and implementing policies in their communities about satellite dish installation and use. Industry experts Robert Diamond, Esq., and Steven Hill, president of Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association, will discuss the nuances of the Federal Communications Commission's Over-the-Air Reception Devices (OTARD) rules.
>>This webinar offers one hour of continuing education credit. Member price: $69 for a 120-day subscription. Details and registration are available at www.caionline.org/webinars​.​

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UPCOMING EVENTS

07CAIAtHome_CEOEvent.jpg CEO-MC Retreat  
Oct. 10
 ̶ 13 • Boca Raton Resort • Boca Raton, Florida​

CAI's CEO-MC Retreat is the premier executive education program for CEOs and senior executives in community association management companies. As a decision-maker, your influence guides community association management, development and policy, and has a significant impact on the more than 63 million Americans who reside in the estimated 320,000 association-governed communities.  ​

>>Details and registration information are available at www.caionline.org/CEO18​.​​
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