January 2010

Recently I had the privilege of sharing a wonderful evening with a group of friends. We were all gathered around a fire pit eating smores and drinking hot chocolate. A couple of them had guitars and we were having a great time, singing oldies and just sharing a little about each of our lives. Of course, as seems to be the case wherever I go these days, the conversation eventually turned to the effects of the economy.

Several people had suffered financial losses, and a couple had seen jobs cut where they worked. We all knew of someone who had lost their job. It seems, even in tranquil social settings like the one that evening, there was no escaping the reminder that these are difficult financial times.

Community associations can’t escape this reality either. Whether dealing with foreclosures, residents who can’t pay their fees, or having to deal with special assessments, the economy is affecting almost every community.  The Community Association Leadership Lobby (CALL) has released the results of their third online survey, which we have included in this issue on page xx. Unfortunately, it seems many associations do not expect this year to be very different when it comes to community finances. A large majority of respondents in the survey predicted a continuing decline in property value and even more foreclosures.

We also get personal about finances at the manager level in this issue with our annual salary survey  (see page xx). This online survey looks at the average salaries for managers by region, size of communities, and many other factors. It is always one of our most popular articles, and I am sure that with all the talk about the economy, there will be great interest in the results this year.

Our finances, whether personal or community related, are very important and obviously impact our daily lives. That is why we try to bring you the information you need to work through the issues your communities are facing.  I hope that FLCAJ will be a help and an encouragement to you this year. And if you just need a break—grab some friends, build a bonfire, and sing some oldies—it’s a guaranteed smile maker!

Don’t forget that the deadline to enter your community for the FLCAJ/Becker & Poliakoff Communities of Excellence Award is this month, January 15. Please go to www.flcaj.com to enter.