By Robert O. “Bob” Jester
Chair, FAC Subcommittee
As published in The View, August 2023:
Question of the Month: When does our Association start to plan the budget for 2024?
The answer is August 2023. We start in August because this is a complex process to plan financially for the operation of a community the size of Sun City Shadow Hills. The Association, its Board and its many volunteers must consider the daily needs of 3,450 homes, the residents, and all the infrastructure that allows this community to function efficiently on a daily basis for 365 days.
The process starts with the General Manager meeting with each department director reviewing with them the 2023 budget, if it has met their needs, and then what the needs will be in 2024. As the community infrastructure ages, there will be more and more replacement and repair issues and workers required to meet those needs during the year.
After these meetings, a draft budget is prepared and then begins the long process of review and adjustment in order to meet the community needs and still operate within a budget, that does not significantly increase the Association dues for the residents. The inflationary cycle that we have seen over the last 36 months, has constantly put pressure on the monetary requirements of the operating budget of the Association and unfortunately, we cannot predict when that cycle will end. We also do not want our community to decline in appearance, function, amenities, or residential values, so we spend the time necessary to try to satisfy all those needs.
Once the draft budget is reviewed and receives preliminary approval by each Association department, the Finance Advisory Committee, and the Board, it is time to ask the residents to participate in the budget process by attending the public budget meetings and by adding their opinions and input to this draft budget.
This “public inspection and review” of the budget by our residents is extremely important! This is our community, and we need to contribute our time and attention to this process. We all desire a sound financial plan for 2024 and this is therefore your call to participate in the following public meetings:
- AUGUST 16, 2023 | 10 am in the front half of the Montecito ballroom
- SEPTEMBER 20, 2023 | 10 am in the front half of the Montecito ballroom
- OCTOBER 18, 2023 | 10 am in the front half of the Montecito ballroom
We look forward to your involvement in preparing the budget for 2024. Please do not fail to add your voice to the creation of the 2024 budget, as once the Board approves the budget in December it is your budget and we all will want to feel that we have done our utmost to create a sound financial plan for 2024.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.