Who Creates Our Annual Budget?

Some residents in our community seem to be under the mis-impression that our management firm creates our annual opeating budget. This is incorrect and your Board wants you to know the facts.

Our 2016 budget process began in June.  Staff from both WGP and PCM/Associa along with the Association Treasurer began by looking at last year's actual figures as a baseline and to address any obvious changes they might see for the future. For example, next year, the minimum wage will go up from $9 to $10 on January 1, 2016 -- and that, of course, impacts the budget.

This budget template, with a full line item justification packet, then went to the Finance Advisory Committee, the Golf Advisory Committee and all 5 members of the Board of Directors.

Each committee reviewed the preliminary budgets, line by line and made recommendations they thought necessary based on the best information they had available about the community.  Once these committees came up with recommendations for changes to the budget that they thought necessary (with full explanations for any recommended changes), the committees then forwarded  the budget template to the Board.

At the same time, all 5 Board members also went over the budget line by line, coming up with their own set of recommendations.

Once the revised preliminary budget with change recommendations were in, the Board held 3 open budget meetings which residents were encouraged to attend: September 18, October 8 and October 22.

During these meetings the Board went over the budget line item by line item, comparing the 2016 budget with the 2015 budget, asking questions of the Finance Committee, the Golf Committee and the other Board members.

By the time the advisory committees and the Board have reviewed the budget and the budget justification carefully, about 90% of the numbers were revised to more accurately reflect the projected financial needs of the community in 2016. The Board even got into detail like -- how many man hours does it take to repaint the bathrooms. Good thing we have some retired contractors on the Finance Advisory Committee and our Board.

While these open budget meetings were announced and resident were encouraged to attend, very few did. Those that did were invited by the Board to comment and ask questions.

Unfortunately, some residents who are not part of the budgeting process, do not sit on any committees and did not attend any budget meetings, are spreading misinformation to our community about our budget process. They are spreading propaganda that PCM/Associa prepares our community budget. Were they to attend any budget meeting, they would know the committees and the Board prepare our budget and do so with great care.

The 2016 budget was approved by our Home Owners Association Board of Directors at the October Board meeting and residents will be receiving a copy in the mail around December 1, 2015.

Unlike many of the surrounding communities where the dues are going up and up, our community dues will remain $217 in 2016.

This is why is it so critical that our Board be comprised of owners with strong business backgrounds.