GO Finance and Legal Committee Mandate

Finance & Legal 2006-01-16


The Finance and Legal Committee is a standing committee that addresses the financial and legal concerns of the community. The committee is empowered to implement decisions made by the community, and their responsibilities include budgeting and financial planning, managing investments, preparing taxes and reports, and working with legal experts to provide information to the community.


1. Type of Commitee

We are a Standing Committee (we do the ongoing work of the group)

2. Empowerment

We are not empowered to make policy decisions which affect the community's money, legal issues, or other relationships with outside entities. However, we are empowered to implement the decisions which the community has made, and asked us to accomplish.

Some examples of what we've done in the past:
We created a process of how to deal with households who are late in paying association fees after the community created a policy that we would charge association fees
We accomplish the annual financial review because the community has asked us to do this
We (in conjunction with steering) have selected a lawyer to use when legal matters arise, yet we bring the legal content in front of the community

Unless the community has specified that we accomplish a task in a certain way, we have the freedom to do it in the way that we feel is most appropriate. This has the benefit of reducing bureaucracy while still maintaining a deliberative body which is able to get work done while the community to oversees these actions.

3. Our Mandate

What did the community ask us to do?

The Finance and Legal Committee addresses the financial and legal concerns of the community.

Our Mission:

What is our global task in service to the community?

On the financial side we assist the community with budgeting and financial planning, manage the investment of reserves, prepare taxes and corporate reports, secure insurance, and make periodic reports to the community on the financial health of the community.

On the legal side, we work with legal experts to provide information to the community on contracts, agreements, and other issues as directed by the community. We also make information available to community members within these two areas (such as you will find below).

We serve the community, and seek to do so in a timely, accurate, professional, pleasant, informative way. We appreciate and seek feedback, and will correct errors quickly when notified. We will emphasize fiscal responsibility and adherence to community values.


What are we responsible for?
community legal liaison
community tax liaison
oversight of community legal documents
examples: master deed, bylaws, etc.
community insurance liaison
providing accurate, periodic (monthly) and timely reports to committees of expenditure and income to help them stay within budget
reimbursements for committee purchases
community bill collections
community liaison with CDC, Scio Township and other parties as needed
make the investment decisions regarding the reserve fund
as mandated by the state, these must be low-risk, prudent investments

Because of the importance of the information we handle, we will try to have more than one person at any given time who can perform a task, and will backup data. We will create and make public operation manuals for the tasks, documenting procedures so there is continuity and consistency in service. We will seek efficient ways of performing tasks, and maintain simple methods as fall backs.

What aren't we responsible for?
making financial decisions


What projects/proposals are we currently working on?
streamlined financial reports for the community
master deed changes
more timely year-end book closing

4. Define committee roles:

Who is on our committee? Willie, Dale, Adi, Bill, Tracy, Elph and Judith

Who is the convener? Adi

Who is the minute taker? rotating

Do you need a money handler/bookkeeper? no.

Who is the point person for work tasks? the convener

Other roles?
Finops Convener (point person for financial operations)
General Bookkeeper
Member Bookkeeper
Insurance Liaison
Check Logger
Check Writer (reimbursements)
check depositer
Budget Process coordinator
LTCRF coordinator (short-term position)

Is the diversity of the community represented on the committee?

Unclear what this means.

Are there people who comprise the following traits on your committee: Initiators, implementers, writing skills, communication/interpersonal skills, linear and gestalt thinkers, information/knowledge/researchers?

Multiple characteristics are represented by individual members of the group

5. Define committee processes:

How will committee govern itself (facilitation)

Currently the convener is also the facilitator, prepares agendas, keeps group on schedule

How will committee make decisions? What is empowerment process?
Proposals are brought to full community

How do we communicate with the community?
Minutes go out by e-mail and are posted
Feedback is requested during community meetings
Requests are made directly to committees for input on budget
per household billing statements distributed in cubbies
E-mail reminders are sent or taped to invidivual doors

Where does committee get its money (line item, project budget, no budget, fundraising)?

line items from community budget


Also discussed on 12/19/2005

Process Comments:

0 standasides.