Wilderness Rim Association (WRA) is a homeowners’ association and water provider for people who own real property in Wilderness Rim. These people are “Members” of the Association. WRA is a non-profit corporation, and like all corporations, it has a Board of Directors which WRA calls a Board of Trustees. The size and functions of the Board are defined in the WRA Bylaws. The Board of Trustees manages the Association’s business for the benefit of the entire community as unpaid volunteers. These individuals are generally elected by the members but open positions may be filled by appointment of the Board to serve until the next election of trustees.
WRA MANAGEMENT TEAM
WRA’s trustees work to ensure that our common resources are managed in compliance with all of the applicable laws, such as the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), and in the best interests of the membership. They also are simultaneously motivated to keep all dues as low as possible.
Considering the legal implications of each issue is important to the decision-making process. Should the Board run afoul of the RCW (or federal laws, like OSHA regulations), the Association may be sued. Legal actions are very costly to the membership, who pays these legal bills. A good Board is constantly vigilant.
At the Board meeting immediately following the Annual Meeting of the Membership each year, the first duty of the trustees is to elect officers.
The Board has four officers, who have specific duties as described in the Bylaws:
Runs the meetings and guides the Board
- Vice President
Fills in when the president is unavailable
Directs maintenance of business records
Directs maintenance of financial records
The officers and trustees oversee the day-to-day operations of the Association’s business. They sign documents such as contracts and work with WRA’s attorney, accountant, and other professionals.
The WRA committees are where the action takes place. In between Board meetings, the committees carry out their functional duties as described in the Bylaws. The newly-elected president appoints most committee chairs.
A Board meeting largely consists of committees’ status reports and voting on their proposals. WRA has five standing committees, which are defined in the Bylaws:
- Architectural Review
Approves member’s lot improvements
- Budget and Finance
Newsletters, bulletin boards, website
Cascade Park and greenbelt management
- Water Utilities
Water system management
The Board typically re-establishes several special committees each year:
- Annual Meeting
Prepares and conducts annual membership meeting
Coordinates activities with the national Firewise communities
- Neighborhood Safety
Liaison with our contracted King County patrol officers
- Special Events
Holiday parties, game nights, Rim Run, etc.
Any member in good standing can be a committee member, including being a committee chair. Trustees are expected to be active on at least one committee. The Budget and Finance Committee is always chaired by the Treasurer. The Architectural Review Committee (ARC) members are elected directly by the membership and elect their own chair.
The Board is responsible to the membership for every decision it makes. Every decision is discussed, voted on, and recorded. The Board meeting minutes are available upon request and in the members-only section of the WRA website.
WRA has year-round staff.
- The Office Manager, who manages the office, picks up mail, routes daily emails and calls and other tasks.
- The Meter Reader, who regularly checks each water meter in Wilderness Rim, both for billing and to monitor equipment.
The Board is responsible for protecting the assets of WRA, including, but not limited to:
- Bank accounts containing nearly $750,000 of the membership’s money
- Water system
- Cascade Park
These multi-million dollar assets improve your quality of life and increase the value of your home.
MEMBERSHIP PARTICIPATION IS CRUCIAL
Membership responsibilities and goals include the following:
- Reading the WRA governing documents (Articles, Bylaws, Covenants, Water Regs);
- Providing current contact information to the WRA Office;
- Paying annual dues, including water fees and other charges on time;
- Voting at membership meetings;
- Participating in association functions; and
- Encouraging community.
Even though all WRA meetings and events are publicized on the WRA website calendar, many members have not attended any WRA meeting or event.
Many WRA members may not know what the Board really does. In a way, that’s good as it implies that everything is running smoothly. However, it could be bad if it means that a few people are working voluntarily for the benefit of the whole community with little support or encouragement. Also, it could mean that the Board is making decisions with very little community input.
Some members may assume incorrectly that the Board performs functions related to crime control, road maintenance, flooding mitigation, or even animal control. Those functions are King County government services.
Changes in the demographics of Wilderness Rim have caused a drop in volunteer participation, but the demands and expectations of the community have increased. The community needs individuals to step forward to ensure that the water system and other assets are protected, maintained, and secured. Only this will protect the value of YOUR HOME and keep business management costs controlled.
When the Board is filled with cooperative trustees who focus on their responsibilities to the membership, meetings run smoothly and produce excellent results. Diversity of ideas and experience on the Board often lead to more carefully considered decisions. Working efficiently and making wise decisions with lasting benefits is very rewarding to those who serve as well as to the membership.
When the Board is understaffed, the trustees might not perform their duties effectively. This could cause important obligations to be neglected and result in financial waste. Without enough trustees, the Board would have to be supplemented by a management company and your dues would increase dramatically.
BENEFITS FOR YOU:
There are significant personal benefits to serving on the Board.
- You will have opportunities for personal and professional development by learning about business, accounting, law, water systems, park maintenance, leadership, and communications.
- You will have opportunities to learn how extraordinarily wonderful our little corner of the world is and how hard your neighbors have worked to ensure it stays that way.
- You will have opportunities to meet your neighbors and influence the community in constructive ways. Your ideas for the betterment of the community may be enacted.
If you’ve read this far, it may be time to stretch your comfort zone. Work with your WRA team who takes pride in making a difference in your community. Show your gratitude for the generous efforts others have made on your behalf by joining the ranks of your neighbors who have already said, “yes!”
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