SOA Communications Good, Bad or Indifferent?

somersett UnitedIt has been nine months since the last BOD elections wherein BOD candidates put forth an agenda to improve communications between the BOD, Community Management and Somersett residents.  Obstensibly to be accomplished via the SOA’s Communication Committee and BOD representative Susan Novell.

Given that the Communication Committee’s specific Charter is: “to assist in the development of communication systems that 1) will enable the Board, Board Committees, and management staff to directly communicate information to Homeowners; and 2) will enable Homeowners to directly communicate information to the Board, Board Committees, and management staff”, it is difficult to see where any significant progress has been made in this regard. Especially via the Association’s website, a major avenue for Association communications, which is in dire need of update.

With regard to new SOA website features, the following has been suggested in the past without success:

  1. A homeowner forum/blog section, wherein homeowners can express their ideas, concerns, questions, letters to the BOD, etc. and expect answers when appropriate. The current website does not support a forum for homeowners to directly communicate with the BOD and/or Management Staff.
  2. Informative BOD, Committee and Staff Reports. The current website publishes nothing more than committee meeting dates and abbreviated meeting minutes with little detail.       Frequent status reports as to what the BOD and SOA Committees have accomplished or are proposing should be posted on the SOA website and included within the bi-monthly newsletters.
  3. News items important to the community. This is a completely neglected feature.
  4. Document Access: Not all SOA documents are accessible on the SOA website (e.g., the SOA’s governing documents), but require separate login to the FirstResidential Services website to access. This should be corrected with all of the SOA’s governing documents available on the SOA website.
  5. A revamp of the website templates to make it more user friendly.

It is recognized that Communication Committee positions are staffed by volunteers who cannot devote full time to committee endeavors and that their suggestions and proposals are subject BOD approval.  However, it is not clear to the average Somersett resident what, if anything, has actually been accomplished.

Comments on how you believe the SOA could improve homeowner communications are welcome and can be emailed to the Communication Committee at

SOA Document Copyright Infringement?

somersett UnitedIt appears from recently submitted comments that two of our readers have an issue with the publishing of SOA documents on this website, questioning the right to do so and citing violation of copyright law.

In response, this website firmly believes that the SOA’s governing documents do not fall under the creative or intellectual property that is protected by copyright law.  Rather, that these documents fall under the public domain category and therefore, are free for this website to republish.

In addition, this website has published many SOA documents in the past without any complaint from the SOA Board of Directors.  Therefore, unless a formal complaint is received from the BOD, that establishes what law(s) have been violated, this website will continue to do so.

There is certainly no malice or profit intended in republishing these documents, rather it is for the convenience of our readers.  Also, do not see any harm to the Association in so doing, and therefore, what the fuss is all about!

Any copyright lawyers (no self proclaimed experts please) out there care to comment?