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Friday, 2 July 2010

I wonder if 4 years as 'El Presidente' is enough!

On the 4th July 2006, during the Annual General Meeting of the Comunidad de Propietarios, for our property here in Orihuela Costa, I was elected as 'El Presidente' . If it was in the United Kingdom the nearest equivalent would be Chairman of the Residents Association.

The title sounds grand, but although any owner of a property within a community has the right to be considered for the position, there is not normally a stampede for nomination for the post. This is because it can be a time consuming and unappreciated, thankless, unpaid voluntary job. The person elected as 'El President' is also, at the end of the day, the legal representative of the community of property owners and accountable under Spanish law. It is a position that is normally held for one year with a new incumbent being elected at the Annual General Meeting.

All the previous incumbents having resigned and not prepared to be re-elected, I was asked, "at the petition of the owners" according to the minutes of the meeting, to take on the role. as no one else wanted to. I always remember the maxim ' never volunteer' but under Spanish law a community cannot be without a 'Presidente'.

My fourth year in the position is drawing to a close and I'm wondering if that many years is enough.

Its not been a too difficult job, and I believe that I've done my best for the community, although there have been times, yes, when it has been a thankless job.

This is especially true when insults and accusations have been made against me, during the years, by some owners and their visitors, when they couldn't do what they wanted, usually related to the use of the community swimming pool, irrespective of the democratically agreed set of  community rules. In the reality of the situation, this is the bane in the life of the majority of 'Los Presidentes', and a major factor in the reluctance of owners to volunteer for their turn in the role.

Our AGM is usually held in early July, and  this year I decided it is to be the 12th July, and as part of my responsibility I have to send out the notification of the date of the meeting. The financial details, which include the income and expenditure account for the past year, the balance sheet as at the year end (30th June), and the proposed budget for the forthcoming year, also have to be prepared and sent to all the owners in time for the meeting. That's all done.

Since my appointment I have helped the community achieve most of it's goals. A formalisation of the rules of the community. The improvements of the safety of the swimming pool area. The satisfactory quality of maintenance of the swimming pool. The elimination of the need and the cost of an outside Administrator. The reduction of the annual community charge, by cost savings, from 250€ in 2006 to a proposal for 2010 of 185€ . That's all done.

Perhaps the time is right, if another owner is prepared to take hold of them, to hand over the reins.

However the choice may not be mine.

Perhaps the other owners may think 'better the devil you know' and no one volunteers.

However someone is going to have take over at sometime.

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