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Resident Governance at Homestead Village

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Coauthored by Barbara Butzer, Resident Council President and Douglas Motter, President

In an active and diverse community like Homestead Village, it can be confusing to sort out the purposes of various organizations, especially when their names are similar.  That appears to be true when it comes to the Resident Council and the Resident Association.  Many residents have questioned the difference between the two resident organizations and even question why we have both.  In reality, the Council and Association play two very distinct and important roles in life at Homestead Village.

The Resident Association at Homestead Village
What is the Association?  The simple answer is every resident who lives at Homestead Village.  Homestead Village residents are automatically members of the Association.  The Association is the body that every resident has the privilege to participate in, speak up and share ideas and concerns.  The Association is governed by its own by-laws which are kept and updated by the residents.  The by-laws state that the Association will meet four times per year and that the  residents will receive reports and vote on initiatives.  In addition, the Homestead Village Board of Directors or its designee will present the quarterly financial report to the residents at this meeting.  As the leader of Homestead Village and the board's designee, Douglas Motter, President (and one of the co-authors of this article), attends every Resident Association meeting.  He is accompanied by Chief Financial Officer, Brent Messner, who provides the financial report.

Sometimes residents also confuse the Resident Association meeting with the monthly Coffees with the President which have a very similar agenda.  Both meetings are important communication vehicles; but while the Coffees happen monthly, they are purely communication and fellowship meetings, while the Resident Association is a key part of resident governance and thus is more important.  Recently the Coffees with the President have been combined with the quarterly Resident Association meeting in the months that both occur, in order to encourage the maximum attendance at the Resident Association meeting.  This change has been very successful.

The Resident Council at Homestead Village
The Resident Council is the representative governing body of the Resident Association.  As detailed in the by-laws, the Council is comprised of a set number of residents from the Apartments, Cottages, Villa Court and the Mews who represent the residents from those four distinct neighborhoods of Homestead Village.  The Council meets monthly and the council members conduct the business of the Association, bringing concerns that have been raised by their fellow residents,  council member or the recommendations of the many subcommittees sanctioned by the Resident Council.  Those standing subcommittees are:

25th Anniversary Logo - 2011

  • Nominating
  • By-laws
  • Safety
  • Activities (Life Enrichment)
  • Discernment
  • Library
  • Village Store
  • Welcoming
  • Dining 
All residents are invited to observe the Resident Council meetings which are regularly scheduled on the first Monday of every month at 10:00 AM, barring a Holiday falling on that day.  The President of Homestead Village or his designee attends every Council meeting to facilitate better communication and act on concerns raised by the Resident Council.
The Resident Association and Resident Council fulfill very important complementary roles to involve, engage and listen to all the residents of Homestead Village.

In addition to Homestead's internal affairs, the Council and the Association have voted to participate in certain projects to benefit the greater Lancaster community.  These include a drive for school supplies for the Hempfield School District, an annual Mother's Day Jewelry Party for the children of Schreiber Pediatric Rehabilitation Center, and a program to provide a welcoming decor for the dental waiting room at Southeast Lancaster Health Services.  These activities have been happily received because of the enthusiastic and generous Homestead residents!

The Homestead Village Board of Directors
In addition to the association and council, the by-laws of Homestead Village permit up to four residents to serve as Homestead Village Board Members with full voting rights.  Currently 25% of the board is comprised of residents of Homestead Village.  The board meets six times a year in January, March, April, June, September and November.  In September, the board holds an annual meeting open to all the residents.  The members of the Board of Directors receive the minutes to every Resident Council and Resident Association meeting and with four residents serving on the Board, it possesses a keen understanding of the concerns and desires of Homestead Village's residents.  The board's boards primary responsibilities are:
  • Fiscal health
  • Strategic Planning
  • Employing and evaluating the performance of the President
Resident governance at Homestead Village is taken very seriously and is very effective.