Let's face it. King Farm is getting older as a community and other newer communities have been built. We have to ask ourselves - what do we have to offer? How can we modernize and look at what the community is doing to keep up home prices and keep King Farm as a community that is sought after for new residents and their families.
The debate over opening up Board meetings by putting them online is just one example of the growing pains we will have in moving from a mind-set of "good enough" to a mind-set of what can we do that is new, that is innovative, that makes life easier for the community and that brings King Farm into the modern age?
Others include: the Architecture Design Trust's (ADT) standards for things like roofing and other improvements. Building materials have advanced since the documents were written - shouldn't we have a comprehensive review to look at the documents with an eye towards standards that are up-to-date and environmentally effective as well? Things have changed in 20 years. We should change with the times.
We have made some progress on the voting front in King Farm. Clarifying the voting process and making it easier for every resident of King Farm to vote by mail. This brings us into line with the City of Rockville which will be moving to vote by mail in this year's city election. The forms are on-line at KingFarm.org as well as mailed out so that is some improvement.
But we can and should do more. It turns out that there are some electronic voting systems in use by HOAs across the nation. Now is the time to explore those and move to an election that incorporates an electronic component as well. Why not make voting as efficient (but secure) as possible and move to a system that likely is more environmentally friendly and lets people vote the way that they want to - by mail, electronically or in-person?
We should be more transparent with our documents and finances. There is no reason that the website can't put almost everything up in real time. Yes, it can be made password-protected so that only residents can access it. But there is no reason why the HOA should require a resident to come into the office to see a document or charge for a copy of it if they have it electronically.
We should have a crisis management plan in place so that if we are ever faced with a situation like the recent embezzlement scandal that it could swiftly be put in place. We have seen these types of stories blow up unexpectedly. It seems like a dereliction of duty not to at least have a plan in place to deal with a crisis.
In short - this is the question residents should be asking. Do we want an HOA that simply is doing what they have always done and staying the same, or do we want an HOA that is pro-active and looks to keep improving so as to stay competitive with other younger communities?