Larry Varnes, Vice-President and Resident HOA Director
Editor’s note: This is the first in a year-long series about the Robson Ranch Texas HOA, how it works and the volunteers in our community who make it run smoothly.
The HOA is responsible for maintaining and operating virtually everything in the community that is not sales-related or undeveloped land. In 2017, our HOA employs about 170 people and has an operating budget of approximately $8.4 million. Robson Resort Communities builds it, then gives it to the HOA to maintain and operate.
In addition to our HOA employees, volunteers make our HOA function. We currently have more than 50 volunteers in various capacities.
Our HOA Board Vice-President and Senior Resident Director, John Chorba, has been director for almost four years. He began preparing for this position by serving several years as Chairman of our communications committee and as an active member of our finance committee before becoming director.
What does a resident Board Director do? The director has fiduciary and managerial responsibility for all facets of the HOA. All the employees, including the general manager, report to the Board of Directors. The directors also have responsibility for all standing committees, the leaders and membership and committee objectives. The director handles community concerns, rules and regulation oversight, appeals from homeowners, guidance for the ALC Chair and participation in all ALC reviews and homeowner issues. The director also oversees the volunteers and works with the general manager on many day-to-day issues.
So far in 2017, John attended or facilitated weekly meetings which required about 50 hours of preparation and participation per month. But that schedule just about doubles each September through November when the next year’s budget review, finalization and approval at the November HOA annual board meeting take place. John also prepares and plans daily and doesn’t shy away from representing homeowners on controversial issues, including defending the one-to-a-cart issue for homeowners on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
He’s also worked with Robson Communities to facilitate the construction and installation of several projects at the request of committees, clubs, and homeowners, including a new building for the softball association, creation of a golf cart parking circle and sidewalk ramp at the sports center and lighting for bocce play at the Grill. John also worked closely with RCI on the pickleball expansion, construction of tennis/pickleball Ramada, and expanded parking for courts.
John has also introduced programs that are designed to educate homeowners on the HOA operations and that keep homeowners informed of HOA operations and activities. He created an “HOA 101” PowerPoint presentation which is presented about twice monthly for over four years reaching well over 1,000 residents. He’s researched, championed and established the Unit Rep Program, which distributes information regarding HOA operations activities and authored and championed a 30-day community notification policy to assure community review and feedback before any rule changes.
While John volunteers a significant amount of time to the community, he views it as a service. “In my first board member position before moving to the Ranch, I was taught that a board position was not a position of power, but of service,” says John. “My experience here at the Ranch has reinforced my belief that a life worth living is a life of service to others. Since serving on our HOA Board, I’ve been instrumental in so many ways to be of service to our homeowners and residents. It’s been rewarding and I would encourage others to take an interest in volunteering for positions on our committees and in our HOA and them someday even serve as a Resident Director.”