Committees: What They Are and What They’re Not

Last Updated: 09-17-18

Given the importance of Oakmont’s committees, it seems a good time to provide a bit of information on what they are and what they are not.

Accurate and complete committee information is critical for transparency because, particularly in communities like Oakmont with a small professional staff, committees do much of the community’s work. Oakmont committee meetings are open to members but, to attend those meetings, you need to know where and when they’re held!

The OVA office will henceforth be responsible for ensuring these important materials are accurate and complete. If you’re looking for committee information on our website and can’t find it, please email and request the changes you seek.

Oakmont has two kinds of committees: “standing” committees that exist continuously and “ad hoc” committees that exist to perform a particular project and then disband. Along with the OVA office staff and various contracted help such as our legal and accounting teams, committees conduct the day-to-day business of the community.

Standing committees oversee building planning and construction (Building Construction Committee), put together strategic plans for Oakmont’s future (Long Range Planning Committee), establish and ensure adherence to our architectural guidelines (Architectural Committee), make residents aware of happenings around our community that affect quality of life in our community (Oakmont Community Development Committee), oversee and produce content for our community newspaper and website (Communications Committee), manage Oakmont’s finances (Finance Committee), manage common area landscaping (Landscape Improvement Committee), and help Oakmont prepare for emergencies (Oakmont Emergency Preparedness Committee). Two new standing committees expand on these capabilities by better preparing us for fires (Fire Safety Committee) and helping our residents stay well informed about Oakmont’s “hot topics” (Community Education and Transparency Committee).

Ad hoc committees work with the GM on personnel issues (OVA Personnel Committee), ensure our elections run smoothly and fairly (Election Rules Committee) and find good board of director candidates to run for available positions (Nominating Committee). Recently established ad hoc committees have been formed to investigate and implement bylaws changes (Bylaws Committee), find an Oakmont location for a dog park (Dog Park Committee), create project management process training for Board members (Process Planning Committee), honor veterans and first responders (Veteran’s Day and First Responder Committee), and manage the relationship between the OVA and the Oakmont Golf Club (OVA/OGC Task Force). At our

September 2018 board meeting, we voted to establish a new ad hoc committee that will review internal policies and procedures to ensure they conform to applicable law and are efficient and effective.

Establishing or reconstituting many of these committees has dramatically increased the amount of work that can be done simultaneously. If it seems like a lot is happening around Oakmont these days, it’s because our committees, both old and new, are hard at work making our community a better place to live.

All committees have at least one board liaison. Board liaisons are resources to be used as committee members see fit. They are the conduit between the committee and the board, ensuring committee reports and recommendations get to the board and board input gets to the committee. Liaisons generally don’t participate in committee activities, but attend committee meetings and provide input where desired by committee members.

Committees serve at the pleasure of and are extensions of the board, meaning committee members are bound by the same principles, law and restrictions as board members. Committee members are also protected by the same Directors and Officers insurance policy as Oakmont board members. As such, committee members, including committee chairpersons, are approved and removed by the board.

Committee meetings should be run just like regular open board meetings, with resolutions helping to eliminate aimless discussion and providing a sense of direction. Oakmont has adopted Robert’s Rules of Order as our parliamentary system and, to the largest extent possible, committees should also conform to Robert’s Rules.

One notable difference between committees and the board is that committees do not make important community decisions. Committees only recommend to the board, which uses committee input to inform board decisions. This division of labor is not happenstance or solely an Oakmont phenomenon; it is California law.

Committee work is a great way to meet new people, help our community and prepare for a position on the board of directors. So, if you’re inspired to serve your friends and neighbors and want to improve Oakmont, committee participation is highly recommended!