It has been only about one year since the new Co-Op Board has taken over control of the park. These nine individuals are responsible for running the operation, but they also are at the helm of a corporation. As such, they manage the finances and have to deal with rents, sales, employees, taxes, mortgage payments, legal matters, bookkeeping issues and many other elements. It is a daunting job, and these nine are volunteers.
The usual term of office for Board members is 3 years, however the initial board has been staggered and contains members with 3, 2 and 1 year terms to allow a phasing-in of the 3 year sequences.
We have discussed Board functions with a Newby Management Company official. This Ellenton, Florida firm has a long history (since 1965) of managing manufactured home communities. Currently they operate 35 such parks in this state. They oversee the day to day functions of Tropicana and they report to the Co-Op Board. In addition to making sure that the park functions smoothly, Newby also does the bookkeeping for the Co-Op. According to the Newby official, Board functions are defined by the shareholder prospectus and by Florida statute 719 : Florida statute 719 on co-ops
The Board has an attorney who can help with legal issues such as evictions. The real estate taxes are established by Lee County, and the Board makes sure that they pay such taxes that are owed by the corporation. The Board also must pay corporate taxes, and an accounting firm handles that.
Once per year, an outside auditing firm will audit the Co-Op’s operation. That process is currently underway for this year.
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