Our Residents' Council

Get to Know Our Residents' Council

Horizon House residents have always been uniquely involved in governance and the life of our community. The Residents’ Council is an independent 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation that represents residents and makes recommendations to the CEO and her administrative team and the Horizon House Board of Trustees. The President of the Residents’ Council is a voting member of the Board, one of the five residents who serve in that capacity.

Its 15 members are elected by residents, and it’s the Council—not a staff social director—that organizes the more than sixty committees on which hundreds of involved residents serve, enhancing our community through education, entertainment, social, and cultural events. Most of this programming is funded through sales proceeds from the Monday Market, an extraordinary second-hand shop run by, for, and with the donations of residents.

Horizon House, Retirement Community, senior living seattle, retirement living, retirement community, residents council

Residents' Council FAQs

Q: What is a Residents' Council?

A: The Horizon House Resident’s Council is an elected body of 15 residents responsible for organizing various activities for the benefit of the residents, overseeing expenditures, and representing the interests of the residents to the Board of Trustees and the Administration. The Council is organized as an independent Federal 501(c)(3)Tax Exempt Corporation with appropriate state and city licenses.

Q: How are the members elected?

A: Subject to confirmation by the Council, the President appoints a five-member Nominating Committee that includes one current Council member. The Committee seeks out interested and qualified residents and presents a slate of one person for each open position at the October meeting of the Residents’ Council. At this meeting, nominations may be offered from the floor. If there are no further nominations, the slate is approved by voice vote of the residents present. Should there be a contest, voting is by paper ballot distributed to all residents, and the results are announced at the November meeting. New Council members take office on January 1st.

Q: How long do members serve?

A:  Five residents are elected each year to serve three-year terms. An individual may not serve a second term.

Q: How is the Council organized?

A: After each election, the Council elects from its membership a President, Vice President for Administration, Vice President for Programs, Secretary, and Treasurer. At the January meeting, the President appoints a Finance Committee and Coordinators for administrative and program responsibilities. At the February meeting, the President appoints a Budget Committee consisting of the President, the Vice President for Programs, the Treasurer, and the Director of the Monday Market.

Q: What are the Program Groups?

A: They are the resident groups, which the Council believes to be necessary and appropriate in meeting its basic responsibilities. The special Program Groups are: Environment, Classes, Supported Living, Communication, Discussion Groups, Education, Entertainment, Art, Liaison, Social Events, and Games. Within these groups, more than sixty committees and activities function currently. New programs are added and old ones are phased out as needs and interests change. Programs are reorganized on April 1st, the beginning of the Council’s fiscal year; however, residents can join committees and activities throughout the year.

Q: How are committee activities funded?

A: Although the Council receives some funds as donations and bank interest, it is principally funded by Monday Market income. Click here to find out more about the Monday Market. At each of the regularly scheduled monthly meetings of the Residents’ Council, the Treasurer presents an updated Financial Report showing receipts, disbursements, and the current status of all accounts, including the standing committees, Reserve Funds, and Monday Market.

Q: How do residents communicate with the Council?

A: The Council seeks at all times to improve the flow of information, encouraging residents to make suggestions. Residents may contact any Council member at any time. Monthly Council meetings are open to all residents and include a comment period for those in attendance. A meeting agenda is published and posted in the Message Center. Additionally, Council members meet with individual residents to take comments and discuss areas of interest or concern after the monthly meetings.

Q: How much contact does the Council have with the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Trustees?

A: The CEO regularly attends Council meetings, reports items of interest to the residents, and answers questions from Council members. The Residents’ Council President is a voting member of the Board of Trustees, whose meetings provide a time for residents’ comments.

The Council’s Constitution and By-Laws empower it to make recommendations to both the CEO and the Board of Trustees.