Saturday, 18 November 2017

HOA Meeting Basics

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 22 August 2017 20:24

HOA board meetings are designed to transact essential business. They should be carefully choreographed to that end rather than a rambling discussion. Members should be welcome and encouraged to attend and observe. To that end, provide a Member Forum at the beginning of the meeting for owner comments, questions and complaints (It's the American way).

Here are the meeting basics:

Motions & Voting. Business matters are considered when a motion is made, and seconded. Each motion should offer the opportunity for discussion prior to a vote. Votes, when taken, involve board members only.

Meeting Agenda. There may be an agenda format prescribed in your governing documents. If so, use it. If not, use an agenda like:

Call to Order. President says, "The meeting is called to order."

Minutes. Secretary reads the Minutes of the last meeting. A motion to approve the minutes as read or amended should be passed.

Review Financial Report. Most recent month Balance Sheet, Income & Expense Report and collection activity.

Officer's Reports. President, Treasurer, etc.

Committee Reports. First come reports from "standing" or permanent committees; then from "ad hoc," or special committees.

Unfinished Business. Business left over from previous meetings.

New Business. Introduction of new topics. If the topic is complex and requires research, it should be assigned to a committee who will report recommendations to the board at a future meeting.

Adjournment. The meeting ends by a vote or by general consent.

Timed Agenda. To keep meetings on track, using a timed agenda is helpful. Two hours or less should be the goal of most meetings since concentration and productivity begins to fade. So, when composing the agenda, put actual time limits on each item, like Owner Forum (15 minutes), Minutes (5 minutes), Treasurer's Report (10 minutes) and so on. Timing will help move business along and remind all present that time is a valuable commodity.

Action Agenda. Meetings should be action driven. To that end, all agenda items should be framed with a "review and approve" context to them. While discussion may be part of the plan, it is not the goal. Every item brought up at the meeting should have a motion and second. So, if a director states, "I'd like to talk about a parking poicy on commercial vehicles", the president's response should be, "Do I hear a motion and second to establish a commercial vehicle parking policy?" If both aren't forthcoming, time to move on to other business. Impromptu motions should usually be handled at a future meeting if they require research and study. The president should ask the proposer to present a proposal at the next meeting for the board's consideration.

All members have the responsibility to serve the HOA in some way, whether it be on the board or committee. If you've recently been elected, congratulations! Welcome to the board and thanks for stepping up!

For more innovative homeowner association management strategies, see www.Regenesis.net

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Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson owns Regenesis, a management consulting company that specializes in condominium and homeowner associations. He is a nationally recognized expert on HOA management issues.

Regenesis publishes The Regenesis Report, a monthly newsletter for HOA boards, developers and managers. To subscribe, go to Regenesis.net. He can be contacted by email at rich@regenesis.net.

www.regenesis.net

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