MEETINGS OF THE HOMEOWNERS OR CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION
A meeting, as defined by Robert’s Rules of Order, is a single official meeting of the members of an organization in a pre-discolsed meeting space. And, with a quorum present , (defined in the Governing Documents) they may transact new business. This article discusses the a few types of formal meetings.
All meetings, regardless of size or purpose, will have certain criteria in common:
A quorum must be present. This is determined by the Governing Documents as to how many members in good standing must be present in person or by proxy for the meeting to be valid.
Someone is responsible for conducting the meeting.
Someone is responsible for keeping the minutes.
Business is done according to specific rules that have been established (Covenants, By-Laws and Articles of Incorporation). These include but are not limited to: who can attend, who is allowed to participate in the discussion of business, and who can vote.
All members are notified of the date and time of the meeting and the purpose for which the meeting was called. The term for this procedure is the “call to meeting”.
Most HOA’s and Condominium Associations have one annual meeting per year in addition to meetings held on a monthly or regularly scheduled basis. The Annual meeting is one in which all members meet to hear the Year-End reports of officers, boards and committees, new business and Board candidates, discuss it and vote on it. A monthly meeting is one in which a small group of the Association meets either in committees or boards to help the HOA or Condominium carry out its annual and long-term objectives.
Procedures for these meetings vary by type of meeting. The main difference between Annual and monthly meetings is the role of the chair at the meeting. In formal annual meetings, members often follow strict parliamentary procedure. This means that the chair is selected to preside over the meeting and allow the membership to make motions and vote. He or she does not participate in the debate unless he or she leaves the chair. Members must speak up and be recognized in order to obtain the floor, make motions, and incite debate. Debate is limited to ten minutes each time a member talks unless there is a provision to the contrary, and each member can speak twice to a motion (rebuttal).
In monthly meetings, the person presiding usually sits and takes an active role in making motions, discussion , and voting on all issues. Generally there are no limits in the length of debate, and members can discuss an issue without a formal motion.
This section defines each type of meeting:
The term Annual meeting refers to the meeting of a Homeowners Association or Condominium Association having the required one meeting per year. Dates and times may be listed in the Governing Documents.
A regular meeting is the regular meeting of an association, which is held weekly, monthly, quarterly, or at similar intervals. The bylaws must set the day of the meeting (for example, “the first Wednesday of each month”), and permanent rules must state the time of the meeting (for example, “7:00”). If an organization meets quarterly or more frequently, the main movements can lead to the next meeting through each of the following:
The postponement of a main motion for the next meeting
Referring the motion to a committee
Placement of the motion on the table
In many Community Association’s, guests can attend regular meetings in order to observe the proceedings of the association’s business. However, members may not want the guests present to hear the discussion at times. In these situations, a Board member may make a motion for an executive session. This movement is a privileged motion and is adopted by a majority vote. If the motion is approved, it calls on all Non-Board Members to leave the meeting until members vote to end the executive session.
3. Executive Sessions
Business conducted in executive session is confidential and known only to its Board members. Members should not disclose the minutes of an executive session and may be punishable under disciplinary provision in the instance that they violate the secret. Minutes of an executive session are read and approved only in executive session.
Most disciplinary action against a member must be held in executive session.
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