HOA meetings can be a source of frustration for the leadership and the members of the board. Perhaps the meetings are disorganized with far too much time spent on unimportant issues, or maybe your meetings feel like a three or four hour marathon where nothing gets accomplished and everyone’s time is wasted. Whatever the reason for the frustration, it may be time to give your agenda a face-lift. Having a guideline to follow when reorganizing and changing the agenda of your regular board meetings is helpful and can solve a lot of the problems with board meetings. Before you rewrite your agenda, take a look at this list of the things that should be on the board meeting agenda. Suggested times are written beside the items.
- Coffee and Snacks (5 to 10 minutes)- It is important to supply a brief period of time at the beginning of the meeting for socialization. Giving the board members a time to chat with others beforehand helps to minimize distractions during the meeting, and to ensure that everyone arrives before the official start of the meeting. A helpful tip is to call the meeting at a certain time, but plan on the agenda to start the call to order 5 to 10 minutes later.
- Roll Call (5 minutes)– At the time specified on the agenda, informally call the meeting to order. Your good example at beginning in a timely fashion will encourage members to arrive on time and be prepared.
- Last Meeting’s Minutes (5 minutes)- At his point, your agenda should set aside approximately 5 minutes to quickly go over the last meeting’s minutes, highlighting any issues that did not get resolved, but not discussing them at this time.
- Homeowner Concerns and Issues (30 minutes)- In order for a homeowner’s issues to be discussed at the meeting, the issue usually must appear on the agenda. This is a good time to place any issues that have been formally requested by a homeowner to be placed on the agenda.
- Urgent Issues (30 minutes)- At this time in the agenda, you should place any urgent issues that need to be dealt with immediately. If there are any urgent issues from the previous meeting that went unresolved, they can be discussed here.
- Other Issues (15 minutes)- Any other non-urgent items can be discussed at this point in the agenda. This is where you can discuss special events, elections, and other items not resolved at a previous meeting.
- Special Guests (15 minutes)- If there are any special guests that have come to speak at the board meeting, schedule them at this time.
- Open Forum (20-30 minutes)- At this time, you can open up a specific time for members or guests to express comments or concerns. This time should be strictly monitored and kept to a reasonable time period.
- Adjourn– The meeting can now be formally adjourned.
- Executive Session– Any executive sessions can take place either before or after the scheduled regular meeting. Members of this group may discuss legal issues, personal issues, and issues involving delinquent owners among other things. A separate agenda should be formulated for this meeting in order to retain confidentiality, and notice must be given that an executive session will be taking place.
A strong and orderly agenda is key to keeping meetings concise and painless. It is important, once a good plan is set, to stick to the time limits that you have placed. With these guidelines, you should be able to formulate an agenda that will enrich your board meetings and make them as painless as possible.