HOA meetings can be a source of frustration for 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 HOA board meeting agenda a face-lift.
What to Include in Your HOA Board Meeting Agenda
Having a guideline to follow when reorganizing and changing the agenda of your regular board meetings is helpful. In fact, it can solve a lot of the problems you’re having with board meetings. Before you rewrite your agenda, it’s important to know what items to include in the first place. Aside from the pertinent details like time, date, and place of the meeting, here are the things that must appear on your HOA board meeting agenda:
1. Call to Order
The first item that must appear on your HOA board meeting agenda is a call to order. This doesn’t have to be formal in any way, though it does officially signify the start of the meeting.
Ideally, you’ll call the meeting to order at the specified time on your schedule. But, if you’re still waiting for all board members to be present, it’s okay to be a few minutes late.
2. Roll Call
Not all associations include roll calls in their HOA board meeting agendas. However, it’s a good way to introduce board members to everyone present. In some manner, it’s a method of breaking the ice before proceeding to more serious topics of the agenda.
3. Open Forum
At this time, you can open up a specific time for members or guests to express their comments or concerns. An open forum gives fellow residents a platform to bring up issues, though you must be careful about addressing them on the spot.
There are state laws, such as the Open Meeting Act in California, that prohibit actions on topics not included in the agenda. Learn to address open comments properly to avoid problems along the way.
Additionally, this time should be strictly monitored and kept to a reasonable time period. In general, you can allot 3-5 minutes for each resident to voice out their concerns.
4. Approval of Last Meeting’s Minutes
At this point, your HOA board meeting agenda should set aside a few minutes to go over the last meeting’s minutes. The board secretary is usually in charge of recording minutes, but the task can be assigned to someone else. The person appointed for the job must still gain the secretary’s final stamp of approval, though.
A quick but concise review of what transpired in the previous meeting helps refresh the memory. It’s also a good way to summarize what happened for those who were absent in the last meeting but are present now. Be sure to highlight any issues that did and did not get resolved, but refrain from discussing them further at this time.
5. Presentation of Reports
Following a review of the last meeting’s minutes, your board must allot time for the presentation of reports. Begin with management reports pertaining to the HOA’s financials, architectural filings, and the like.
After that, you can move on to committee reports, which are those given by different HOA committees on the status of various projects. This includes events, landscaping, and even architectural committees, to name a few.
6. Old/Unfinished Business
Your HOA board meeting agenda must then move on to discussing old or unfinished business. This means tackling issues that were tabled from a prior meeting either due to lack of time or the need for additional research. Any unresolved items fall under this category.
7. New Business
It’s only logical to transition to new business after discussing old business. New business refers to any new items that were submitted to the board for discussion or action. These may be issues or concerns that were brought up for consideration during the open forum of the previous meeting. It may also be new initiatives like maintenance projects and the like.
Some HOAs opt to schedule their open forums at the end of an open board meeting after new business discussions close. In that case, allow the open forum to take place. If your open forum occurs at the beginning, you may adjourn the meeting after you’re done with any new business. With this, the board meeting officially comes to an end.
Executive Sessions Explained
Any executive sessions can take place either before or after the scheduled regular meeting. You may even schedule it at a totally separate time, depending on whether your governing documents allow it.
There are a few differences between a general board meeting and an executive session. First of all, an executive session usually involves a much smaller group of people.
Attendance is typically comprised of only the board members, the HOA manager, and any invited guests. In contrast, general board meetings are normally open to all members of the community.
An executive session is a closed-door meeting where legal issues, personal issues, and issues involving delinquent owners, among other things, are discussed. Due to the sensitive nature of these topics, not everyone can participate.
In order to retain confidentiality, a separate agenda must be formulated for this meeting and minutes must never become public. The agenda may follow a similar pattern as the one for general board meetings. Additionally, notice must be given that an executive session will be taking place.
Homeowners Association Meeting Agenda Template
As you can see, an HOA board meeting agenda is a crucial tool for the success of your board meetings. But, coming up with your own agenda can be tough when you’ve never done it before. That’s why we’ve provided you with a sample board meeting agenda template, seen below. Alternatively, we also have a download link for the template after this image.
Start Drafting Your HOA Board Meeting Agenda
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 items you have laid out. With these guidelines, you should be able to formulate an HOA board meeting agenda that will enrich your board meetings and make them as smooth as possible.
A lot of community associations still run into problems when drafting their agendas, even with an HOA meeting agenda template in hand. If you find yourself in the same situation, feel free to turn to an HOA management company for help. Give us a call anytime.
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