HOA Board Meetings can be challenging regarding overcoming logistics. As always, the key is time invested in preparation and organization. Please consider the “professional meeting skill tips” provided below that might assist your Community in conducting a successful Open Meeting.
Seat all your Board members at a head table. The table should be arranged in a semicircle with the President at the center. Place the Board members on either side of the President. Have name cards printed large enough to be read by the community members. Seat the Community Manager and other staff on one end of the table. Seat the Council to the Association and others who are guests (perhaps an accountant) on the opposite side for balance. In the center of the semicircle place a podium facing the President. The membership should be seated facing the Board members. Name cards, with positions or titles, should be put in front of each person. In evaluating this arrangement, homeowners will realize immediately that this is a business meeting, not a social event.
Keep your agenda limited to the business at hand, small items that are easily accomplished first, controversial or complex issues next.
At the entrance to the room, place the agenda and summary or significant information concerning each agenda item. By the time the meeting commences, the attendees will be informed as to all issues that the meeting will address.
CONDUCT OF THE MEETING
The President of the Community should run the meeting. After each agenda item is presented, the President should ask their questions, then ask Counsel (attorney) for input if there was a legal issue and then ask the Board members for their opinion. All responses should be directed to the President, not the audience.
After Board member input, the President should ask the public if there are any statements. (Please check your individual state statutes to ensure homeowner participation is required. There are states where is it required and states where it is simply requested to solicit input from community members.) Those in the audience who have a desire to speak should be asked to speak from the podium. Again, the podium faces the Board, not the audience.
After each statement, the President may ask other Board members if they have any questions. After hearing public input, the President may ask the Board Members if they have anything to add.
Next, the request for motion should be made if needed and action on them. After the vote, there should be no further discussion, and the President will then move to the next agenda item.
Your Board meeting will run more smoothly and efficiently when good meeting protocol is followed. The position of each Board member is clear on each issue. The President has complete control of the meeting at all times. Board members should be well informed in advance with fact sheets, agendas, and other necessary documents. The public is allowed input and the Board can consider all public input before decision making.
1.Dissemination of information: handouts at the door.
2.Logistics: A lens has a focal point. Holding a meeting with the audience in a curvature plane that focuses on the President and board achieves an end result: keep eyes forward!
3.Behavior: The President obviously needs to be strong enough to take control and to have exercised some ground rules for which all board members are aware of and abide.
4.Public Input: Opinions are spoken, understood and taken into account. Motions are made after Board and public input.