Q. What should be included in the minutes of a board meeting? Does every item on the agenda have to be addressed in the minutes? A. Adopted minutes are the official record of actions taken at a meeting. For this reason, well-written minutes can be invaluable. In the event of a dispute, minutes are the best proof of the precise wording of a motion or whether a proposal was adopted by the board. The governing documents for homeowners’ associations (HOA) and condominiums generally don’t address what must be in minutes. And the laws that govern community associations (the Planned Community Act, the Condominium Act, and the North Carolina Nonprofit Corporation Act) give little guidance. State law does require that membership and board meetings of HOAs and condos must be conducted “in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.” The 11th edition of Robert’s was published in 2011 and gives excellent advice on minutes. The short version is this: Minutes are a record of what was done at a meeting, not what was said. There is no need to summarize debate. Once a meeting ends, we really don’t care what members said. We don’t even need to know how each member felt about a specific motion. What we need is the exact wording of each proposal and whether it was adopted or rejected. According to Robert’s, minutes generally include: • A first paragraph stating the type of meeting, the name of the organization, the date, time and location of the meeting, whether the president and secretary were present (some groups list all members present), and whether the prior minutes were read and approved. • A separate paragraph for each main motion/proposal, including final wording and disposition. • A final paragraph that states the time of adjournment. Following this format, minutes tend to be pretty short. As I note in my book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Parliamentary Procedure Fast-Track,” the minutes of a two-hour meeting may fit on a single page. Can a board include other information in its minutes? Absolutely. Just recognize that a word-by-word re-enactment of a meeting really isn’t minutes. Minutes are supposed to be a short, to-the-point account of business transacted so that readers can quickly determine what was done. If you follow the Robert’s pattern for minutes, recognize that not every item on the agenda may be addressed in the minutes. If a board agenda includes a listing of “pool maintenance,” but no action is needed and no motion is proposed, there would be nothing to include in the minutes. If a sentence is included about the subject being addressed, that’s fine, but it’s not necessary. The ultimate decision maker of what should be in minutes is the board. Draft minutes don’t become official minutes until voted on or amended by the board members at the next board meeting. If you are the keeper of the minutes, here are two suggestions. Minutes are fairly formulaic. For a specific organization, the minutes will look pretty similar from meeting to meeting. You can prepare a template that you can use to record the minutes, which will save time. In fact, why wait until the meeting to prepare the minutes? Skeletal minutes may be prepared in advance based on the agenda. Go ahead and fill out all the information in the minutes in advance, and then at the meeting simply note what happens to each motion and add any unexpected items. I’ve seen secretaries use this technique to complete the minutes of a meeting within seconds of the meeting ending. Jim Slaughter, is a Greensboro attorney and a registered and certified parliamentarian. Jim’s website, www.jimslaughter.com, includes many charts and articles on meeting procedures, parliamentary news updates, and links to resources on running effective meetings. “Ask The Experts” Articles have been Reprinted with permission from the Charlotte Observer * These articles and related content on this website are provided without warranty of any kind and in no way consitute or provide legal advice. You are advised to contact an attorney specializing in Association Management for legal advice related to your specific issue and community. Some articles are provided by thrid parties and online services. Display of these articles does in no way endorse the products or services of Community Association Management by the author(s).
Board Member Resources
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Thank You!Rich, Kannapolis NC
Community Association Management has been a godsend to our association. They are available 24/7 and they have all the answers we need. They cover the full gamut of services and have allowed us to consolidate several vendors into one source saving us countless dollars and hours. They have helped us change our operations from reactive decisions to informed proactive planning.
Dennis W., Greenville, SC"...a Godsend"
I like the professionalism of Community Association Management and the reporting. our Portfolio Manager is great! Good to work with and responsive. I also like Community Association Management being involved with legislative issues.
M. EdgerPresidentColony Crossing
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Professionally Run OrganizationB. Chiles, Greenwood Terrace - Charlotte NC
A good friend of mine who is a recent past president of a community here in Charlotte contacted me this evening to ask who we used for property management. I told him that the only game in town was Community Association Management! I also mentioned that you may be a young company in years but are now one of the top 5 HOA management companies in the Carolinas. We are very happy with our decision to use Community Association Management.
C.M. Layman, Charlotte, NC The only Game in Town!
“In the past, we felt like we did not get much support due to our size or the lack of effort from the person handling our account. I do not feel that way with Community Association Management. Our Property Manager has been very active in what we are trying to accomplish in our community and providing us with a variety of options. We are currently going through trying to figure out what to do about our roofing situation. The manager provided us good options and now we are in the process of starti…
Phenomenal Support!Darlene Z. Charlotte, NC
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We needed structure and guidance and we are so appreciative to get that from this company.
R. BellTreasurerHope Crossing
I would like to thank Community Association Management for the fine job this past year. We had our annual meeting and our Property Manager did an excellent job covering the meeting. As I told the new board and the members present, I feel my finest achievement this past year was to bring your organization on board to be our management partner. Thank you again for making my second year as president easier and more rewarding.
Rich, Kannapolis NCThank You!
In the past, we felt like we did not get much support due to our size or the lack of effort from the person handling our account. I do not feel that way with Community Association Management. Our Property Manager has been very active in what we are trying to accomplish in our community and providing us with a variety of options. We are currently going through trying to figure out what to do about our roofing situation. The manager provided us good options and now we are in the process of startin…
Darlene Z. Charlotte, NCPhenomenal Support!