The first action item on most owners’ meeting agendas is approving the minutes of the last owners’ meeting. Let’s say that -- as usual -- you have an ambitious agenda, with many action items and a limited time in which to get through them all. But when the secretary moves to approve last year’s...
It is not unusual for owners at an annual homeowners meeting to make motions about issues that aren’t listed on the agenda. For example, a motion to amend the bylaws. Or, at a special meeting called to amend the bylaws, an owner might make a motion to recall the board.
One of the things presidents fear most about chairing their annual meetings is when emotional homeowners raise a subject that is not part of the agenda. This action could, if not properly handled, start the spiral that sends a meeting out of control. As the meeting chair, how should you handle that moment when a homeowner brings up something new and controversial? What is the best way to keep the meeting from descending into chaos?
“The object of Robert’s Rules of Order is to assist an assembly to accomplish the work for which it was designed, in the best possible manner” according to Henry M. Robert, Robert’s Rules of Order preface, 1876.
Robert’s Rules of Order is a series of procedures written by Mr. Robert, who was a U.S. Army engineering officer. When asked to preside over a meeting, Robert realized that there was no international standard of conduct with which to rule. As a result he studied parliamentary law and wrote Robert’s Rules of Order.
What is Parliamentary Procedure? It is a set of rules for conduct at meetings that allows everyone to be heard and to make decisions without confusion. Robert’s Rules of Order is the most well-known and documented book addressing meeting conduct.