Often some of the most challenging questions a chair must handle during an annual meeting come from members of the “opposition” who don’t believe the board is being fair to them, and who are afraid their rights will be violated by something that happens at a meeting. When owners take this type of concern to an extreme, they may appear to be conspiracy theorists, convinced that the board and manager are conspiring to deprive them of their rights.
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.
Just the mention of meeting minutes can make eyes roll and faces grimace. But it doesn’t need to be that way. If you learn a few simple steps, you’ll be able to produce professional minutes in less time and with a lot less frustration.
“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.