One of the most challenging situations that may confront your board during a meeting is handling very disruptive audience members. For example, what if an owner with strong opinions who’s known for being very outspoken, starts yelling during the meeting? Fortunately, this kind of disruption is very rare during a well-planned, well-organized and well-run meeting. So, the key is advanced planning to handle the worst situation that may arise.
We have all been to one of those meetings – the ones where the association is facing a controversial issue with strong emotions on each side. The board and manager are usually anxious about how to handle the meeting, the competing arguments, and the emotions in the room. This can be a difficult role for the person chairing the meeting, especially if that person is (or is perceived to be) on one side or the other. So, what is the board or manager to do?
Usually this column gives advice to the president or chair of a meeting. Today, our advice is for the “loyal opposition”, those members in the minority. Let’s say you are concerned about how the Board is handling, or failing to handle an issue. How can you best advocate for your position at an owner’s meeting?
Most community associations have a set of guidelines that spell out its architectural design standards and review processes. These guidelines should reflect a balance between individual rights and the good of the entire association. They generally explain:
- The association’s authority to review designs.
- Changes that must be approved.
- The design review process.