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).
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“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.”
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We were recently switched to Community Association Management with your buyout of Cline & Company. I wanted to take a moment to tell you how much of an asset our Portfolio Manager is to your company. The Manager made our transition from Cline Company seamless and the attention we receive from the Manager and your company in general is unmatched. Not to mention the tools and options made available to us. I think I can speak for myself, fellow board members, and also our community in saying that w…
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Our Community has found so many benefits from eManageSuite. I find that the financial reporting and record keeping especially thorough and helpful. Our Homeowners love that they have choices on how to receive information and submit payments. I could never go back to operating without these tools and the professional guidance from Community Association Management. I wouldn’t even want to try.
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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.
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“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
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.
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