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Subject: HOA board meeting & Robert's Rules of Order
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Author Messages
RobertG
(Arizona)

Posts:505


02/09/2006 8:49 AM  
We are having the very first board meeting and want to be sure we try to follow the proper order. We believe we should use Robert's Rules as there are no other statements to the contrary (we may even make that into a formal motion). Given that we do, then there are several questions for clarification that come into play.

There are 5 members of the board for an association of 800 homes. During our board meetings, I would assume we should fall into the category of small boards where the rules are slightly different, like the chair being able to introduce motions, debate and vote without vacating the chair.

Do other HOA boards operate in this same manner?

We are in Arizona.
CaryL
(Arizona)

Posts:19


02/09/2006 10:00 AM  
Hey, Robert

http://www.robertsrules.com/

Or, depending where in our wonderful *dry* State you're at, just run down to Bookstar...they have them in stock.

Cary (in Scottsdale)
RobertG
(Arizona)

Posts:505


02/09/2006 10:06 AM  
I am not asking what the rules are. I am asking if boards operate under the Small board rules. I have the book.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


02/09/2006 11:22 AM  
Yes RobertG, you may operate under the rules for small boards. They are less formal and more efficient for conducting an HOA board meeting. The chair can not only make motions but much of the business can be done without a motion. The chair can say "without objection (such and such)is approved". This procedure is often referred to as approval by general consent. I mentioned on another thread that often a well run HOA Board meeting can open with input from owners and conduct their business within 1 to 2 hours.

Using small board rules will speed up a meeting considerably.
RogerB
RobertG
(Arizona)

Posts:505


02/09/2006 11:29 AM  
Thanks RogerB. Can you point me to that thread you mentioned. My expectation is to be done in 1 hour when there isn't unusual business to conduct.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


02/09/2006 12:19 PM  
RobertG, look under the subject Open Board Meetins or RogerB post #210.
RobertG
(Arizona)

Posts:505


02/09/2006 12:26 PM  
We plan on having a period of Homeowners Open Forum for 20 minutes. Does the board just listen to the issues raised, or it is a real discussion period? I hope it is the former as the latter would consume too much board time.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


02/09/2006 1:05 PM  
Robert, it is up to the Board and specifically the chair to decide on discussion. Sometimes when a Board member has a question which needs clarification the chair could choose to allow it. I limit discussion, otherwise the meeting can digress into a discussion group. Most directors want to eliminate meetings that takes several hours without much being accomplished.

Remember those P's
RogerB
RobertG
(Arizona)

Posts:505


02/09/2006 4:43 PM  
Along the same lines, when it comes time for the board to debate a motion, are assocation members present allowed to particpate? This might be regulated by our state law, but I would like opinions if it is even a good practice. I feel, this is the boards meeting, not the members meeting.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


02/09/2006 6:52 PM  
RobertG, in Colorado members who are not Directors are only allowed to debate a motion if the Board choses to allow it. Colorado statute 38-33.3-308. Meetings (2.5)(b) is confusing to some on this issue.

It states "..... all meetings of the association and Board of Directors are open to every unit owner of the association, or to any person designated by a unit owner in writing as the unit owner's representative, and all unit owners or designated representatives so desiring shall be permitted to attend, listen, and speak at an appropriate time during the deliberations and proceedings; except that, for regular and special meetings of the Board, unit owners who are not Board members may not participate in any deliberation or discussion unless expressly so authorized by a vote of the majority of a quorum of the Board."

I think last part on the exception for Board meetings clearly states the rule on when a member who is not a Director may speak. Thus members are only permitted by statue to speak at member meetings, except when they have approval of the Board to speak at Board meetings.

RogerB
RobertG
(Arizona)

Posts:505


02/10/2006 7:08 AM  
Arizona has a very similar statute.

"Notwithstanding any provision in the declaration, bylaws or other documents to the contrary, all meetings of the association and board of directors are open to all members of the association or any person designated by a member in writing as the member's representative and all members or designated representatives so desiring shall be permitted to attend and speak at an appropriate time during the deliberations and proceedings. The board may place reasonable time restrictions on those persons speaking during the meeting but shall permit a member or member's designated representative to speak before the board takes formal action on an item under discussion in addition to any other opportunities to speak. The board shall provide for a reasonable number of persons to speak on each side of an issue."

Given such statutes and giving the association members an open forum time, is is necessary to allow assocation members to speak when a motion is on the table for the board members to debate. I don't think so, but want to be sure.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


02/10/2006 7:41 AM  
I agree with you RobertG. As long as there is an open forum for owners to speak and they have a copy of the agenda. They know what will be discussed and can provide their input during their alloted time. There could be times when an exception is made on a "hot" item or when an owner with expertise on the item being discussed wants to provide input which the Board feels could be valuable. Otherwise a Board meeting can become chaotic. BTW it appears the Arizona statute you quoted is very similar to Colorado's.

RogerB
EdR
(Texas)

Posts:170


02/10/2006 8:18 AM  
This is just from experience again--but if you are following RROrder--the debate/discussion would be after the motion and second of the motion--the board would be discussing the issue and at that time, if the chair allows a member to enter into the discussion/debate, it's up to the chair. My experience there is that's when it gets chaotic--that only the board should debate or discuss, but if the chair allows it, directors have actually chimed in and asked the chair not to allow it because of RRO. This, in my opinion, is where the board, ahead of time, should decide what THEY will allow and ask the chair to cooperate. As I've mentioned in other threads, our president/chair is selective about this because of favoritism and her special interest groups (allowing them to speak) when actually shutting up a director in the process. This is why it is so important that the board agree ahead of time that there will or will not be discussion from members after the "second of the motion" and cut them off. I agree there should be homeowners' input--the Homeowners' Forum is before the board meeting so that they could address issues brought up from the homeowners if necessary. Contrary to a "special meeting" agenda which has to be noticed and no other items discussed, items can be added to a regular meeting agenda at the last minute (at least in our CCRs, Bylaws, etc.).
EdR
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