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Subject: How can I get minutes approved???
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LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:177


05/03/2021 7:03 PM  
I am the Chairman of an HOA and have been trying to get minutes approved for a meeting in July last year, one in October last year and 3 more for this year. We can never get them approved. We have adopted Roberts Rules of Order and I have stressed how we need to have in our minutes things that were done, not said. I have also stressed they are legal documents. It doesn't seem to matter, each meeting we spend the majority of time disagreeing about what should be included and what shouldn't be. We have voted on some, but it gets to be impossible to vote on every little thing and so it is postponed until the next meeting. I want to just make one bit motion for all of them to be approved with all corrections included. However, they disagree with most of the corrections because they want inaccurate, defaming, embarrassing statements included. I do Not! What can I do? Please help me asap. I literally have spent hours and hours correcting minutes, as our Secretary is terrible. We have tried to put in a new secretary, but that didn't succeed either.

Can we just not approve the minutes outstanding and discard them? Can we include everyones version of the minutes and approve that? What options do I have? Thanks in advance.

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3923


05/03/2021 7:17 PM  
Didn't you have a post (maybe two) on meeting minutes, where they noted a letter someone sent about a dispute they had with you two years earlier and it was read out loud in front of everyone? You never said how that ended, but it may be you keep bringing it up and everyone's getting tired of it.

You're correct that minutes aren't supposed to be a note-for-note recap of who said what at the meeting - they only reflect what the board actually voted upon, who was there, what was tabled, etc. If your colleagues can't seem to understand that, perhaps it's time for your association attorney to attend a meeting and talk to everyone about what the minutes are supposed to do - with a few horror stories on what happens when they're not written properly, stored permanently, etc.

If that doesn't work, you may have to decide if you want to stay on this board if they don't seem to care about ensuring board decisions are recorded properly so it doesn't put the association at risk down the road.
AugustinD


Posts:313


05/04/2021 8:09 AM  
LouH1, in my experience the only viable option is to get a majority elected to the Board who feel as you do. Else I think you are looking for magic words to get people to change their minds on an issue that would be hard to fight in court, on account of Robert's Rules not having a lot of power on the subject of what should go into Minutes. There are no such magic words. There is psychology, but even the best psychologists battle to manipulate others. Human nature being what it is.

I guess including everyone's version of the Minutes is another option. Make each director who does not want to agree with the secretary's version type up their own minutes. Take no arguing on the point. Record the vote as something like, "Majority approval was not achievable. Minutes from each director who disagreed are attached."
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3923


05/04/2021 9:10 AM  
That's a great idea! I'd add that I'd tell everyone that their observations will be part of the association's permanent record and thus, available to any homeowner upon request. Since board meeting minutes are legal documents, they can and will be held responsible for what they write - including the personal commentary concerning various people. Do they REALLY want a personal commentary to come back to bite them in the ass?
LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:177


05/04/2021 10:26 AM  
AugustinD, I am thrilled to have YOU answer a topic question for me. You are such a gift to all of us who want answers that they can trust, are professional and are thoughtfully worded.
So, I caught you at home!! Hurray!! Thanks again, it is perfect!

LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:177


05/04/2021 10:28 AM  
SheliaH! Thanks so much, your additional comments are perfect.
AugustinD


Posts:313


05/05/2021 8:38 AM  
Posted By SheliaH on 05/04/2021 9:10 AM
Since board meeting minutes are legal documents, they can and will be held responsible for what they write - including the personal commentary concerning various people. Do they REALLY want a personal commentary to come back to bite them in the ass?
Ha, I am chuckling here. I think the above is spot on. I believe we are talking threats of defamation lawsuits. I agree with providing these directors with SheliaH's fine elaboration.

LouH1, thank you for the kind words. I am on the road, vaccinated and happily glamping, but I get on the net now and then. Hope you and yours are doing okay in this pandemic.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10952


05/05/2021 8:48 AM  
Lou

While Aug offers an interesting way I have my doubts. It seems you have gotten way form what Minutes are and you are allowing each BOD Members to have Bully Pulpit via the Minutes. I suggest you go to basic/legal Minutes where only Motions made and the result of the motion and leave out anything else. Or add general statements like: Pool hours discussed. No action taken. New club house carpet discussed. No action taken.

When a Motion is voted on and not unanimous, how people voted could be listed by no verbiage allowed. Only how they voted.

Get back to the basics.
ND
(PA)

Posts:591


05/05/2021 10:34 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 05/05/2021 8:48 AM
Lou

While Aug offers an interesting way I have my doubts. It seems you have gotten way form what Minutes are and you are allowing each BOD Members to have Bully Pulpit via the Minutes. I suggest you go to basic/legal Minutes where only Motions made and the result of the motion and leave out anything else. Or add general statements like: Pool hours discussed. No action taken. New club house carpet discussed. No action taken.

When a Motion is voted on and not unanimous, how people voted could be listed by no verbiage allowed. Only how they voted.

Get back to the basics.



Totally agree with this.

Allowing everyone to add their own version of minutes could create additional chaos and delay. If people can't agree with the most simple of things (which is what minutes should really only be): decisions that were made, vote counts, and topics that were discussed (without elaborating on the discussion), then there are significantly greater underlying HOA/Board issues than what should be a simple task of creating/approving minutes.

If people absolutely MUST elaborate on things or provide some sort of narrative of events (how they arrived at their decision, why they voted the way they did, what they didn't like about someone else's POV, etc.), then I suggest they do that through email . . . which can be done at any time and would not hold up the process of writing, review, approving the actual minutes. If in the future, an individual needs to prove their version of things, they they can provide/recall that email they sent as "evidence". Further, others can provide/recall that email as "evidence" against the sender . . . so would serve a similar purpose as what Augustin suggested without making the process of writing and approving minutes even more excruciating.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3923


05/05/2021 1:53 PM  
I've always said if people feel strongly about something and they were on the losing end of a vote, they can write a one-page summary of their view and ask that it be attached to the minutes. The minutes would reflect the vote, say 4-1, and the one board member can express him/herself in the summary.

You can set some ground rules on how the summary can be crafted - no cuss words, name-calling, or other personal attacks, nor do you say Mr. X said whatever. Simply state why YOU voted the way you did but pledge to do what you can to make the decision work for the benefit of the community or whatever, and that's that. If some people find they're doing this a lot, they might be more selective in what issues are worth taking a stand on vs. the personalities (which is almost always BS in the end)
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10952


05/05/2021 2:14 PM  
Posted By SheliaH on 05/05/2021 1:53 PM
I've always said if people feel strongly about something and they were on the losing end of a vote, they can write a one-page summary of their view and ask that it be attached to the minutes. The minutes would reflect the vote, say 4-1, and the one board member can express him/herself in the summary.

You can set some ground rules on how the summary can be crafted - no cuss words, name-calling, or other personal attacks, nor do you say Mr. X said whatever. Simply state why YOU voted the way you did but pledge to do what you can to make the decision work for the benefit of the community or whatever, and that's that. If some people find they're doing this a lot, they might be more selective in what issues are worth taking a stand on vs. the personalities (which is almost always BS in the end)



I disagree with this also. Still a bit of a Bully Pulpit. Some may say well as long as so and so is allowed to tell why they voted against, I want my say why I voted for it. Soon 5-6 page long minutes.
MaxB4
(Maine)

Posts:214


05/05/2021 3:58 PM  
The minutes are a legal document that must be retained from the very beginning of the corporation. If, for instance, legal decisions were voted on, such as firing a property manager, fining someone, or placing a lien on an owner's home, the legality of those decisions could come into question.

It is time for people to put on their big boys and girls pants and start acting like frigging adults.
AugustinD


Posts:313


05/06/2021 8:47 AM  
Posted By LouH1 on 05/03/2021 7:03 PM
We can never get them approved.
[snippage]
We have tried to put in a new secretary, but that didn't succeed either.

LouH1
(Michigan)

Posts:177


05/06/2021 11:05 AM  
AugustinD Smile.................
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