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Subject: BOD minutes watermarked "DRAFT"
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RhodaP1
(Florida)

Posts:13


02/18/2020 6:04 PM  
I attended the BOD meeting this month. Loads of trouble getting them to understand how to conduct business. My question is where in Roberts Rules of Order does it state that Meeting minutes are watermarked "DRAFT". They claim (Posted on social media, Facebook)that this has been done since the minutes are not official until they are accepted at the meeting (next Month). I tried to research it on the web, but was unable to find an answer.
Thank you in advance.
Rhoda P.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2336


02/18/2020 6:13 PM  
Hundreds of citations on line ... here’s one ... https://www.dummies.com/careers/business-skills/meeting-minutes-according-to-roberts-rules/
AugustinD


Posts:2946


02/18/2020 6:23 PM  
Posted By RhodaP1 on 02/18/2020 6:04 PM
My question is where in Roberts Rules of Order does it state that Meeting minutes are watermarked "DRAFT".
Robert's Rules are not technologically up to date. The watermark recognizes that draft digital Minutes are now routinely circulated by email prior to approval. As a legal matter, it is important that such minutes do not get mistaken with official minutes.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7052


02/18/2020 7:07 PM  
Many, maybe most, HOA boards do not have a requirement to follow Robert's Rules. (I think CT is an exception)

But to give an example of how Robert's isn't up to date: In CA HOAs, draft minutes must be available for Owner review 30 days after the relevant meeting. But sometimes they have not been approved within 30 days because the Board hasn't met yet to approve them. Our HOA board, for instance, doesn't meet in December. But the Nov. draft minutes must be available for owners review 30 days after that meeting. So.... if an owner does request them, they are stamped draft for the reason given by other posters.

Why the big concern about this topic?
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3684


02/18/2020 7:35 PM  
Posted By RhodaP1 on 02/18/2020 6:04 PM
I attended the BOD meeting this month. Loads of trouble getting them to understand how to conduct business. My question is where in Roberts Rules of Order does it state that Meeting minutes are watermarked "DRAFT". They claim (Posted on social media, Facebook)that this has been done since the minutes are not official until they are accepted at the meeting (next Month). I tried to research it on the web, but was unable to find an answer.

You won't find that in Roberts Rules. Fact is, though, that they don't beccome official minutes in the corporation's books and records until they're reviewed, considered, and approved by the board at a subsequent meeting. In one respect you should consider yourself lucky because some boards won't release copies of draft minutes and will only provide access (or copies) of the officially approved minutes (which means owners have to wait until they're approved and in a worst-case scenario that can take months).
RhodaP1
(Florida)

Posts:13


02/18/2020 11:45 PM  
Why the big concern about this topic?

I attended this meeting. I audio taped it. This board has the habit of making it up as they go. They have committed some big errors. They didn't want to hold an elections, they claimed the action they took recorded in BOD meeting to be the truth, but in reality, just a lie to cover up another lie. They left a paper trail a mile long of discrepancies. They amended their minutes in one month 2 times. The corrections are as far off as the sunset is from the sunrise. They removed documents from the website when they are made aware of the contradiction and obvious lies.

Since they have not watermarked "draft" any other minutes before and because this "draft" minutes contain lies and contradictions, I just needed to know where they got the idea, since they left out about 60% what was discussed at that particular meeting. There are also contradictions to the rest of what they recorded in the minutes.

I am trying to get appointed to the ACC committee and they are requiring me to sign a document that calls me a Candidate under the control of a Nomination Committee. Our documents are old and screwed up for sure. But, it states the board appoints committee members. I have tried to communicate with them but they refuse to consider anything I have to say.

Like most HOA's, most homeowner don't care what the board does, as long as they don't have to do it. But I care. My property value is affected. But that is for another day. They have their own idea what the ACC duties are, and doesn't include violations notices.

I just need a link in the document of RR for the correct understand for reason to watermark minutes a "Draft".
Thank you
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9136


02/19/2020 4:49 AM  
Anyone see a pattern here or is just me? You keep calling them liars! They try to make changes and you criticize those changes as lies or hiding things. Even if they realize they did something wrong your already on them for "lies". Seriously, back off a little bit.

I don't see anything wrong with being marked as a candidate. You still have to run for the position correct? So you have to be a candidate for consideration.

I just don't see you ever letting this board not be liars and doing something wrong. That is exactly how they view you as well. Maybe stop with the lies comments and maybe listen? These people are NOT professionals! Their only qualification is to be a homeowner. That doesn't take a Yale degree...

Former HOA President
RhodaP1
(Florida)

Posts:13


02/19/2020 5:26 AM  
Thank You Melissa.
I can totally see how you reached your conclusion. I sound terrible. Thing is, I also am a former Board Member (President for a total of 5 years). Their paper trail tells it all. And without all the background to all the information, I would come to the same conclusion. I have not told the half of it. So Please forgive me if I sound harsh. The last two boards have served for the sole purpose of preventing turning over our receivership. And their fruits prove it. The only correspondence has been two assessment letters in December.

I have always tried to research answers from professional. But you can see how frustrated I am. These volunteers are the very same people that slandered, attacked at meetings, and harassed me when I was a volunteer. This is not tit for tat, I assure you. I am passionate about keeping my neighborhood of 32 years clean and safe, at which time is neither.

Just need to know what the purpose of watermarking minutes a draft, and where in the RR can it be located.

Thank you once again
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9136


02/19/2020 5:35 AM  
I am glad you didn't take me wrong. I sometimes do a "tough love" approach to gauge posters. Some will go extreme and you realize your not dealing with reality...

The CC&R's and Articles of Incorporation are PUBLIC documents. The bylaws may be filed with the CC&R's but not always required. (Depends on states). The Bylaws/RR/ACC documents are then internal HOA documents. So they are responsible for keeping them.

My suggestion that worked for me is to bring the rules to every and each meeting. That way can reference directly from the "rule book". This can help get the board back on track. If they aren't willing to refer to the rules in giving answers then it will show to others what they are dealing with.

Former HOA President
AugustinD


Posts:2946


02/19/2020 6:57 AM  
Posted By RhodaP1 on 02/18/2020 11:45 PM
They didn't want to hold an elections
Are they holding elections?

Is your community a condominium covered under Florida Statute 718? Or a HOA, covered under Florida Statute 720?

Posted By RhodaP1 on 02/18/2020 11:45 PM
Since they have not watermarked "draft" any other minutes before and because this "draft" minutes contain lies and contradictions, I just needed to know where they got the idea, since they left out about 60% what was discussed at that particular meeting.
Board Meeting Minutes are only supposed to record actions taken, like motions, a second to the motion (or failure to achieve a second), and the board vote.

Posted By RhodaP1 on 02/18/2020 11:45 PM
There are also contradictions to the rest of what they recorded in the minutes.
I hear you that the board is lying and perhaps being jerks about committee appointments. Keep reading at this forum, and you will learn how common this is. But the problem is that there usually is little grounds on which to base, ultimately, a legal action for lying or being mischievous about committee appointments. The lying has to cross over to some kind of significant fraud involving a lot of money. Suing over not being appointed to a committee is legally not going to go anhwyere. Nationwide competent HOA attorneys say the most efficient, least expensive, least labor intensive, way to deal with these issues is to get elected to the board with a like-minded majority.

Posted By RhodaP1 on 02/18/2020 11:45 PM
Like most HOA's, most homeowner don't care what the board does, as long as they don't have to do it. But I care. My property value is affected. But that is for another day. They have their own idea what the ACC duties are, and doesn't include violations notices.
Keep reading at this forum and you will see that, on the one hand, apathy is the biggest impediment to change. On the other hand, those who do not participate are saying, 'Everything is fine with us.' I think trying to change people's minds is a difficult battle. I think one is better off focusing on what one's self can control. I think sometimes all one can do is accept that the battle is not winnable. Other times one can rally neighbors and cause a major change to the board of directors.


Posted By RhodaP1 on 02/18/2020 11:45 PM
I just need a link in the document of RR for the correct understand for reason to watermark minutes a "Draft".
I am sorry the other responses do not make sense to you. I do think you should pick your battles. E.g. if the board is not running elections or is cheating in elections, this is something you can fight and with legal teeth.
RhodaP1
(Florida)

Posts:13


02/19/2020 6:59 AM  
Melissa,
I will do just that. Thanks again.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7052


02/19/2020 9:06 AM  
As Geno remarked above, Rhoda, Robert's Rules of Order says nothing about marking draft minutes as "drafts." The purpose was explained above. Are you sure your board must even follow Robert's Rules for board meetings?

It also seems pretty clear that this board will not appoint you to the ACC given what you related above.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:746


02/19/2020 9:23 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 02/19/2020 4:49 AM
Anyone see a pattern here or is just me? You keep calling them liars! They try to make changes and you criticize those changes as lies or hiding things. Even if they realize they did something wrong your already on them for "lies". Seriously, back off a little bit.

I don't see anything wrong with being marked as a candidate. You still have to run for the position correct? So you have to be a candidate for consideration.

I just don't see you ever letting this board not be liars and doing something wrong. That is exactly how they view you as well. Maybe stop with the lies comments and maybe listen? These people are NOT professionals! Their only qualification is to be a homeowner. That doesn't take a Yale degree...



Can you PLEASE tell ALL of us here how bringing YOUR set of Rules and Regulations to a meeting helps in any way in running said meeting?

Rules and Regulations are do's and don't's of what you can and can't with your home and common area.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:746


02/19/2020 9:32 AM  
There are many instances where minutes are watermarked or stamped "draft". Many government agencies have this requirement before minutes are approved especially if they are posted on websites.

Let's say your association requires minutes be available 30 days after meeting but your board only meets every two months. Having "draft" minutes is highly acceptable.

A number of newer Bylaws will state that some form of parliamentary procedure be used for annual meetings and more of them are using that also for board meetings. Older Bylaws, back in the 70 's and 80's probably don't know who Robert's is.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9136


02/19/2020 4:32 PM  
Mark have you ever been to a HOA meeting? Seriously come common sense here and follow the bouncing ball. You bring the CC&R's, By-laws, ACC (if exist), and Articles of incorporation so you can give PROPER answers. The Articles provide the meeting requirements and position definitions. Someone asks "What does the Secretary do?" OPEN up the document and refer to that paragraph.

I like to tell board members to bring the rules to each and every meeting to reference them for many things. Plus by having them at the meeting you know the board know and follow the rules. They are not "winging" it. It also encourages people to get a copy of the rules themselves. One of the BIGGEST questions or issues a HOA has is distribution of rules.

So don't understand why someone would NOT bring a set of the rules to their meetings. People want to complain their HOA board doesn't "follow the rules". What better way than live by example with having them at hand?

Former HOA President
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:752


02/19/2020 5:10 PM  
Posted By RhodaP1 on 02/18/2020 6:04 PM
I attended the BOD meeting this month. Loads of trouble getting them to understand how to conduct business. My question is where in Roberts Rules of Order does it state that Meeting minutes are watermarked "DRAFT". They claim (Posted on social media, Facebook)that this has been done since the minutes are not official until they are accepted at the meeting (next Month). I tried to research it on the web, but was unable to find an answer.
Thank you in advance.
Rhoda P.




Yes, board minutes are in draft format until they are voted on and approved at the next meeting or whenever. I don't see the problem.
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:746


02/19/2020 5:12 PM  
Have I ever been to an HOA meeting you ask?

Let's see in 10 years managing, probably 144 each year including annual meetings. I think that add up to about 1440, give or take. In all those years, I can't honestly say I ever saw a Board member with any governing docs with them at a meeting. The only thing they had was their board packet and if I hadn't prepared it, it would never gotten done. But hey, that's why they paid me the big bucks.

You should check around some time, but the Articles don't provide meeting requirement and position definitions, that is found in the Bylaws. The Articles of Incorporation forms the corporation and list the name of the original directors. It can state how many classes of voting memberships and what the corporation is engaged in.

How many times has the rules come up in a board meeting? I could probably could on two hands out of over 1400 meetings.

What's the Secretary do? I've been trying to figure that out for a very long time.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:629


02/19/2020 9:15 PM  
There is nothing in Robert's Rules that addresses draft minutes. I don't know where your board got the idea but the argument used by many is that the members should have a way of seeing what happens at a meeting soon after the meeting. Since minutes aren't approved until the following meeting, publishing a draft copy accomplishes that but let's everyone know they are not official.

Our board doesn't publish drafts because we decided it is best not to publish anything that is not official.

Inaccuracies are a different topic. Obviously, there is a problem if the person taking minutes isn't doing it accurately.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9136


02/19/2020 9:27 PM  
Honestly I think whomever is printing the document is just adding the watermark option when printing out. They want to make sure it does not come across as official notes of the HOA.

Former HOA President
MarkW18
(Florida)

Posts:746


02/19/2020 9:46 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 02/19/2020 9:27 PM
Honestly I think whomever is printing the document is just adding the watermark option when printing out. They want to make sure it does not come across as official notes of the HOA.



You think?
RhodaP1
(Florida)

Posts:13


02/20/2020 5:11 AM  
My question was: If this process is in RR, where is it stated?

The Board has documented/approved so many improper steps that violate our By-Laws, I just like to think they got this one right. I am always ready to stand corrected add to my understanding. I have nothing against it being posted a draft if that is indeed a acceptable practice. With the slew of errors they made in the minutes, I am anxious to see the amended, approved copy. Like I stated, I attended the meeting, audio taped (so did they) and they did NOT record the true happenings. There are also a couple of contradictions that are so obvious.

I sent them numerous emails explaining my desire to be appointed to the ACC. They made up a rule and designed a Candidate Form just for me. Our By-Laws say volunteers are "appointed" by the board. They are not and never will be candidates. Two other homeowners serving on other committees were not required to sign it. (not recoded in the minutes)

Honestly, I just want to clean up my neighborhood, and make walking the sidewalks safe. Having served on the Board in the past, many of my neighbors share their thoughts and concerns on a weekly bases. Two have tripped and one fell. My Husband, sister and I have all had similar experiences. After asking the chairman (only sole committee member) on the ACC to contact the homeowner who never edges or cleans up the palms dropping, he said, "I'll go knock on their door if that will make you happy. Rhoda!" And there you have it, I just wanted to make a real difference.

It is clear they have no intentions of appointing me! And that is personal! And Wrong!
Leaving my home of 32 years is the only real solution. Got to get out before property values drop any lower here. That ought to make them happy. Standing down for now.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9136


02/20/2020 5:22 AM  
It's just usually typical meeting practice that one doesn't approve notes till the NEXT meeting. Once approved at the next meeting they get released. Prior to that they are "DRAFT" notes. That way when next meeting comes any descrepancies or "untruths" can be addressed and changed. Not unusual business practice to do this. Don't think it has to be spelled out since it's a general practice of business.

Sometimes notes don't get approved for a few meetings. Best case scenario is the next meeting. Official meeting notes importance may be in a court of law as proof in a case if needed. Otherwise, they don't have much use than just status report.


Former HOA President
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:836


02/20/2020 5:34 AM  
Posted By RhodaP1 on 02/20/2020 5:11 AM
My question was: If this process is in RR, where is it stated?
...
It is clear they have no intentions of appointing me! And that is personal! And Wrong! ...




It may be personal, but it's not wrong. No homeowner has a right to be appointed to a committee - boards typically can appoint whomever they want. And one reasonable choice is to only appoint people who do not have an ongoing, antagonistic relationship with the other board members.

Maybe the board members are a bunch of duffers and the would-be committee member is the lone voice of reason. Maybe the board knows what it's doing and the would-be committee member thinks he/she knows better. From the outside these two situations look the same. Doesn't matter. The board is accountable for the actions of the committee and should choose people they can work with.

Reminds me of a comment made by a former colleague who'd just let go a difficult employees: "Yes, he had skills, but I wasn't willing to pay the price I had to pay in order to get those skills. Other people are equally good and don't have all the personal baggage."
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2336


02/20/2020 5:53 AM  
Rhoda,

"I have nothing against it being posted a draft if that is indeed a acceptable practice." It isn't just acceptable, it is the way it is done. Are there variations on this, sure, but it is a core principle.

My sense is that you have probably made it clear you don't want to work with the current Board - using the term "liar" is a bad start. Likely they have heard this, as well.

So, if you want to make a difference, stop the gnawing from the outside, offer to help with anything - be helpful and positive - not negative. Get on the ballot for the next members meeting to be elected as a board member.

I have not seen anything you have related that sounds out of line with normal HOA activities (is it a condo or single family?).

Do you have copies of your CCRs, Bylaws and Rules and Regulations?
RhodaP1
(Florida)

Posts:13


02/20/2020 6:09 AM  
Thank you Cathy.

It just would be nice to be treated equally, since I really have proven to play well with other. If wrongdoing isn't acknowledged, and behavior isn't corrected then it is just "wrong". Keep Reminding myself we are all adults, no room for bullies.

Like I posted before, you don't have all the facts, so I would tend to agree completely with you. The paper trail they have left is all the proof anyone needs to reach the same conclusion I have expressed in this forum.

Time for a legal team to set things straight. Even me!

Thank you all

Former President of HOA
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2336


02/20/2020 6:24 AM  
Rhoda,

I suspect you believe more should be in the minutes than is usually appropriate ... here’s a simple summary, I picked quickly from online info, of what should not be in the minutes.

https://kuester.com/include-hoa-meeting-minutes/
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2336


02/20/2020 6:36 AM  
Rhoda,

Referring to members of your board as liars seems to be counter to your assessment that you play well with others ... can you help us understand?

My sense is that you are emotionally involved ... this usually works against good management ... perhaps take a step back and look for ways to work with the Board?
RhodaP1
(Florida)

Posts:13


02/20/2020 6:36 AM  
George,

I know I came across strong in the original post. I am frustrated. Let me assure you, I don't talk to them like that.

For example:
When I came across contractions or errors in their minutes, I sent emails asking for clarifications since it didn't add up, which then exposes their trying to apply a section of the By-Laws to cover up a wrong self appointment to the board. (They were not going to hold an election. With out the process a board is illegal. We almost never have more candidates than positions, so the board is almost always appointed here. But the process has to be started)

Then they reposted their minutes. they remove the first document (from website) and replace it with a amended documents with a totally different story of what transpired at the BOD monthly meeting. Meeting minutes should always record and reflect what really happens!

I wasn't nasty, I only asked for answers. The Board ignored me. I print everything, so I can prove it black and white. Funny thing, two of the current Board members served with me 5 years ago.

I take a real interest in my community, and care deeply about my neighbors.

I have copies of all our Governing Documents: Articles, By-Lays, DC&R, Rules & Regulations, and FL Statues 720. I have become very familiar with them. Just not Robert's Rules of Order.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9322


02/20/2020 7:46 AM  
The only thing Minutes need to show is who was there and the result of any votes taken. Anything else is chit chat and subject to the writer's slanting.

I do say some general comments should be made such the BOD discussed replacing the back gate. The BOD discussed taking bids on painting the clubhouse, etc, but nothing more added.

Minutes are not meant to be word for word. If one wants to know more, then attend the BOD Meetings.
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:655


02/21/2020 5:30 AM  
Items within the Minutes from previous meetings can be amended or recinded by a 2/3 vote of the board, (to even go back and consider the change) plus another 2/3 vote on the issue itself, but that should only be in extreme cases.

That IS in Robert Rules.
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