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Subject: coronavirus and general membership meeting
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Author Messages
MaryannC1
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:15


07/30/2020 2:27 PM  
Just wondering what others will be doing as far General Membership meetings coming up and corona virus restrictions. Our community has a small meeting room and we will not be able to keep people six feet apart. Is it legal to postpone this yearly meeting? Thanks for any input.
AugustinD


Posts:4160


07/30/2020 2:33 PM  
The question about what to do about annual meetings during this pandemic has come up a lo there. All options are bad: Delaying the meeting violates a covenant. An online meeting often violates a covenant. Having an in-person meeting is insane (just ask the Miami Marlins' General Manager) and may be unlawful in some cities. I believe the consensus is that this is uncharted territory, and boards should do the best they can to satisfy all legal requirements. To me, this means allowing absentee voting and online Zoom attendance, conforming with the calendar requirements of the covenants.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9649


07/30/2020 3:46 PM  
Maybe have it outside and use masks or face shields. Those who don't want to wear them keep them apart from others the 6 feet. We can't have meetings with more than 10 people in a room right now. So why not have an online meetings or outside one?

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10017


07/30/2020 4:00 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 07/30/2020 2:33 PM
The question about what to do about annual meetings during this pandemic has come up a lo there. All options are bad: Delaying the meeting violates a covenant. An online meeting often violates a covenant. Having an in-person meeting is insane (just ask the Miami Marlins' General Manager) and may be unlawful in some cities. I believe the consensus is that this is uncharted territory, and boards should do the best they can to satisfy all legal requirements. To me, this means allowing absentee voting and online Zoom attendance, conforming with the calendar requirements of the covenants.



Well said. Many of us are up in the air.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7582


07/30/2020 5:11 PM  
Do your bylaws, or state laws, maryann, permit voting by mail? Or must owners vote "in person?"
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:763


07/30/2020 5:37 PM  
We have done several board meetings online and they went great. It may be a little challenging with a large group but it can be done. I suggest having a practice meeting to iron out any wrinkles. With some, anyone with a regular telephone can participate. We used Zoom with no problems and I've attended one meeting using another platform which also went well.

I don't know Pennsylvania law but it's hard to imagine a law or covenant prohibiting an online meeting. It's probably common for the rules to be silent on the subject.

The virus was just getting bad when we had our annual meeting so we decided to cancel everything but the election. We vote entirely by ballot so we did not need a to be quorum physically present. We encouraged everyone to vote absentee or just drop off their ballot and leave.
AugustinD


Posts:4160


07/30/2020 6:07 PM  
Posted By BenA2 on 07/30/2020 5:37 PM
it's hard to imagine a law or covenant prohibiting an online meeting. It's probably common for the rules to be silent on the subject.
I agree. I was thinking more about how the annual meeting is usually also the annual election, and how, when it comes to elections, covenants typically provide for proxies but not absentee ballots, online voting, and the like.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7582


07/30/2020 7:14 PM  
I'm wondering about PA, too, Augustine.

CA permits absentee & mail-in voting. Secret ballots. Owners do attend the annual meeting to socialize & learn the results of the voting tabulation, but it's rare that anyone votes AT the meeting.

Still, to tabulate the ballots, which must be viewed by any owner who wishes in CA, the 3 inspectors of election (our CA HOA) would have to sit far apart.

Otherwise, the remainder of the meeting could be Zoom, which we've used with fair success for the past 3 monthly board meetings. About 30 Owners (200+ condos) attend, whom we keep muted unless they want to speak during our designated open forums.
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:769


07/31/2020 3:48 AM  
My friend owns a banquet hall that holds 300. He is booked twice for annual meetings. No problem with spacing. Microphone available.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9649


07/31/2020 4:31 AM  
Each state is different or even city on how many they allow to gather. I believe ours is down to 10 in conference rooms and it may be 50% capacity in other larger venues. We also all have to wear masks now. So you have to go by your state's rules when having meetings.

Former HOA President
MaryannC1
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:15


07/31/2020 7:30 AM  
Thanks for your input! Good advice!
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