Get 1 year of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Thursday, May 13, 2021











HOATalk is a free service of Community123.com:

Easy to use website tools to help your board
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Do we need a Secretary?
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
JackJ9
(Oregon)

Posts:8


04/08/2021 12:10 PM  
In our current bylaws, we are supposed to have a Secretary. Nobody wants this position, so the President has been taking her own meeting minutes.

This got me thinking. The concept of a secretary is fading quickly in our society. The position essentially no longer exists in the office.

Thus, should we consider revising our bylaws to eliminate the position of Secretary, to keep our board forward thinking?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1881


04/08/2021 12:24 PM  
I think it's going to depend a lot on what your bylaws say, how large your board is, and how all of the parts work together.

My bylaws combine the Secretary/VP offices, so we can't eliminate the position without causing other issues. We also employ a property manager who can either takes the notes or run the meetings, depending on the skills and preferences of the individuals involved.

And you really should have someone taking notes. I personally find it difficult to shift my attention back and forth between keeping minutes and conducting the meeting (and research on multi-tasking in general agrees with my experience). Trying to do both makes you less effective at both, and running association meetings can be difficult enough without added distractions.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3921


04/08/2021 12:27 PM  
Um, I think you're confusing secretary as an assistant to an executive with Secretary as part of a group of an organization officers. The latter HAS NOT gone away - you still need someone to keep track of what the board does during its official meeting.

If your president is comfortable taking the minutes, does it accurately and people vote accordingly, that's fine. But what will you do if the president isn't there and no one has a clue on how to put them together?

If no one wants the job, you can always rotate the work. One month you take them,the next month someone else and so on. There's no reason this has to be diffi, as there are dozens of tips throughout the internet on how to put them together. You can even use a template from Word and follow that.

It may be people don't want the job because they think every single word has to be documented. Perhaps all of you should read a few articles on what a HOA secretary does (starting with your documents) and then determine what can be done to make the work easier.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:616


04/08/2021 1:37 PM  
Is your association incorporated? if so, this is from the Oregon's law for Nonprofit Corporations states:

65.371 Required officers. (1) A corporation must have a president, a secretary, a treasurer ...
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8015


04/08/2021 1:49 PM  
Someone must take notes to record board decisions. If no one wants to, as mentioned, it might be because they think they must write down every word. That's plain wrong.

But the Board votes and wording of decisions made are part of your HOA's official record, can be used in court, etc. It's is one or only a few, or maybe no other materials, that an HOA really should keep forever.

Our Bylaws allow us to appoint owners who are not directors as officers (except for prez). Perhaps you have a kind-hearted owner who would do that. Note that s/he would have not vote and would not keep executive session minutes.

At many HOAs, both the secretary & the prez must sign the minutes thus bylaws often forbid the from being the same person.

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10944


04/08/2021 1:59 PM  
I believe proper protocol (and maybe even some legality) say the Pres and the Secretary cannot be the same person. The Minutes are a legal document and should be treated as such. You could combine other positions such as VP/Secretary.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1881


04/08/2021 2:36 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 04/08/2021 1:59 PM
I believe proper protocol (and maybe even some legality) say the Pres and the Secretary cannot be the same person. The Minutes are a legal document and should be treated as such. You could combine other positions such as VP/Secretary.




You don't want to combine President and Treasurer. Allowing the same person to sign contracts and cut checks makes embezzlement easier - if they're separate you'd need collusion. Secretary/Treasurer is fine as long as the Secretary isn't the also the VP, since one of the VP's duties is to act in the President's place.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17599


04/08/2021 3:48 PM  
Expecting you are incorporated, as most Associations are, check the applicable corporate codes.
Typically, the required officers are President, Treasurer and Secretary.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10126


04/08/2021 4:23 PM  
I would also look into the ACTUAL responsibilities of the "Secretary". It may not mean what people think it means. Our Secretarial position was responsible for keeping up with ownership status. They were to document whom lived in what home and were owners/members. This may extend into are they responsible for keeping meeting notes?

As President I was not allowed to act as the secretary. Which meant my notes could not have been "official" HOA notes. That is because President approves the minutes and puts the seal on official documents. Even though at then end of my tenure and we only had 2 members left on the board, my meeting notes were not considered "official".

So if the President takes the notes of the meeting it's okay. Just recognize those meeting notes are NOT official notes of the HOA. Official HOA notes do have legal weight and adherence. It is best to make sure they will stand up in a court of law.

Former HOA President
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Do we need a Secretary?



Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement