First and foremost refer to your governing documents to find out if these have specific requirements as far as Minutes. Then check your state laws governing condo associations. Minutes come in several "shapes and colors" depending on the size of an association, and depending on whether the board meets quarterly or monthly. However the very basic format includes the following topics:
Call to order.
Proof of Notice.
Establishing of Board quorum.
Reading & Approval of previous Minutes.
After reading and approving minutes of last meeting you must adopt an agenda for thie current meeting. Further if the association chooses to use Riberts Rules in conducting the meeting you should use that set of operating instructions ton your meeting against.
It is my understanding that all things discussed at a board meeting do not have to appear in minutes, but things whereby a decision was made have to. I have recently requested that when decisions are made, we owners would be told how each board member voted on each issue, such as: Yeas 5. Or yeas 3, nays 1 - Smith, abstain 1 - Jones. Because I drop suggestion notes to the board often, in one of the minutes they said that they were going to start publishing the name(s) of those who were complaining and what there complaints were. A neighbor wrote to them and said she would sue them if her name ever appeared in their minutes when lodging a complaint. They backed off, and they never started naming names; plus that would certainly have kept people from registering complaints! Now it is described as, "An owner was concerned ... "
Agendas and Minutes are separate documents with different requirements. Association Minutes reflect what transpires at a board or committee meeting, and become official records of the association. Ideally, an Agenda should be agreed upon before the meeting, and all topics discussed or voted on. However, that is not always the case.
Robert Rules of Order are helpful when conducting a board meeting, however, bear in mind that they were intended for assemblies and not community association's meetings.
I would like to add one thing pertaining to Nellie's post. It is recomended that homeowner names not be disclosed on Minutes.
Yet another thing to keep in mind is that Minutes are more often than not taken by the Secretary, who in turn is a volunteer. Your Minutes would be as good as the Secretary is at her/his job, and as good as your board is at conducting meetings.
Each Association should check its governing documents to be sure the Board is meeting any requirements for setting meeting agendas and keeping of the minutes for the Association. Any applicable State Statutes should be complied with as well. Below are Sample minutes from the CAI On-line website: SAMPLE MINUTES
Peaceful Community Association
Board of Directors Meeting
March 2, 200X
The regular monthly meeting of the board of directors of Peaceful Community Association was called to order at 7:06 p.m. at the Boxwood Recreation Center, Tuesday, March 2, 200X, by the president, Mr. Matthew Dunford. The secretary was present.
A quorum was present with the following directors in attendance: Mr. Matthew Dunford, Ms. Hailey Applegate, Mr. Michael Falvo, Mr. Caleb Robinson, Mr. Ashton Smith, and Mrs. Elizabeth Neill. Association manager, Dylan Bush, also was present.
The following director was absent: Mrs. Hannah Tyler.
The minutes of the February 1, 200X meeting (attached) were approved as written.
The treasurer, Caleb Robinson, discussed the financial report (attached) and responded to questions.
The association manager, Dylan Bush, answered questions regarding the management report (attached) and added to his report the fact that the maintenance building had been broken into, that equipment had been stolen, and that a police report and insurance claim had been filed.
The maintenance committee report was received (attached) and the committee was thanked for its efforts to present a proposal for painting the Boxwood Recreation Center.
Hailey Applegate moved to approve the maintenance committee’s recommendation (attached) to contract Professional Paint Company to paint the Boxwood Recreation Center at a cost of $5,200.00. Motion adopted.
The architectural review committee report was received (attached) and the committee was commended for its work.
It was noted that the recreation committee had not met and there was no report.
The newsletter committee submitted a request for purchase of a desktop publishing program. Hailey Applegate moved to expend $226.00 for the purchase of a Microsoft Publisher program for use by the newsletter committee. Motion adopted.
Michael Falvo moved to approve the recreation committee’s proposal to improve the playground (attached).
After discussion, Hailey Applegate moved to postpone action on the motion until the next board meeting in order to allow time for the committee to provide additional information. Motion adopted.
There being no other business, a motion was made, seconded, and approved to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 8:26 p.m.
Mrs. Elizabeth Neill, Secretary
Mr. Matthew Dunford, President
End of SAMPLE MINUTES
Accountants who perform audits of Association finanical statements will look to the minutes for appropriate approval of expenditures and for contract approval for products and/or services that obligate the Association financially. So it is important that such action items are memorilized in the Board Meeting Minutes.
Self-managed Associations should seek training for their Secretary if it is needed to help them record accurate meeting minutes. Professionally managed Associations may have this service included in their management fee or if it is not, the Association could request this service. It can be worth the fee to pay for the Professional Managers expertise in this area. Remember the Board Meeting Minutes are the history of the Association and any member may read regular meeting minutes.
If your meeting was conducted under Roberts Rule of Procedure you made a serrious error by not approving an agenda. Under Roberts Rules the Board or the President ma submit a proposed agenda approval requires a majority vote of the assembly. The assembly consists of unit owners and residents who lease their units.
One of the above writers says that members of her association wish to remain anonymous when making complaints.
Except for complaints made against another owner (such as noise, parking in the wrong spot) I toss all anonymous letters into the waste basket. If someone thinks something is important enough to write to me about it, they ought to sign their name so that I can discuss the problem with them.
Listing complaints in the minutes is something that we do not do, but I don't see the harm.
People who throw darts should not stand in the dark.
There's a story going around about a Rabbi who announced to the congregation that he received a signed letter without a complaint. When he opened the envelope and removed the letter it had only one word on it which the Rabbi assumed was the name of the sender: "Schmuck!"
Complaints and suggestions are different in nature. Anonymous complaints sent to manager or board about neighbors or problems within the community would not be considered credible. It is best that when typing the Minutes you identify the offender by unit number or lot address. When a complaint is received, manager or board should first gather some facts to ensure that the complaint has merit and that Covenants and/or Rules & Regulations have in fact een violated before sending violation letters. Addresses that have received violations letters could be listed in the Minutes as part of the Property Inspection Report from manager or board.
Correction to earlier post. I did not mean that complaints or suggestions when given to the board should be anonymous. They should be signed so the board can get back to the person if necessary and/or for clarification. What I meant was that the owner's name should not be mentioned in the minutes. For instance, we have no reserve funding, and excess money above dues was all lumped together in savings that were growing. I politely inquired what this money was going to be used for in this fiscal year. In the following minutes it was stated that an owner has accused the board of financial mismanagement. No, I had not - I would not have wanted my name associated with that misprint. Another example: there was a leaking plumbing problem in one of the buildings on the second floor, and it damaged the unit below. There was a squabble about who should pay for the repairs - the association or the owner. This was reported, but the owner's name and unit number were never listed, which was fine by me.
"Nellie" has replied that she wants to make statements at board meetings but that she doesn;t want her name in the minutes because they may be inaccurate. She can correct or ammend the minutes. She can give the secretary a written statement of her position and ask that it be included in the minutes. No matter how much the Board is annoyed by what they may see as opposition, loyal or not, they should be fair enough to include it in the minutes. If not, a letter to the state might encourage the Board to be fair. I have the feeling that Nellie's concerns are valid, but she may have become a thorn in the Board's foot. Perhaps the manner that she speaks to the Board needs to be looked at. Also, the Board may not have plans for the money, especially if there is little or no work that needs to be done; or if no work is of an imperative nature. It may also be a case of an owner not understanding that what she sees as important is not the same as what the Board or other members see as important or right.
It is obvious that "Nellie" is not a board member and that she is not getting the attention she feels she deserves. In any event she does not have the power to "correct or amend" the Minutes as stated above. This can only be done by a board member making a motion and getting a second for the motion to be discussed and voted on by the board. As a general rule, Minutes are not about what is said at a meeting but about what has been done. And, if the topic is not on the Agenda, the board does not have the obligation to record it on the Minutes. There is a subtle difference between what the board can or should, and what the board is obligated to do. She can politely request that her letters to the board be openly discussed at the next meeting but there is no guarantee that her wish would be granted unless she manages to get a petition signed, in most cases, by the majority of the voting interests. This requirement varies between states and the association's governing documents so you would have to check your Declaration and your state laws.
Regarding meeting minutes. I have written thousands of meeting minutes for business entities, most of who want the comments of each speaker (not just the board members) written down, and a mention of who made the comment. However, condominiums seem to not want to mention the comments by owners. In my opinion this is a dis-service to accuracy and the supposed official records. Owners who couldn't attend, are totally frustrated that they cannot get an accurate picture of the goings on at the meetings but to no avail; the board insists they don't have to mention anything in the minutes except the motions and a general mention of the results of the agenda items. Unfortunately the Statutes and Bylaws, etc., say nothing what-so-ever about the proper format for including owner comments. Help. I cannot find details on this problem anywhere.....not even in RROO.
From the comments it's plain that there are different views on the subject of minutes. So,my two cents:Minutes should include only what actually is accomplished. Every motion passed or not passed. No commentary at all. If a vote by roll call then the names and votes of each director.
Complaints, remarks--should not be in the minutes. Aside from the minutes, almost every complaint should have a name attached to it.
There is no excuse for anonymous complaints.
Thanks for your post. I'm troubled by the lack of information allowed regarding HOA or condo "minutes" because in my opinion the owners issues should be shared by all within the "minutes", after-all if we really do believe in Free Speech - why hide the truth by not reporting the owners comments and concerns. People don't usually want to speak at meeting unless they have something important to say. And that's why I attend with my recorder, you wouldn't believe the things that come out of the Board's mouths sometimes.... They are now at least learning to be civil to the owners.
Nellie; Instead of imagining what belongs in the minutes why don't you get a copy of Roberts or read the comment here by Sara Lasilla at includes a sample of proper minutes. It's better to deal with the facts as they are -- in other words, no commentary, just motions passed and defeated; votes if by roll call. What you want is a newspaper account. Of course, you won't agree, but your use of the recorder,though legal when announced, is a form of bullying. You ask for free speech--but want to remain anonymous--and then you want to record the words of the directors whose names will, of course be attached their words. You are not consistent...
I've been a mayor of a small town and I met and dealt with plenty of complainers who had no idea of the totality of problems. Most often, they would see one side and could never allow themselves to hear (and understand) the other side.
People should try listening for a few months without speaking. Then they might begin to understand and might learn something.
Thank you Peter for your imput, but I still insist that if a Condo or HOA of any kind does not wish to reflect the outpourings of the OWNERs (except only the kudos)in their meeting minutes; this is not healthy for the community in regards to promoting truth and justice. In my opinion the only Boards who don't make note of ALL the facts - certainly makes themselves seem like they have something to hide. . . Instead they should behave themselves; be more respectful to owners, and in doing so will have no negative comments from owners. . . .
Owners have the right to petition to demand this and (imo) it's past time for them to do so. . . .
If people want to know what "goes on" at meetings; they should attend EVERY meeting unless there's an emergency stopping them. I do. Mentioning names serves no purpose. Names need not be mentioned. The formal letters of complaint to management have the names necessary. Any other complaints are just that; complaining. Presenting an issue or reporting the status of an issue does not need to have a name attached to it. Give all issues a title, have a committee that reports results if correspondence and research is necessary.When the water pipe has been repaired and payment made, just say so in the minutes. Who cares who the pipe belonged to. Infighting is not a commentary that belongs in minutes.Why create a civil war. Aren't meetings and committees supposed to be in place to help us "learn" and resolve in order to maintain living conditions equitable for all? They help us all stay in line and be respectful of others' needs and desires. I'm talking everyone here; management and residents.
Snowbirds cannot come to every meeting.