By Arnold Barzak III; PMSD, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
1. Annual Meeting
Not only is it required by law, but it provides a great opportunity to review prior year’s accomplishments and to share the goals for next year.
For any business, the Annual Meeting is always an important gathering of stakeholders. While your association may not seem like a "business" enterprise, there is certainly important business to transact at the Annual Meeting, and your resident will expect this meeting to be conducted accordingly.
2. Regularly Scheduled Board Meetings
It is important to have the meeting dates scheduled for the entire year so residents can plan on attending.
The purpose of a Board Meeting is to conduct business of the association, but not necessarily to elicit comments, complaints, or concerns from residents. Nonetheless, the consistency and transparency provided is helpful in creating community.
3. Committee Meetings
Board meetings should focus on making decisions and committee meetings should focus on brainstorming.
Each committee should focus on one concentrated area of the association, and their meetings should focus on how to achieve certain goals. The committee should then create an organized plan to present to the board for approval at a regularly scheduled board meeting.
4. Executive Board Meetings
Executive Board Meetings are held following the regular board meeting, for reviewing sensitive and personal issues such as collections, compliance hearings, and legal matters.
This is the time for residents to speak individually with the board about issues directly concerning them personally, such as disputing a compliance issue.
5. Town Hall Meetings
Should be held to discuss one or two specific items that require community input. Dues increases and changes or additions to rules or the declaration are common topics.
It is common, but not appropriate, for town hall meetings to be open-ended events where boards open the floor to listen to residents’ concerns; however, that leads to unproductive complaining, making the board uncomfortable and defensive. The appropriate meeting to listen to residents is coffee and conversation with the board.
6. Coffee and Conversation with the Board This informal and non-threatening environment, prevents a mob mentality, prevents heated debates, and provides an opportunity for quiet and shy individuals to have a voice.
When a board wants to engage residents in an open format the best way to do so is with a casual one-on-one conversation with a board member to discuss any concerns and ideas about the association.
A schedule and outline of the types of meetings held by your association, and the expected business to occur at each one, will help set expectations among residents and encourages understanding of the association's operations. This goes a long way toward keeping residents satisfied, enabling more efficient operations and building a solid sense of community.
Contact Capital Property Solutions for a Free, Friendly, Property Review, or for new ideas on association management and reducing costs.
Arnold Barzak is a principal partner at Capital Property Solutions, a condominium and homeowners association management company with 25 years of experience in Central Ohio. Arnold has earned his PCAM designation, the highest professional recognition available nationwide to managers who specialize in community association management.