J.B. from New Haven County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
At our Condo the annual meeting is Public and then the remaining 11 are private. Minutes are produced put they are sparse and delivered months after the meeting. Is this valid?
Mister Condo replies:
J.B., other than Executive Sessions which are rare, condo Board meetings are open to the members of the association. There is no such thing as a private meeting of the condo board. Your Board may think they have the right to meet in private but they do not. They are setting themselves up to be sued by any member of the association that wishes to claim they were denied the ability to attend the meeting. That being said, only Board members speak and vote at these meetings. Association members may attend but they must do so, quietly. Many Boards will open the floor to comments from association members at either the beginning or end of the meeting. Again, association members do not vote or comment on the association’s business during the Board meeting but they do have a right to attend. Sparse Minutes are not uncommon as the Minutes are only a synopsis of actionable items (votes) taking during the Board meeting. They are not meant to be transcripts of the meeting. You can cite the Common Interest Ownership Act (CIOA) to show the Board that they must allow association members as attendees at their Board Meetings. All the best!
2 thoughts on “Condo Board Holding Private Board Meetings”
From CIOA – Note there must be an opportunity to comment at each meeting. And every owner must be given notice of the meeting:
(4) At each executive board meeting, the executive board shall provide a reasonable opportunity for unit owners to comment regarding any matter affecting the common interest community and the association.
(5) Unless the meeting is included in a schedule given to the unit owners or the meeting is called to deal with an emergency, the secretary or other officer specified in the bylaws shall give notice of each executive board meeting to each board member and to the unit owners. The notice shall be given at least five days before the meeting and shall state the time, date, place and agenda of the meeting, except that notice of a meeting called to adopt, amend or repeal a rule shall be given in accordance with subsection (a) of section 47-261b. If notice of the meeting is included in a schedule given to the unit owners, the secretary or other officer specified in the bylaws shall make available an agenda for such meeting to each board member and to the unit owners not later than forty-eight hours prior to the meeting.
(6) If any materials are distributed to the executive board before the meeting, the executive board at the same time shall make copies of those materials reasonably available to unit owners, except that the board need not make available copies of unapproved minutes or materials that are to be considered in executive session.
At the risk of this being really unpopular…….
Frequently, owners think there is no way to raise a concern except by speaking up at a board meeting. I find that leads to folks simmering in frustration until they vent in frustrating at a meeting. This seems counterproductive.
What we try to do is keep a very open channel for communication between the owners and the manger + board at all times. Instead of saving venom up for a board meeting, please raise your request or concern at any time via email. You will be responded to promptly and all things that need to involve the board are communicated to them timely.
If that doesn’t work (manager or board is not responsive) the owner is told how to contact the board for a direct discussion.
We find that this significantly improves communication and owner-manager-board relationships. If somebody wants to make a speech at a board meeting, we will accommodate that but we will also ask ourselves why that needed to happen and address that.
Our motto has been “There is no them. Only us.” And we manage to that. At least in this small corner of the world, it seems to be working. 🙂