D.S. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our Association’s meeting minutes seem sparse. Where can I find good information on what our board meeting minutes should include? Aside from votes on contractors for projects and the dollar amount of the project and votes on hearings, our minutes seem to lack information. There have been meetings where agenda items did not necessitate a vote or hearing, but discussions took place, and our minutes contain little more than who was present.
Thanks. We need help.
Mister Condo replies:
D.S., community associations are required to have a published agenda prior to any meeting of the Board or unit owners. The simplest method to produce minutes for a meeting is to take the agenda and then create minutes based on how the items were handled. Of course, the list of attendees should be included as well as any others in attendance – property manager, association attorney, CPA, and so on.
The Community Associations Institute (CAI) has prepared a helpful suggestion as part of their M-203 training program for community association leaders. On Page 99, you will find sample minutes.
Here’s what it looks like:
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, 2009, by the president, Mr. Matthew Dunford. The secretary was present.
A quorum was present with the following directors in attendance: Mr. Matthew Dunford, Ms. Alicia Smith, Ms. Mary Falvo, Ms. Hailey Applegate, Ms. Elizabeth McNeil and Mr. Cal Robinson. Association manager, Dylan Bush, also was present. The following director was absent: Mrs. Hannah Tyler.
The minutes of the February 1, 2009 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.
Mary 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
Date: __________________________ Date: ___________________
This is a great sample, D.S.. It is important that the Board keep good minutes about items they vote on because these minutes are legal records of the association. When they discuss but take no action, it’s as if it never happened. If they are discussing items not on the agenda and that they do not vote on, they are kind of spinning their wheels as these discussions are not actionable until they are published in a future agenda, at which time they may be voted upon at an upcoming meeting. I hope this helps. All the best!
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I have a condo complex with 3 members and 20 units. Can we have a meeting once a quarter, rather than once a month. The only person in attendance will be me. So should I mail the other two members (owners) copies of said minutes?
L.L., as long as the other Board members are in agreement about the frequency of the meetings, I see no problem. Keep in mind that without a change to the by-laws the Board could have their actions challenged by a unit owner who disagrees with changing the meeting frequency. From what you have said here, that isn’t likely to happen. All the best!
I was wondering if someone may be able to help me help my 83 year old mother. She’s had a condo for 30 years and recently they got a new management company. I’m wondering if they can arbitrarily assign an assessment after having increased fees since their Inception. She’s on a fixed income and suddenly has to pay $90 extra a month, 30 for extra fees and 60 for an assessment charge . I was under the impression it would take a 2/3 vote of owners to accept this and we never got any information on how to vote. A side note that maybe immaterial is the fact that her walkways are never let it safely and we cannot get the problem solved, and they said they will not make the walk safe in the winter unless there’s two inches of snow. Therefore when it’s snowing outside my Mom cannot safely leave her home. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much
D.O., I am sorry for your issues. Special Assessments are not arbitrarily assigned nor are they assigned by the management company. Most likely, the Board held a meeting and decided the Special Assessment was needed to pay for something. I hope they then followed the rules for issuing the Special Assessment. You can request the Minutes from the Meetings to confirm that they did or didn’t. As for the walkways being poorly lit or not having the snow removed properly, you should ask the Board to address both problems. If they do not, your only other option is a lawsuit against the association. You will need to confer with a locally qualified attorney to assist you. Good luck!
Two inches of snow is the norm. It’s that way in the condo complex where I live. And where I used to work they didn’t plow the parking lot until there was at least two inches.
Our condo residents sometimes applaud following a committee chair’s reading of his/her report. Is there a specific “rule” that states that applause is not appropriate after each reading? Thank you.
J., applause is one of the few things residents can do to recognize the volunteer efforts of committee members. It may not be “appropriate” but I am guessing it is appreciated. Every association is different. If it isn’t too disruptive, I would welcome it. All the best!