G.C. from Fairfield County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I just got back from the association’s Annual Meeting and I was mostly pleased with how the association is doing. However, one resident spoke almost non-stop for the entire meeting. Constantly interrupted the meeting with mumbled comments on issues that were being discussed. It really irritated me and another unit owner who was sitting nearby trying to listen to the association president and property manager discuss issues about the condo. I really wanted to tell this person to shut up! Is there anything than can be done to quiet a unit owner during an annual meeting?
Mister Condo replies:
G.C., I am glad that you and other unit owners are attending your condo’s Annual Meeting. It is the one place where you can truly see democracy in action within your association. I am sure that “tuning out” a mumbling unit owner is quite difficult as Annual Meetings aren’t always held in the easiest to hear places. This is really a judgment call on the part of the association president who “presides” over the meeting. The president has the authority to keep order during the meeting. As a meeting attendee you also have the right to request that Roberts Rules of Order be applied and that those unit owners who are not recognized by the president to speak must remain quiet. The problem with that scenario is that the rule must be equally applied. In other words, you can’t just silence one person without silencing the entire room other than the person who has the floor. Depending on the nature of your association, that level of formality may not be necessary, called for, or even desired. There is an old saying that “it takes all types”. The constant mumbler is just another one of “those types” that we encounter in everyday life. It may be a nervous habit or it may just be an annoying trait. Either way, my best advice is to not sit near that person at future meetings and maybe even have a chat with your association president to ask if the audience could be reminded to be quiet so all can hear before the next meeting. Good luck!