Board and Homeowner Meetings
Rules of Conduct
By law, a board meeting is a meeting of an association's board of directors, not a meeting of its members. Consequently, members of an association do not have the legal right to participate in the board's discussions or in voting. However, members do have the right under the Open Meeting Act, to attend board meetings, except for executive sessions, so they can observe the board in conducting association business, and may address the board during a time set aside for an Open Forum.
The Open Forum session of a board meeting is designed to permit members to make comments to the board and to ask questions of board members and the management company representative. Comments and questions are not limited to matters on the meeting agenda.
Prior to the Open Forum session of a board meeting, the president will inform the members of a time limit for each member after asking how many people want to speak. The time limit will be longer or shorter depending upon the number of people wanting to address the board, but must be reasonable. The board will decide on what is reasonable by a vote.
While members do not have the legal right to participate in board discussions, the president of the board may invite comments from the membership at his or her discretion.
The Open Forum may be held at any time during the course of a meeting depending on the desire of the board. Most boards schedule the Open Forum at the end of the meeting so that members have the opportunity to hear the latest information concerning board business.
When members ask questions during the Open Forum, board members, as well as the property management representative, may respond as follows:
- Provide an answer if the information is available to provide an accurate answer;
- Advise the person, that the board will be required to discuss the matter either at the next scheduled board meeting, or executive session meeting, before an answer can be provided; or
- Inform the person that the question is not appropriate, because an answer would invade someone's privacy.
When meetings are improperly interrupted, time and often money is wasted. In addition, it discourages members from attending meetings which is not in the best interest of the association.
In order to encourage maximum attendance at board and homeowner meetings while minimizing wasted time and expenses, the following Operating Rules and Fines apply:
- Attendees at board and homeowner meetings shall not shout, use profanity, engage in obscene gestures, interrupt a speaker that has been recognized by the president to speak, or become otherwise disruptive;
- Violators may be fined and expelled from a meeting;
- Upon a majority vote of a quorum of the board, at a meeting, the violator may be expelled. Such action shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting; and Prior to a violator being called to a hearing and facing a possible fine, the person shall receive one verbal warning by the president which shall be reflected in the minutes.
Fines shall be as follows for each individual violation during each meeting:
This Operating Rule was approved by the Board of Directors at a properly noticed meeting on _______________________and distributed to the members on ____________.
Coast Management of California