Just How Important Is It That You Attend a Board Meeting?
If you’ve never attended a Board of Directors meeting, then you are not taking advantage of your right to observe and participate in the decision- making process that protects, preserves, and enhances your community’s assets and, ultimately, your property values. If you really understand what kind of business is conducted at a Board meeting and the important role that you, as a homeowner, play in making those decisions, then you just might change your mind and choose to attend a meeting.
Most of the business decisions made at a Board meeting have a direct impact on the property values of our community. Decisions regarding Association maintenance items are the most common. Some decisions have an indirect effect, such as those regarding rules and regulations and financial operations. But, whether they affect property values directly or indirectly, they all have some impact on our community; and, as a member of the community, they affect you.
There are three different phases of our HOA Board meeting: the Business Meeting, at which the Board discusses and makes decisions based on a pre-established meeting agenda; the Homeowners Open Forum, where homeowners (like you!) can address the Board with your ideas, comments, and/or suggestions pertaining to our community; and the Executive Session, which is conducted without homeowners present in order to discuss issues related to legal issues, contracts, personnel issues, and/or non-compliance hearings. Homeowners can attend the Business Meeting, but they are not allowed to speak to the Board during this portion of the Board meeting. Homeowners are encouraged to attend to observe only.
During the Homeowners Open Forum, homeowners are permitted to address the Board for a limited time period. An important point to remember is that although important issues may be brought to the Board’s attention during Open Forum, don’t expect the Board to act on these issues at this time. Many issues are turned over to management for research and to determine the options available for dealing with the issues. The more prepared the Board is before deciding, the better the decision will be.
Homeowners are not allowed to attend the Executive Session. Sensitive legal, contract, personnel, and/or hearing issues are dealt with there.
The California Legislature has recognized the importance of providing homeowners with the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect their community by passing legislation requiring homeowners be given a period of time to address the Board at the regularly scheduled Board meeting. Isn’t it time you recognize how important it is, too?