Every common-interest community conducts board meetings, and every resident of that community is permitted and welcome to attend these meetings. Most boards will post a meeting schedule on their community website or send a notice to the community. Residents should take time to read previous meeting’s approved minutes and actively participate in community governance. All meetings are open for residents to attend and observe. Most boards will allow for a resident forum at the beginning of each meeting. The forum agenda item allows time for any resident to bring an issue or concern to the board’s attention.
Here are a few tips for participating in your community’s meetings:
1) Put it in writing
Residents usually receive the best response when they put their questions or opinions in writing prior to the meeting. If the information is received by the board and management before the meeting, they will be better prepared to address the concerns at the time of the meeting.
2) Notify a board member or management of your intent to address the board
As a courtesy, it is best to notify individuals that you intend to attend the meeting to discuss your concern. This also allows them to contact you if a meeting is cancelled or rescheduled.
3) Keep your remarks to no longer than a few minutes
Board members usually enjoy visiting with residents; however a typical meeting agenda is a full one. The primary purpose of the meeting is to conduct the business of the community. Keep your comments brief to ensure all agenda items are covered. Five (5) minutes is a good time limit for a forum issue.
4) Do not expect an immediate response
Keep in mind that many times issues will require discussion and possibly a vote by the board members. Receiving an immediate response is possible, but do not expect it. Many times the board or management will respond to you after the meeting.
5) Contact the manager if you require information
The forum agenda item is intended to share opinions and concerns with the board. If a resident is seeking an update on a project or the board’s position on an issue, it is best to contact the manager. Many times the manager can respond to your inquiry with an immediate answer.