Sometimes it's confusing for volunteers to know and understand their place on the HOA board. Each board member must hold an officer position, but if you have a Board of Directors comprised of more than five individuals, you may have a position called “member at large.” The duties and position of the member at large can often be confusing, and while it may look different for each association, there is general agreement of what the position consists of.
There seems to be one in every homeowners association. That one HOA board member that consistently disagrees, goes against the majority, or at the very least enjoys playing devil’s advocate. Do you have a Scrooge – a mean spirited, miserly person – on your Board? There are ways you can deal with them.
Successful communities, governed by successful homeowners associations, typically have a strong, effective HOA board of directors that conducts their HOA’s business in a professional manner, including having regularly scheduled meetings. Problems can arise, however, when one or more directors fail to attend those meetings consistently.
For many people, meetings are a fact of life. Whether it’s an HOA board or member meeting in your homeowner’s association, a volunteer meeting at your child’s school or a department meeting at work, being adept at participating effectively and managing meetings is a useful skill.
In any organization meetings often seem like a necessary evil. Many people feel like they go to meetings to discuss what they met about at the last meeting or that they simply turn to mayhem and nothing gets resolved. But it doesn’t have to be this way, especially in your homeowner’s association.
How would you define an effective HOA board meeting? Most people would see it as time spent efficiently, where issues are addressed, reasonable business decisions are made, and action items are assigned, in an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.
Board meetings, executive sessions, and membership meetings are the most common in an HOA. They require a quorum to be present to qualify as an official meeting. The governing documents for each association define a quorum, typically in the Bylaws.
Some HOA boards have the need to discuss things ad nauseum and yet never come to a decision. It can be extremely frustrating when the same topic comes up on the agenda month, after month, after month, and after hours of discussion, nobody's willing to say either yes or no. They either need more information, want to hear from so-and-so who's not there, or avoid the topic altogether. So how can decision-making be improved for your Board?
Being a board member does necessitate a serious commitment of time and energy, but it will be a fulfilling experience. If you're considering running for your HOA board, ask yourself the following questions first.
Have you ever attended a meeting and had no clue what was going on? It’s an awkward position to be in, especially if you're trying to understand and contribute to the conversation. Be in the know and wow your board members when you attend your next HOA board meeting by reviewing these common terms that are sure to come up.