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How to Use an Agenda for a HOA Meeting

The business meetings of a homeowner association or its Board of Director meetings each must follow a plan of order called an agenda. Some association bylaws may contain a meeting agenda that must be followed. Otherwise, a majority vote adopts an agenda. A meeting of the Board or the association membership provides an opportunity to propose ideas and participate in the forming of plans actions of the association. In order to conduct this business in an orderly manner, the meeting follows a principle of parliamentary procedure in which business is taken up one item at a time. This plan or order of business is called an agenda. It is a word derived from Latin which means “things to be done.”

1. How an agenda is used. Organizationally, an agenda sets forth a plan for the meeting. As a planning instrument, it allows those attending the meeting to prepare prior to the meeting, especially Board members who must do their due diligence. It also ensures that no other business may be conducted. However, an agenda may be amended prior to its adoption by a majority vote. Following adoption of the agenda by an assembly, it generally requires a two-thirds vote or unanimous consent. Membership meetings may require only a majority vote. From a practical perspective, the agenda saves time by keeping the meeting focused on the particular business to be conducted and moving along according to its specified order of business. Procedurally, all meetings should follow the order of business specified on the agenda, and no business that is not listed on the agenda should be conducted at a meeting without being procedurally approved. This does not mean that additional business may not arise at the meeting. However, any business that may come up at a meeting that is not included in the agenda should otherwise be tabled and addressed at a later meeting where it is listed on the agenda, or addressed subsequently through action without meeting. Board members also need time to review items prior to making a decision.

2. Sources for creating an agenda? Normally, the president of the Board will prepare the agenda. To begin with, the person responsible for preparing an agenda should consult the previous minutes for any unfinished items that were not voted on at the previous meeting. This older business should be listed under unfinished business prior to conducting new business. Second, ask Board members for agenda items particularly other officers. For example, only those officers and committees who have a report to provide should be placed on the agenda. Finally, associations may adopt some optional agenda items into their meetings, including opening ceremonies (such as the pledge of allegiance to the flag), roll call, announcements, member forum, programs (for special speakers like contractors, an attorney, etc.), and so forth. For example, the member forum allows members of the association to speak and address the Board at a meeting. Some associations prefer to include a member forum at the beginning of the meeting, so that members may leave if they do not want to attend the full open session. Others prefer it near the end of the meeting.

To learn more about agendas and parliamentary procedure, it is recommended that you consult with the latest edition of Roberts Rules of Order. It is also advisable to have the association’s attorney look over meeting materials to assure that the Board is following the proper procedures for conducting business. Otherwise, decisions may become subject to a recall for any business conducted that was not listed on the agenda or procedurally was not in accordance with the meeting agenda.

Copyright © 2017 by Cambridge Management Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as offering legal advice. For legal advice, seek the counsel of a competent attorney specializing in Community Association Law on matters pertaining to your state and community.

For more information visit our web page at or contact us at: Support@CambridgeHOAPropertyManagement or by calling us at 704-874-1820 or 844.612.1515.

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