Meetings can be confusing for Homeowners Associations, because they often don’t have specified borders—their are no definitions for what to expect out of the meetings and what they should entail. This leads to many people attending meetings they don’t need to be at, or missing meetings they otherwise would want to attend. This can easily be fixed, if the association takes the right approach. What is the difference between a board meeting and a special meeting or an annual meeting and a town meeting? These are issues that are worth exploring and explaining to members of homeowners associations. Paul Mengert of Association Management Group has always recommended that his community associations clarify what their meetings are and what information they will cover.
Annual meetings are for the membership and are conducted, well, annually. This yearly meeting is often required by the governing documents and specify when they are conducted, how, and why. Special Meetings are gatherings which are limited to certain topics. The Board of Directors is able to call a special meeting at any time and must notify members in advance. The notice should specify the topic so that all interested members are able to attend. Exploring sensitive or controversial topics is often the purpose. Town meetings, Board meetings, Executive Session, and Holiday parties…there are plenty of different meeting types to explore and associations should make full use of them.