Homeowner associations are notorious for their casual approach to meetings. Because of it, the meetings tend to run long and often little real business is accomplished. Roberts Rules of Order is the most common method for running meetings and that keeping them on track. Here is a collection of the most common protocols needed to make meetings productive and fair.
Opening the Meeting: "The meeting will come to order."
Approval of Minutes: "Are there any corrections to the minutes? If there are no (further) corrections, the minutes are approved as read (or "as corrected")."
Proceeding Through the Agenda: "The next item of business is_______"
Recognizing Members: "The chair recognizes_______"
Stating the Question (following motion and second): "It is moved and seconded that________"
When Debate Appears to Have Ended: "Are you ready for the Question?"
Taking a Vote
- Voice Vote: "Those in favor of the motion to _______, say aye. Those opposed, say no."
- Standing Vote (used when vote is close): "Those in favor of the motion to _______ will stand." (Count those standing.) "Be seated. Those opposed will stand." (Count those standing.) "Be seated."
- Vote by Show of Hands (used when vote is close): "Those in favor of the motion to ____, raise the right hand." (Count hands.) "Lower hands. Those opposed will raise the right hand." (Count hands.) "Lower hands."
Announcing Result of Vote
- Voice Vote: "The ayes have it and the motion is carried." Or, "The noes have it and the motion is lost."
- Standing or Show of Hands Vote: "There are 32 affirmative and 30 negative. The affirmative has it and the motion is adopted." Or, "There are 29 affirmative and 33 negative. The negative has it and the motion is lost."
- Motion Out of Order: "The motion is out of order because ________"
- Member Out of Order: "The member is out of order and will please be seated."
Proper and consistent phrasing will bring order and clarity to your meetings. They allow the Chair to stay in control with recognizable "signals" which guide business to a successful conclusion. This is a case of how you say it really does make a difference.
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