Taking meeting minutes is an extremely important function that should not be neglected or taken lightly. Minutes are the official record of HOA business. Major decisions are reflected in them that could impact the HOA for years to come. Since only a small number of members usually attend the meetings, accurate recording is particularly important since the actions reflected in those minutes directly impact the HOA members. If the members don’t get copies of them or understand them when they do, what good are they? Managing the minutes process is the key.
Minutes are a record of what was done at the meeting, not what was said. If the presiding officer keeps that in mind, it will help guide the meeting process. To control the quality and quantity of the meeting, all discussions should be formalized in a motion before proceeding. When a topic comes up, the President says, "Do I hear a motion to...?" to begin the process. If no one offers a motion which someone else seconds, the issue isn’t important enough to waste time on. Move on.
At the end of each meeting, there will have been a series of topics that made up the meeting. The minutes should recap these discussions in sequential order using the Goldilocks Method: Not too much, not too little, juuuuuuuust right.
Each item of discussion should have its own paragraph which recites the motion made and who made it. All approved secondary motions and amendments should be included as well as points of order and appeals.
There are several things that should not be included in the minutes: motion seconder’s name, remarks of guest speakers, withdrawn motions and personal opinions.
Now that you know the principles of writing good minutes, here's a sample:
The monthly Board Meeting of the Nottacare Condominium was held on Tuesday, November 6, 2002 at 7:00 p.m. in the Clubhouse.
President Paul Pompadour verified a quorum was present.
The minutes of the October Board Meeting were read by Secretary I.M. Noteworthy and approved as corrected.
The Treasurer's Report was given by Treasurer Bill N. Sheet. As of October 31, 2002, the balance in Operating is $12,897.34 with all bills paid to date. The reserve account has a balance of $45,900 in the ABC National Bank Money Market fund which is currently yielding 1.95% APR. There is a total of $675 in delinquent assessments from two members which have been turned over to the attorney for lien and collection.
Joe Bob moved that the Board approve flying of the Confederate Flag in support of his South Will Rise Again Initiative. The motion died for lack of second and Joe Bob seceded from the Board.
The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
Minutes are minutes, not seconds or hours. Now that you know how, you too can be a Minutes Man, Woman, Person or Thing. Write on!
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