Do Opinions Belong In Meeting Minutes?

Many people ask the question, “What is the responsibility of the meeting recorder or secretary to record the homeowner concerns, comments, recommendations, etc. into the meeting minutes?”

The answer is simple. Nothing that the homeowner says should be placed into the Board Meeting Minutes. In fact, no comments from the Board members are placed into the Board Meeting Minutes either!

Parliamentary Procedure — Not a Gossip Column

In accordance with Roberts Rules of Order Parliamentary Procedure, which is the foremost authority of meeting procedures, minutes should contain only the actions (votes) of the Board, and not what was said.

Remember, minutes are the official record of the corporation (your association); it is not a gossip column or an opinion section of the newspaper.

Minutes should only reflect the agenda topic, substantiating information if necessary, and the vote. An example of substantiating information would be “board is tenting 3 buildings due to active termite swarming.”

When Opinions DO Count

Board members are bound by their Fiduciary duty to rely on experts to provide them with facts. Experts, like the roofer, plumber, building contractors, etc., must carry the proper insurance to protect themselves, and the association, if their recommendation(s) are faulty. That is what differentiates a “personal opinion,” and an “expert opinion.”

If It Really Matters, Get It on the Agenda

If a member has an issue that rises to the point of needing to be entered into the minutes, that member should be instructed to place their concerns in writing, request the item be placed into the board packet, added to the next month’s agenda, and for the item to be reviewed by the Board at the next meeting. Depending on the topic, the agenda item could be heard in Open session or Executive session.

Victoria Cohen

Victoria Cohen

Victoria Cohen is an active member of Community Association Institute (CAI) at the local, state and national level. She served on CAI's Community Association Volunteer Committee (CAVC) for 5 years, serving as chair in 2012. Victoria served two years on the CAI Board of Trustees, 4 years on CAI's nominating committee, and two years on CAI's Government and Public Affairs Committee. Back home in California, Victoria has served as secretary for the San Diego Legislative Action Committee and currently sits on the CAI San Diego Chapter Board of Directors.To learn more about Victoria, visit www.linkedin.com/in/victoriacohen2020
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