All meetings of the homeowners association board are open meetings. Residents are encouraged to observe meetings and read approved minutes. Residents who wish to address the HOA Board are welcome to do so during the homeowners association forum conducted at the beginning of each business meeting. Here are a few tips for participating:
1. Put it in writing.You will get the best response if you put your questions or opinions in writing prior to the meeting. This isn’t mandatory, but it helps you and the HOA Board. Some issues may require a little research by the manager. Also, the board can serve you better if members have time to consider your concern.
2. Call ahead. As a courtesy, the homeowners association asks that you phone and let the manager know that you wish to address the board. This also allows the association to plan ahead and add you to the agenda, and also to notify you if a meeting is cancelled for any reason.
3. Plan your remarks to last no longer than five minutes. HOA Board members enjoy visiting with residents; however, the meeting agenda is always very full, and the five-minute limit is a best practice that ensures that all business gets conducted. This doesn’t mean big issues can’t be presented. If your concern requires more time, please summarize it in five minutes, and the homeowners association will add it to the agenda to be continued at the next meeting.
4. Don’t expect an immediate response. HOA Board members don’t act independently. All issues require a discussion and sometimes a vote. An immediate answer is sometimes possible, but it’s just as likely that you won’t get a response until after the meeting when the Board has had time to thoughtfully talk through your question or issue.
5. If you need information, call the manager. The purpose of the homeowners association forum is for residents to share opinions and concerns with the HOA board. Residents seeking general information (like a status report on a project or the Board’s position on an issue) can get a more immediate answer from the manager.
[Optional: Source: Community Associations Institute.]