Sometimes, a director is absent frequently because of medical or family emergency issues. In the short term, these can be tolerated or special arrangements (like attending by speaker phone) can be made. In the longer term, when the director’s absence impacts major decisions such as budget-setting or major projects or legal matters, it may be necessary to ask the director to step down.
When one or more directors are absent with no extenuating circumstances, you should investigate to determine why and take corrective action before the HOA’s business grinds to a halt. Too many absent board members may result in lack of a quorum, preventing the board from taking any action.
People who volunteer their time and energy to serve on an HOA board usually are dedicated to improving their communities. They care enough to sacrifice other priorities to attend meetings, read agendas, meeting minutes, budgets, etc. They WANT to do a good job. Understandably, they expect their time to be used well.
If attendance is becoming a problem, consider:
Is your HOA small and your board meeting monthly when quarterly would do? Is it large and meeting only quarterly in marathon sessions that go well into the night? Would meeting monthly allow shorter sessions?
What are the demographics of the board members? Are they young/middle age, with growing families, or retired/semi-retired? Which is a better meeting day for them - weekday evenings or Saturday mornings? Is your HOA community a residential development in the suburbs (members commuting home) or condominiums in an urban setting or a resort community (perhaps with non-resident members)?
Have you asked your board members what day and time would work best for them?
Fixing an attendance problem may be as simple as changing the frequency, day and/or time of the board meetings.
What are your HOA board meetings like? Do they flow smoothly? Or, do they lose focus and become aimless conversations? The former is good; the latter can be fixed by following some straightforward guidelines for conducting meetings:
For more detailed ideas, download Tips for Running an Effective HOA Board Meeting.
Finally, if a board member isn’t attending, chat with them. Do they believe the board’s work isn’t important? Do they perceive their ideas unwelcome by other board members? Do they not understand they have fiduciary responsibility to act in good faith on behalf of the community; and that they can be held responsible for the general direction of the HOA even though they haven’t participated?
The Hignell Companies have been helping HOA and Condominium boards manage their properties effectively for over 30 years. We offer a full range of services, including accounting, board support, legal consultation and a full stable of contractors to handle all of your maintenance. We strive to insure everything we do is measured by our commitment to "Creating Caring Communities." Whether you have 25 units or 2300 units, call us at 530-894-0404 and let us show you how and how much we can help you and your colleagues manage your HOA.