There are two aspects to an annual meeting. First, it has to be legal and proper. Second, it should be an effective tool to connect with the association members and celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and proposed items for the coming year.
With respect to legal issues, we see many associations make mistakes regarding their annual meeting. These mistakes can be embarrassing, cause members to lose trust in leadership, and can be expensive.
Before holding your next annual meeting, review your CC&R’s/Bylaws for the following:
- Do your documents state that meetings are run according to Robert’s Rules of Order?
- Does your annual meeting have to be held on a certain date?
- When must notice of the annual meeting be given?
- Which members are entitled to notice and/or entitled to vote?
- Do you have a sign-in sheet at the annual meeting?
- Have you appointed a Tellers Committee and provided them with a Tally Sheet?
- Must a member be in good standing to vote?
- Are you required to vote by ballot at the annual meeting?
- What must be on the ballot?
- Is a mail-in ballot allowed?
- What is the quorum requirement for the annual meeting?
- What must be on the agenda?
- What matters must be part of the meeting other than the election of directors?
- Should certain documents be included with the notice of the annual meeting?
- Do the governing documents require the election to be held in a certain manner?
- Is a nominating committee required? If so, who appoints the members and when?
- Can you take nominations from the floor?
- How many members need to be on the board?
- What is the length of term of the board members?
- Does your board have staggered terms?
- If board members have been appointed, when do their terms expire?
- Do board members need to be members of the association?
- Do board members need to be members in good standing?
- Are two people who are on the deed for the same unit permitted to serve on the board at the same time?
- Are members of the architectural committee elected or appointed and, if elected, who elects them?
If you cannot answer all the questions, you are not ready for your next annual meeting and need to make an appointment to consult with one of the board Directors of the COA.