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While each HOA may conduct business differently, a standard procedure for board meetings is essential to optimize efficiency and productivity, commonly known as Parliamentary Procedure. Some boards use Robert’s Rules of Order to create the meeting format, agendas, motions, and floor discussion, while others create their own procedures.

But, even with a solid structure to a meeting, certain topics will have heavier debate than others. Whether members don’t have enough information on the topic, or it’s too sensitive, the board will either “table” or “postpone” that item.

Postpone

If the board decides that the item is taking up too much time, or the members’ time would better be spent on something else, they can decide to postpone the matter. With this structure, the board intends to take the matter back up at a later time, whether in the same meeting or a future one. These items can be postponed to a definite time. The motion to postpone can be debated by members.

There are, however, indefinite postponements, where the board has no particular intention of taking the matter back up. If an item is postponed indefinitely, the matter cannot be brought up in the same meeting.

Table

Following Robert’s Rules of Order, a motion to lay an item “on the table” takes precedence over all other motions at the time that it is made. This motion cannot be debated and needs a majority and a second to carry the motion.

However, with laying an item on the table, that matter doesn’t automatically come up in the next meeting. There has to be a motion to take that topic off the table. And, the motion to take the matter off the table can only be done during certain classes of business, such as “unfinished business” or “general orders.” This motion also needs a second and a majority.

As your Minnesota neighbors, Sharper Management works to keep your HOA board of directors informed to ensure efficient leadership.