As always, each Association will vary according to the Governing Documents. There are three common types of Association meetings. It is important to understand the differences and functions they serve.
Board Meetings – the most common type of meeting that many are familiar with. This is the regular business meeting of the elected Board of Directors. While they may be open to homeowners (especially if you are governed by MCIOA), it is important to understand that the purpose of these meetings is for business to be conducted among the Board of Directors, as they were elected to do. Each Association, of course, has its own policies and practices for homeowner engagement.
Annual Meetings – the second most common type of meeting. Most Associations are required to hold an “Annual Meeting of the Members.” The purpose of the Annual Meeting, however, is usually very straightforward – to conduct business that requires approval by the members of the Association. Nine out of ten times, that means electing members to the Board of Directors and approving the Minutes of the previous year’s Annual Meeting. That’s it. It is very common for homeowners to feel like an Annual Meeting is a forum to bring up issues or ideas. It is not. The reason why is that, according to most Governing Documents, voting on anything not included on the Agenda and/or Notice distributed prior to the meeting is invalid. Items brought before the membership for a vote must be specified and given X-number of days advanced notice (the “Annual Meeting Notice”).
Special Meetings – these are relatively uncommon. A Special Meeting of the Members may be called to vote on a unique or special initiative of the Association. Perhaps it is to approve a Special Assessment. Maybe it is called to amend the Governing Documents. Or the purpose may be to remove or install a new Board member(s). There are a number of reasons. Each Association has requirements for the role and Notice required for a Special Meeting. And similar to Annual Meetings, usually, items brought before the membership for a vote must be specified on the Agenda and/or Notice of said Special Meeting.