A common question for new Board members is:
How much detail should I include in the Minutes?
The short answer is LESS IS MORE!
Why? And What does this really mean?
One of the most common complaints about Association Boards is “lack of transparency”. Owners sometimes think that Board members are overly secretive and don’t share enough information with owners. When new Board members join, their first instinct may be to include as much information in the Minutes as possible, so that there is complete “transparency” and owners can know exactly what transpired at the Board meeting, even if they did not attend.
This sounds like a noble goal. Unfortunately, it is very risky to do this and can expose the Association to potential lawsuits.
For example, let’s say someone comments on the following:
“There are uneven areas on the sidewalk due to tree roots which could present a trip hazard”
This is relevant and something that should be dealt with, but it does not need to be in the Minutes unless there was a Motion that was voted upon related to the topic. It should become an action item for the Property Manager to address, but does not need to be in the Minutes. If someone were to trip on the sidewalk two years later, the Minutes could imply that there was a dangerous situation in the neighborhood that the Board neglected to address.
Similar issues may arise around topics like: pool safety, speeding, poor lighting and much more.
The Minutes should simply be a summary of the actions taken by the Board at the meeting:
- Accurate writing of the Motion that was voted on, and
- How each Board Member voted on each motion
One other thing to NOT include is whatever follows the following statement from a board member or owner: “I want the minutes to reflect . . . “, unless what they say is related to 1. and 2. above.
For a more detailed, legal explanation on this topic, click here.
Following is an example of how we recommend the minutes be written:
Del Boca Vista Condominium Association, Inc.
123 Happy Lane, Boca Raton, FL 33441
Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, October 17th, 2019, 7PM
Del Boca Vista Recreation Room
Call to Order: Bob Jones, President, called the meeting to order at 7PM.
Quorum: A quorum of the Board was present with Bob Jones, Linda Simpson and Susan Gonzalez in person and Bill Turner via speakerphone. Amy Smith was not present. The Manager, Robin James was also present.
Minutes Approval: Susan Gonzalez made a motion to approve the Minutes from the September 19, 2019 Board Meeting. This was seconded by Linda Simpson and approved unanimously.
Reports: Reports were read by the Treasurer, the Manager, and the following Committees: Finance, Social and Landscape.
- Approval to secure loan from Acme Bank for Building Restoration Project. Bob Jones made a Motion to approve the Association securing a $2,930,000 loan for the Building Restoration Project from Acme Bank at a rate of 4.25% – interest only for the first year and then repayment of principal and interest over the next 7 years, secured by an assessment levied specifically for this project. This was seconded by Susan Gonzalez, and the motion was approved unanimously.
- The Landscape Bids received from Better Landscaping, Ocean Landscapers, and Green Lawns were discussed at length. Bob Jones made a Motion to approve the landscape maintenance bid from Green Lawns, this was seconded by Linda Simpson. Bob, Linda and Susan voted yes and Bill voted no. The motion passed 3-1.
Open Discussion: The floor was opened to owners present and all questions and concerns were addressed.
Adjournment: With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 7:45PM.
Respectfully submitted by Robin James, Property Manager.