All About Annual Meetings
The Annual Meeting is the most important Association meeting of the year, and the only meeting required by State law. The purpose of an Annual Meeting is to elect board members, conduct votes of the homeowners, to give a comprehensive community report, and to hear from the community. It is critical that the Annual Meeting be facilitated by an experienced individual so it stays on agenda and on schedule. Let's go into detail about each of these agenda topics:
- Elect Board Members - each year, several seats of the board will come up for election. Absentee ballots and in-person ballots will be tallied to see who the new board members will be. Then the board members will nominate themselves for positions on the board and vote on who should take on each role.
- Conduct Votes of the Homeowners - your community's operative legal documents will outline exactly which decisions require a majority vote of the homeowners, but usually, membership votes are required for dues increases, special assessments, and changes to the CC&Rs/Bylaws. Also, the previous year's annual meeting minutes will be ratified by the homeowners thru a vote.
- Comprehensive Community Report - the main reason homeowners attend the annual meeting is to hear about the financial and operational health of their community. Delivering a comprehensive verbal report about the prior year's expenses, revenues, capital improvement projects, and operational changes will be the highlight of your Annual Meeting. Also, next year's budget and capital improvement strategy should be presented so the homeowners can be aware of upcoming projects.
- Hear from the Community - since many attendees don't go to the other periodic board meetings, this may be their only chance to talk to the board. A homeowner forum is required by law and is very helpful for the new board of directors. Since the board represents the homeowners, take the time to listen to their feedback, concerns, and ideas. Since there is a limited time on the agenda and likely many people who wish to speak, it is recommended that all speakers are limited to the same amount of time, usually 1-5 minutes each.
Preparing for the Annual Meeting:
Your Community Manager will take care of most preparation tasks, which includes:
- Mailing out request for board member nominations
- Mailing out absentee ballots
- Mailing out the year-end financials, previous year's meeting minutes, and next year's budget
- Preparing packets for the meeting, which will include the agenda, year-end financials, previous year's meeting minutes, and next year's budget
- Preparing a ballot tracking document so that each homeowner ballot is authorized and documented