All HOA boards have regular meetings, and all community members are welcome to attend those meetings. Indeed, in addition to reviewing the minutes from previous meetings, community residents are encouraged to show up at meetings and to actively engage in the issues being presented. Before doing so, however, there are a few basic steps that residents might take to prepare themselves. Five such steps are listed below; we recommend that boards share these tips with their residents, and to encourage their participation in HOA governance!
1. The most important thing that a resident can do is to put his or her question, concern, or request into writing. Write it down and send or e-mail it to the community manager in advance of the meeting. This ensures that the members of the board have time to research your inquiry and to think it over before the meeting begins. In other words, it improves the chances that the board will be able to address the concern promptly.
2. Residents are also invited to phone ahead, letting the community manager know that they plan to attend the HOA Board meeting. This lets the community manager get in touch with these residents should the meeting be cancelled or postponed. It also lets the community manager plan for any residents who wish to address the board.
3. Another important consideration is the simple reality that HOA board meetings tend to be jam-packed with business to address, so residents are encouraged to limit their remarks to five minutes or so. This is simply to keep things moving along at a brisk pace.
4. Residents ought also remember that most items brought before the board require discussion and a vote, so it is likely that any questions brought forward will not be resolved until after the meeting.
5. Finally, residents who just wish for general information—such as the status of a certain project—can receive it simply by calling the community manager. The HOA board meeting is not necessarily the place for these more general inquiries.
The bottom line is that there are several ways in which residents can prepare themselves to address the board, and to receive a relatively quick and definitive answer.