5 Tips for Addressing the Board at Community Association Meetings

Believe it or not, community associations do not hold meetings simply for the sake of holding community association meetings. They meet because they are serious about attending to the matters needed to make the community a better place—and as such, a community association meeting is an open event, not a covert, top-secret affair. Members of the community are encouraged to attend these meetings and educate themselves about what’s going on with the association, and even to present their own ideas and concerns. Making your voice heard at community association meetings is very much your right as a community member—but before doing so, you might consider these few simple guidelines:

1. Put your request in writing. Even if you wish to stand before the board and explain your request or concern, it is always good to have documentation, as it will allow board members to more carefully consider what you are asking and to conduct any necessary research into the matter.
2. Call ahead. This is simply a matter of politeness; letting the board know in advance that you wish to speak will help them better plan the meeting, and also let you know if the meeting is canceled or postponed for any reason.
3. Plan your remarks in advance, and keep them to less than five minutes. Again, this is a matter of respect. Board members are happy to talk with community members, but meetings tend to be jam-packed, and keeping them moving forward with efficiency is necessary to ensure that all important business can be addressed.
4. Don’t expect an immediate response. Board members will need to discuss your request, possibly after conducting some research, and then to vote on the issue.
5. If you need information, there is not necessarily a need to ask for it at the association meeting. These meetings are to provide community members with a forum for expressing their views and opinions; general inquiries can be made directly and privately to the board manager, and save everyone some time!

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