With all the responsibilities of being a board member and running an association, very little time is taken to explain the routine task of taking meeting minutes.  While taking meeting minutes is a routine occurrence, little time is spent with a new board member describing what the purposes of the meeting minutes are and what items should appear in the meeting minutes.
Meeting minutes are the official record of the association that identify approved association courses of action, adoption of policies and procedures, and the granting of authority to a specific board member or officer to perform a certain act. Meeting minutes are not a word-for-word narrative of the events of a board meeting or meeting of the owners.  While meeting minutes are typically used to inform owners of the items approved by the association, in many cases they are used to establish the record of the association in a court proceeding, whether involving litigation initiated by the association or in defense of a course of action.

Listed below are some essential components of meeting minutes:

  1. Date and Type of Meeting – In order to accurately keep meeting minutes it is critical that the date and type of meeting is clearly identified within the meeting minutes.
  2. The names of the directors present.
  3. A clear statement of a proposed course of action such as, “Director X proposed the association approve the landscaping contract with Happy Acres Landscaping.”  This statement should also indicate that the motion was seconded.
  4. A brief statement that the motion was discussed and voted upon.  The statement should also include the results of any vote taken on the matter, such as:  “The Board of Directors discussed the proposal from Happy Acres Landscaping and approved the contract as drafted 4-1.”  The actual arguments for or against a particular course of action need not be included in the official record.

Once the meeting minutes have been drafted, the Board will then approve the minutes at a later meeting.  Meeting minutes should be clear in showing what actions have been approved by the Board of Directors, but should be brief statements of the course of action.  Remember, these are meeting minutes, not meeting hours.

David A. Firmin
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