Friday, April 27, 2012

by Augustus H. Shaw IV, Esq., CCAL

Probably the most important meeting a homeowners association is required to conduct is the Annual Meeting of the Members. Not only do most Governing Documents require associations to conduct Annual Meetings, Arizona law requires associations to conduct an Annual Meeting at least once per year.

Annual Meetings are meetings of the Members. They are held to conduct the “business” of the Membership and allow the Membership to address their association. In most associations, Annual Meetings are conducted for three main purposes: 1. To Conduct Member “Business”; 2. To Elect Members to the Association’s Board of Directors; and 3. To Allow the Members to Address their Association.

By far the most important purpose of an Annual Meeting is to elect Members to the association’s Board of Directors. Effectuating an election to the Board of Directors takes a great deal of forethought, especially in light of Arizona Law.

It is very important to remember that the Annual Meeting is a meeting of the Members; meaning that the Members should be provided with an opportunity to address their Board of Directors and other Members of the Association. Many associations attempt to limit who may speak at an Annual Meeting. A good policy to have is to let all Members who wish to speak have the opportunity to speak but limit how long they may speak. I usually suggest no more that 5 minutes per person but this timeframe may be less depending on the number of Members who desire to speak. I further suggest that, where a meeting becomes very adversarial, the Association strictly comply with all time limits, even bringing a stop watch or other timer if necessary.