The nominations tendered. The ballots cast and tallied. Suddenly you are on the Board. What was once whim gone as reality settles in and the first Board Meeting closes in on you… What’s your job again?
Getting on the Board is easier than you might think! Serving is something else. As a volunteer, you are required to serve and protect the fiduciary interests of the Association for no pay! Did they even train you for this? Probably not!
Never fear! We are here to help with these just-in-time emergency boot-camp pointers for handling and managing your meetings with professional precision. We address the most popular question at the end, but don’t skip ahead!
1.The Association is required to have an annual meeting of the membership every year. You can have more than this. But you need at least one. Also, all your meetings need to be held in Arizona. Don’t worry, you can still attend remotely, or even virtually! We dig into the advent of virtual meetings, virtual attendance and e-voting in our article <name>. Read more there to find out!
2. Notice of meetings must be provided to all members at least 48 hours before the meeting. Notice may be provided by any reasonable form of communication, including the Association newsletter, a clear and visible posting in the community, or email.
3. Emergency meetings do not require 48-hours’ notice. An emergency is any business or action that cannot be delayed for the 48-hour notice period. Not sure if it’s an emergency? Check with Association counsel!
At an emergency meeting, you must state the reason requiring the emergency meeting in your minutes. You also must read and approve those minutes at the next regular meeting of the Board.
4. Special meetings may be called by: (A) the president, (B) a majority of the Board, (C) by a vote of 25% of the members or any lower percentage provided in the Bylaws. If your Bylaws require more than 25% of the members to call a special meeting, it is unenforceable.
5. The agenda must be available to all attending members. It can be provided to the Members at, or before, the meeting.
6. All Association business must be done at meetings open to the Members, unless the business is subject to a statutory exemption.
This is called a sunshine law. It is a common fixture of public governance.
Under Arizona’s sunshine law, all member meeting, board meetings, or regularly scheduled committee meetings must be open to the Members or the Member’s written representative unless it is a topic that may be discussed in a closed session meeting pursuant to A.R.S. § 33-1804(A) or A.R.S. § 33-1248(A).
7. Each Member is entitled to speak to the Board and community on agenda issues. The Board may adopt time limits on a Member’s right to speak per issue as long as the restriction is reasonable and applied equally to all Members.
How do we determine what is reasonable? It depends!
The Association is installing a new ‘Children at Play’ sign near the clubhouse? The Board might reasonably limit each Member that wishes to speak to 3 minutes.
The Association discovered oil and is converting the Association monument into an oil derrick? We are gonna need more time for that one…
What? They brought cameras?
8. Members are permitted by law to audiotape and videotape open meetings of the Association. The Association may adopt reasonable rules governing recording of open meetings but may not preclude recording unless the Association records the meeting and makes the unedited recordings available to members on request without restrictions on its use.
This isn’t everything, but it’s a start! When you reach a question you have no answer for, and it will happen, remember you have an entire industry of professionals to help you learn, develop and grow as a Director of your Association!
When in doubt, reach out! Don’t forget we are…
Experienced Arizona HOA Attorneys
The Brown Law Group specializes in HOA representation in Arizona. Our firm only represents homeowners’ associations and condominium communities in the state. We routinely work with associations to make sure their board meetings are adhering to open meeting laws in Arizona. We can also review any changes your association has made during the past year to use technology in your voting process. It is understandable to want to use technology wherever possible to make meeting and voting decisions easier, but these choices can cause more problems down the road for an association if they are not done the right way. Contact the Brown Law Group today at 602-952-6925 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment with our attorneys on our contact us page.