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Home COFSAB Forum Condo Owners Forum Q&A Do you have ‘Open’ Board Meetings

  • Do you have ‘Open’ Board Meetings

    Posted by David Minifie on September 24, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    Concerning ‘open’ Board meetings: Do the Board, as a standard operating practice, maintain all Board meetings open to owners to attend, observe and comment at the appropriate time?

    We do not, and some considerations for not doing so include:

    – it inhibits candid conversation by Board members

    – certain privacy matters have to be dealt with at another time (a separate meeting)

    – the Board may need to then meet informally for some business, and then formally for the more straightforward business. Board members feel that they already put in enough time, and opening meetings to owners would not be in the interest of the time, efficiency and effectiveness of Board members and operations.

    I would appreciate any and all comments on this matter. Thanks folks. …./David

    Glen Mabbott replied 3 weeks ago 6 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
Please spread the word!
  • Walter Gabrysh

    September 26, 2022 at 2:33 pm

    Hi David. When I was on our Condo Board (11 years) , the general part of meetings were open to owners.

    They only commented when there was an issue that they were bringing to the Board’s attention.

    They were excused when that was completed and the Board continued with the other Agenda discussions in private.

    Please spread the word!
  • Terry Gibson

    September 26, 2022 at 2:39 pm

    Excellent question!

    As with many issues, I believe this is a double-edged sword.

    Indeed, confidential issues (arrears, poor behaviour) are best handled without an audience.

    However, my experience with our Hawaii condo, with owners throughout North America, was that if owners wanted to participate (they used teleconferencing for years), they could. Few of us took them up on the offer, but some owners need to know more. I know I appreciated it. It enhanced communicaiton.

    I plan on writing an article for Alberta Condo Connections on the question. Too many boards don’t share ANY information because it leads to abusive emails back to the condominium manager and board. In that vacuum, the rumour mill grows, hurting the community.

    The foundation of a lot of condo issues is a lack of trust. Providing information builds trust and enhances the community. However, some will take advantage of that and react adversely and negatively. Just as in society, we cannot allow a few abusive people to deter the need to share pertinent information with those who deserve to know.

    I believe in the principle of no surprises: owners don’t like them, mainly if they think they should have been consulted first. Open meetings reduce surprises.

    In my opinion, a wise board consults and keeps owners well-informed.

    Our boards are here to serve our owners.

    I hope others will join the conversation.

    Please spread the word!
  • Mark Hambridge

    November 17, 2022 at 12:32 pm

    I suppose it depends on how you define ‘open’.

    When I was our president, the board (co-opted by the property manager after the developer walked out) agreed to hold meetings open to observers. A few regulars took us up on that. Sensitive matters (arrears of contributions, misbehaviour) were dealt with ‘in camera’ immediately after the open meeting. People who wanted to address the meeting were only permitted to do so if first approved or invited by the board. I believe this format did not constrain the discussion.

    After the meeting, I ensured the points discussed and decided were circulated in a newsletter before the minutes were approved at the meeting the following month. Careful wording was needed! It was a transition from secretive developer to open communications, and there was a lot to communicate to the new owners.

    Please spread the word!
  • Kathleen French

    January 10, 2024 at 4:48 pm

    All we have had for over a year are “open” board meetings. The owners are allowed 10 minutes at the beginning of the meeting to ask questions and receive answers. The outcome of this is never a concise answer to any questions. There are never more than eight owners plus board members attending these meetings. The last meeting I attended the board [maybe bored] secretary stated owners ten minutes was over and we now had to listen to the board’s meeting. My thought is that as many of the 30 rental units [there is a total of 89 units in this building] in the building are owned by board members there would not be enough owners attending a general meeting to meet the criteria for the meeting to proceed. Attending these meetings caused only frustration and no resolve to questions asked.

    Please spread the word!
  • Glen Mabbott

    February 7, 2024 at 3:10 pm

    Condo life and the associated condo management is complex and considerably different than normal home ownership and is often not well understood or accepted. Enhanced communications and education are key to improving this. Board meetings open to the owners is an opportunity for owners to better understand why certain decisions are being made and provides a better understanding of the complexity the Board must deal with. It shows that owners are interested in how the property is being managed. Open communication is vital and closed meetings could lead owners to question what the board is trying to hide creating gossip and rumors.


    Please spread the word!

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