ByBoard of Directors
Perhaps because homeowners associations are often viewed and characterized as private governments or quasi-public bodies, most meetings of the board of directors of a homeowners association are required to be open to attendance by the associations members and state laws typically prohibit association boards from taking action on any item of business outside of a board meeting.
In most states, members of community associations are entitled to attend meetings of the board of directors, except when the board adjourns to, or meets solely, in executive session under circumstances in which such sessions are permitted. Furthermore, subject to reasonable time limitations established by the board, association members are permitted to speak at any meeting of the board, with the exception of meetings that are held in executive session. Although members of the board of directors are generally limited to discussing and taking actions on those matters that have been placed on the agenda that was published to the members with the notice of the board meeting, association members that attend board meetings may generally speak on issues that are not on the agenda. To control time and allow for the board to complete its agenda within a reasonable time frame, many association boards will schedule a specific time on the board meeting agenda for communications or statements from members. Alternatively, some association boards will permit members to speak before each action item on the agenda and before a board vote on the matter is taken. These rights are limited to association members and do not extend to other parties that members may want to bring to the associations board meeting (i.e. lawyers). Additionally, aside from the time limitations, an associations board may also exclude all persons who willfully disrupt a meeting in such a way that it cannot be conducted in an orderly fashion.
Executive Session Meetings
Most states have laws that entitle an associations board of directors to conduct certain items of business in executive session meetings and association members are entitled to receive notice of any executive session meeting that is conducted without first convening an open session, unless the executive session is called as an emergency meeting. The nature of business that can be conducted in an executive session meeting of an associations board of directors is specified in the state statutes, but is generally limited to the following items:
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