Make the Most of Your Annual Meeting
How to Plan Ahead for Success
Atlanta, GA–If you are on the Board of an Atlanta homeowners association or condominium, you should understand that a successful annual meeting requires advance planning by the board of your association. If you have a property management company, your property manager will prepare the Annual Meeting Notice and Proxy and will mail them to all owners prior to the Annual Meeting. But a successful Annual Meeting requires more than sending out the notice and showing up for the meeting.
Good Turnout Is Essential
A thoughtful board must start planning in advance if it wants the meeting to go smoothly. Your Atlanta Association’s Covenants specify the minimum number of owners who must be present (in person or by proxy) in order to have a quorum and your first step in planning for the Annual Meeting should be to garner sufficient proxies in advance of the meeting to ensure you will have a quorum. A proxy is normally given to a specific individual or, if no one is named, to the Secretary of the Board, to vote in place of the absentee owner. If you do not have a quorum at the meeting, the election of new Board members cannot take place.
Find New Board Volunteers
Early planning should also involve polling your existing board to determine who is seeking reelection or retirement. Serving on the board can be a thankless, time-consuming task, and it is not always easy to find owners who are willing to devote their time and energy to running the affairs of your Atlanta homeowners or condominium association. It may very well take the board several days or weeks to secure enough volunteers to serve on the Board.
The Business of the Annual Meeting
While the election of a board is an important aspect of the Annual Meeting, it is also a time to report on the state of your homeowners or condominium association and provide a forum for owners to address any concerns they have for your community. Prepare an Agenda that includes:
- Review and approval of Minutes from the previous year’s Annual Meeting.
- Committee and Officer Reports. A recap of the prior year and outline of projects for the coming year is normally given by the President, followed by the financial report given by the Treasurer and other committee reports.
- Election of New Board members and certification of election results. The election of the new board members should be conducted after the reports have been given. The Board should announce all board candidates and ask for any nominations form the floor. Candidates should be given an opportunity to introduce themselves and say a few words to the community. Immediately thereafter, the voting should take place and the ballots taken for counting.
- While the votes are being counted, the floor can be opened for a question and answer period. In doing so, the chairman should strike a balance between letting the shareholders vent their feelings and not spending excessive time on individual problems that do not affect the bulk of the shareholders.
When the results of the election have been tabulated, they should be announced, and if an appropriate time has been spent on questions and answers, the President should politely ask for a motion to adjourn. It is common practice, and most appropriate, for the newly elected board to have an organizational meeting immediately following the close of the meeting. This will permit the new board to elect its officers and thereby continue the orderly functioning of the cooperative.
Annual meetings are important to Atlanta homeowners and condominium associations. While there is business to be conducted, boards and management should not miss the opportunity to educate and inform the owners in their community. The annual meeting is a unique opportunity to discuss specific actions taken by the board, and issues facing the association in the future. And, of course, use the annual meeting to celebrate the association’s success.
Riverside Property Management is a Homeowners and Condominium Association management company management company proudly serving Roswell, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Marietta and all of North Georgia. Riverside is also an expert Georgia association management company and high-rise Atlanta association management company. To find out more about Riverside Property Management and why it is one of Georgia’s fastest growing property management companies, go to www.riversidepropertymgt.com. You’ll be glad you did.