Every homeowner and condominium association is required to have an annual meeting of the members. The primary purposes of the annual meeting are:
-Present annual budget to members -Elect Directors -Deliver Committee Reports -Strengthen the Community
1. Determine Notice Requirements
There are three types of meetings in community associations: annual, special, and board. Each type of meeting will have different notice requirements. Make sure you comply with the annual meeting notice requirements contained in your Bylaws.
For Oregon associations, notice of the annual meeting must be sent no less than 10 days and no more than 50 days prior to the meeting date. (ORS 100.407 / 94.650) Washington homeowners associations must send notice not less than 14 days and not more than 60 days. (RCW 64.38.035) Annual meeting notices must be sent to all members at the last address provided to the association.
2. (Oregon) Include Reduced Quorum Language
Oregon has a unique statute which allows for a reduced quorum for ownership meetings. For condominiums, the statute is ORS 100.408, for planned communities, the statue is ORS 94.655.
If the membership meeting cannot proceed because of a lack of quorum, you may adjourn the meeting. The meeting may then immediately re-start with a reduced quorum. The reduced quorum is 1/2 of the quorum requirement or 20%, whichever is greater.
So, if your quorum requirement is 50%, the reduced quorum would be 25%. If your quorum requirement is 30%, the reduced quorum is 20% (remember, 1/2 or 20%, whichever is greater). If your quorum requirement is 20%, it stays at 20%. Keep in mind that the notice of the meeting must contain a statement that the quorum will be reduced and what the percentage will be if reduced. The language should also state that the meeting will be immediately recalled with the reduced quorum percentage (otherwise, you must wait 48 hours).
To take advantage of this statute, place a statement in the notice indicating that if quorum is not met, the meeting will be adjourned and immediately restarted with the reduced quorum. Indicate the percentage of the reduced quorum.
3. Prepare Proxies
A proxy should contain the following information:
1. Name of association 2. Name of proxy giver 3. Proxy giver’s unit, lot or address 4. Name of proxy holder 5. Date when proxy giver signs 6. Expiration date 7. Signature
Click here for a sample proxy: https://calaw.attorney/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Sample-Proxy.doc
4. Use A Nominating Committee
Some association documents require the use of nominating committees prior to the annual meeting. In most cases, nominating committees make nominations and the election a much more efficient process. A good nominating committee will solicit names, determine if those individuals are willing to serve, gather biographies of the candidates, and present the information to the board and owners prior to the meeting. Keep in mind, unless prohibited by your governing documents, members can always nominate individuals from the floor at the actual meeting.
5. Prepare Agenda
Oregon and Washington law require annual meeting notices to state the time and place of the meetings, items on the agenda, including the general nature of any proposed amendment to the governing documents, any budget changes, or any proposals to remove directors.
Based on the recommendations in Robert’s Rules of Order, community association annual meeting agendas should include the following:
Announcement of Quorum Reading and Approval of Minutes Reports of Officers, Boards and Committees Election of Directors Unfinished Business and General Orders Announcement of Election Results New Business Adjournment
6. Know Voting Requirements
If certain items on the agenda require a vote of the owners, make sure you know beforehand the required voting threshold. For example, if the agenda includes a vote on levying a special assessment, look at your governing documents to see how many owners must vote in the affirmative. Some votes require a majority, some require a “super-majority”, and others may only require a plurality.
If your governing documents allocate votes by square footage or allow for cumulative voting, have an electronic spreadsheet ready with pre-set formulas to quickly tally votes. Also, if your Declaration or Bylaws prohibit delinquent owners from voting, make sure the names or units of those owners are excluded from voting.