Don't be secretive about taped minutes from meeting
Q: A question arose at our board of directors meeting recently. May a resident listen to the taped minutes of a board meeting?
A: How do you use the tapes? If you use them for a record of the meetings, then they should be available to the members upon written request. If you only use the tapes to prepare the minutes and then immediately erase them, they may not be available. That brings up the subject of minutes. Minutes are only a summation of the meeting business. Comments and remarks are not recorded in the official minutes. If this is true, then why do you need to record the meeting? You should have the agenda and the board is required to only discuss the agenda items.
To prepare for the meeting, any motion should be prepared in advance and included in the meeting package distributed to the directors. In the case of an annual meeting, the agenda with motions should be distributed to the members so they have the information to vote. Minutes should follow the agenda and include the published motions. All you need to add is who made the motion and how it was voted.
As to the use of the tape, the board should establish a policy if the tape is a record of the meeting or just to be used to complete the minutes and then erased. Above all, the board should establish that tapes are not to be use as an official record of the meeting but the minutes would be the official and final records.
Now that I have said how tapes are involved as an association record, I recommend that any time an owner writes a letter to view or listen to association records, try to accommodate them. There is nothing so secret that may cause a breach in the duties of the directors. There are a few records that remain confidential and are listed in the statutes, such as credit and health records.
There are several options for managing associations
Q: Is it true that as a condominium we can not have a CAM manager on site unless he has his own management company?
A: First you need to understand that all associations need professional management. There are three basic types of management or a combination of the three.
The first is self management. Your board of directors has total responsibility for the operations of the association. The board elects the officers to manage and operate the association. They do this by providing guidelines and motions approved by a majority of the directors. The officers — the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer — use the guidelines and motions to manage and operate the association. The advantages of self management are that there is no expense because the work is done by volunteers. At the same time this is a disadvantage because many officers do not have experience. Most of the work is done by a few good volunteers but this will cause a burnout if the members do not support and help with the work.
The second type of management is employee contract or on-site management. A manager in Florida must have a community association managers license (CAM, sometimes called LCAM) that is issued by the state but not necessarily with a management company. The board of directors may hire an individual licensed CAM by contract or employment agreement. The directors do this to help the officers with the workload and provide a more professional operation. The advantages are that most managers have experience and training to do the work. You have a person that is or can be in constant contact with the members and the directors/officers.
The third type of management is a management company. The company can only engage licensed CAMs and must be registered with the state. The advantages are that they can assign a CAM to work with the board. This manager can work on-site or at his office. This is a lower-cost service than an employee manager. The key difference between the three types of management is what the directors, officers and the members need or want. No, a manager does not need to be with a management company but he/she must be licensed.
Richard White is a licensed community associations manager. Write to him at 6039 Cypress Gardens Blvd., No. 201, Winter Haven, FL 33884-4115. Please include your name and city.