IN THE MINUTES
QUESTION: When a non-member is invited to talk to the community about projects or other items of interest, should he/she speak before the meeting is called to order? Since HOA meetings are for members only, shouldn’t the board ask any person who is not a member to leave?
ANSWER: You’re misreading the statute. It does not prohibit non-members from attending meetings. Rather, it confers rights on members to attend. (Civ. Code §4925(a).) Others can attend at the pleasure of the board.
Spouses, Staff & Others. Although boards can prohibit non-members, that is not the industry standard. It would be unusual to prohibit managers, support staff, and legal counsel since they assist boards in carrying out their duties. In addition to managers and staff, most boards allow spouses and renters to attend meetings and speak during open forum.
Agenda. There is nothing wrong with putting guest speakers on the agenda, calling the meeting to order and recording in the minutes that the person spoke on a particular issue. It may be important to show the board’s due diligence. It also helps keep the membership informed. The Secretary should not transcribe the speech in the minutes–only record who spoke and the topic.
RECOMMENDATION: Don’t tie your hands with a strict prohibition on non-members. First, boards need the assistance of staff and others for their meetings. Second, spouses and renters aren’t all bad. Some of them are actually interested in the well-being of the community and can be helpful. Davis-Stirling.com 11.15.2015 Newsletter
Caretakers coming to meetings – ADA Learn More ⇒ LA Times 12.20.2015