Last night instead of watching the news on TV or reading my favorite novel, I went to the Community Center to see the Board of Directors’ meeting. I was greeted by a security guard and signed in with my name and lot number as Board meetings are restricted to association members. Without doing a formal count, I would say that the audience numbered about three dozen some of whom spoke about a particular concern during the Special Orders. Special Orders is not a very intuitive phrase and it means that a resident with a concern, complaint, suggestion or…well, just about anything, can speak to the Board as a whole directly face-to-face for up to five minutes.
I would say that the meeting is conducted under a relaxed interpretation of parliamentary procedure codified in Robert’s Rule of Order. After listening to some residents speak their mind on subjects ranging from the disparity in time between the lake’s light that signals sunset and the real sunset and the original artistic work on the pool shed in ceramic tile, the meeting settles into each of the nine directors and the community manager telling what they have been doing in the past month and what they plan to do in the next . Each director is assigned one or more committees so that is the subject matter of their brief summary.
Next the meeting gets into the heart of the matter and items subject to a vote are proposed, moved, seconded, discussed and voted upon. Last night most motions were approved unanimously having for the most part been settled by email poll before the meeting. Email polls expedite governance and allows for progress between meetings. Two items initiated a spirited discussion but most items were a slam dunk such as denying lake privileges for a member who has not paid for a speeding violation.
I should add that the meeting is preceded by an hour long work shop, also open to the membership, where details surrounding a particular item are explained or discussed. For example, swales or indentations in the terrain, which form Lake Heritage’s main drainage system, need visuals to help the directors understand the issue at hand. Few can talk about swales in the abstract!
The meeting got off to a late start given the length of the work shop and ended at 9:10 pm. My conclusion is that Lake Heritage is in good hands. The directors are all volunteers and your neighbors.
Attending meetings of this nature might not be for everyone but they are not dull and they let you have a peek into the inner workings of the association.