Call to Order: Meetings in a Public Health Emergency
Meetings, whether of the board or the association membership, are a hallmark of community associations. And, like so many other aspects of association operations, they’re subject to a lot of rules — rules that have many communities scrambling amidst the sweeping coronavirus crisis.
Social distancing protocols and prohibitions against gatherings make traditional meetings nearly impossible in some states, including most of those with the highest number of associations.
Many boards are weighing whether to cancel meetings or hold them remotely, via telephone or, increasingly, online video conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Facebook Live.
The decisions they make now could have lasting effects on how their associations operate in the future.
“We didn’t want to stop having board meetings,” says Ken Bertolucci, president of NS Management in Skokie, Ill, which manages around 90 associations. “You can’t not conduct business.”
Kevin Hirzel, managing member of Hirzel Law, PLC, a Michigan-based firm that works with community associations, agrees: “We’re encouraging our boards to continue to meet remotely rather than cancel because there’s a lot for them to be doing right now related to the coronavirus.”
But what about open meetings laws? Will remote meetings satisfy the requirements?
To learn the answer to that question, how associations are handling annual membership meetings, and what the changes might mean for the future of association operations, read our new article, Coronavirus Creates Meeting Mayhem.