Meeting minutes are essential – an association must be able to document what, when and how decisions were made.  Minutes are a permanent record, to be kept for as long as the organization exists, and report on all actions made by, or decided against by, the board.  Always remember when taking minutes that they may be subpoenaed in any court case and used as evidence, so only pertinent information should be included.  Nothing embarrassing should ever be included, nor should every conversation or discussion.  Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.

            First, to ensure completion and consistency, the board should create or approve a template showing what goes where.  A blank copy should be kept on file and used for all board and committee meetings.  This will guarantee that all necessary information appears on every set of meeting minutes in a familiar format for anyone who needs to find information.  The association name, the date, location and type of meeting, and all attendees, should appear on every form.  Start and end times, and brief notes regarding what happened, what was proposed and what items received a vote, should be recorded, but it usually is not necessary to list who made what motions.

            Who records the minutes can vary from association to association, and can be a member of management staff, a member of the board or another volunteer; however, at the very least, the board should review all board minutes before the minutes are accepted and entered into the record.  If there is any question or controversy about any item or vote, the association’s legal counsel should also be called upon to review the minutes before distribution. Here is a sample set of meeting minutes to assist in designing a specific template:

 

Name of Association

Date – Location

Type (board, committee name)

 

Called to order: x:xx AM

 

Attending:      Name 1                      Name 7

                        Name 2                      Name 8

                        Name 3                      Name 9

                        Name 4                      Name 10

                        Name 5                      Name 11

                        Name 6                      Name 12

Excused        Name 13

Absence:       Name 14

 

A quorum was present.

 

The consent agenda was approved unanimously.

 

A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to pass the quarterly financial report as presented by the Treasurer.

 

A motion was made to increase the length of the annual convention by a full day.  Lengthy discussion followed, and the motion failed by a vote of seven to five.

 

In response to a question from a member, the board’s Conflict of Interest Statement was reviewed, and no changes were recommended at this time.

 

The next board meeting was scheduled and will be confirmed by e-mail to the full board.

 

Adjournment was moved, seconded and approved unanimously. The meeting adjourned at x:xx AM.