I’ve had it with owners’ meetings!

M.T. writes:

Dear Paul:

I have just attended my first condo board meeting. What an experience! At first, I was looking forward to the meeting, but I soon realized that it would be a bad meeting. The president had difficulty getting the audience’s attention to start the meeting. I did not understand most of the issues that were brought forward. The board members seemed to be going along with whatever the property manager said. The room was crowded, people were not comfortable, and the speakers could not be heard most of the time. I don’t think I am going to attend another meeting.  

Paul replies:

Dear M.T.:

I am sorry that you had such a poor experience. Most boards conduct meetings that are well organized and advance owner knowledge of the issues that affect your building. There is no excuse for the president not taking control of the meeting, it is a major part of his/her role. The property manager should be advising the board but not running the ship. I suspect that your board members are new, or if they are not new, they have little experience or training in how to conduct a large meeting. They should be congratulated for accepting the challenging position of being on the board and given the training necessary to become a bit more comfortable with the process.

The room being too small coupled with poor sound are, in my view, unacceptable, easily foreseen and fixed. These are often referred to as creature comforts. If the creatures are not comfortable, they get restless.

Your lack of understanding of the items being discussed is unfortunate and may relate to your ongoing interest in the affairs of your condo operation. Since you would have received the agenda some 30 days in advance, you had ample time to ask the property manager, a board member or your neighbours to explain the confusing parts.

Please do not stop attending owners meetings. You are a partner in the corporation and what is discussed will affect the corporation, good or bad. You have a voice, a vote and ideas to share to better the community. When you gain more knowledge about condo living and your condo in particular you might even want to run for a position on the board and improve matters from that end. Best wishes!

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