Several things can be done to keep HOA meetings within the normal and reasonable two-hour limit.
The first strategy is to let the HOA board members know that after the two-hour period, the HOA management company will charge the HOA an hourly fee…such as $75 per hour. When the homeowners know that an HOA meeting beyond the two-hour limit will cost the HOA money…then unnecessarily long-winded discussions are minimized and the meetings keep moving forward.
A second strategy is to constantly bring issues to a head by calling for a vote. This can be done by saying, “Is there a motion? Is there a second? The next agenda item please.” This approach might seem rude at times but is required to keep the HOA meetings moving forward.
A third approach is to avoid certain types of homeowners being on the HOA board. Some people might be sticklers when it comes to unreasonably following procedures too closely, while other people might be unwilling to follow policies and procedures at all.
The goal is to keep the HOA meetings to two hours or less so homeowners will attend. If meetings drag on for three or four hours because of difficult board members…fewer and fewer homeowners will attend the HOA meetings.
The builder should therefore adopt and follow standard procedures that are simple and familiar to most people for conducting meetings…such as Robert’s Rules of Order, for example.
The standard procedures for business meetings should include agenda divisions for old and new business, a call to order, discussion of each agenda topic, a motion, a second to the motion, a vote, etc.
These standardized approaches for conducting business meetings can help both the builder and the HOA management company keep the meetings focused on the given agendas and on schedule.