Board Secretary getting carpel tunnel? Take the pain out of taking Board meeting minutes!

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Sometimes, reading the Board minutes that we review for our clients gives me flashbacks to my college days.  I am reminded of the frantic scribbling of notes during a lecture, as I tried to record everything the professor said without really understanding the most important points nor really being able to actively engage in the discussion. 

Taking the minutes at a Board meeting is not about trying to record verbatim every comment that is made.  As a voting Board member, the secretary needs to be able to participate in the discussion and provide input as well.  These simple guidelines will help to make the job of recording minutes easier for your Secretary while at the same time minimizing legal liability for matters that are not meant to be made public.

  1. Create a meeting agenda and use the same format when recording minutes.  Minutes should correspond to each item on the agenda.  (See sample agenda.)
  2. Discussion on items of business does not need to be recorded.  The Secretary only needs to record the motion made, the vote, and the resolution.  If the Board wishes to add a bit of information to clarify or further support a decision, however, that may also be entered into the minutes.  A dissenting Board member may also wish to have a comment entered to clarify why they voted against a motion that was passed by the majority.
  3. Any discussion regarding owner delinquencies or violations, appointment, employment or dismissal of an employee or legal action by or on behalf of the Association should not be recorded in the minutes.  The IL Condo Act requires that these issues be discussed in a closed session and therefore should not be made public in any meeting minutes.  However, any matter that requires a vote must be done during the open portion of the meeting and recorded in the minutes.
Following these guidelines will ease the pressure on the Secretary and produce concise, easy to read minutes!