Achieving Quorum

How many times have you tried to hold an official meeting of the members of a community association, only to find that not enough homeowners appeared in person or sent in their proxies to meet the quorum requirement to conduct a legally held meeting? More often than not, the bylaws of the community don't provide for alternatives if a quorum is not attained, so you're faced with calling another meeting -- and perhaps yet another one still -- in a desperate attempt to elect board members and ratify decisions made at previous meetings where a quorum also was not reached.

On the other hand, perhaps legal counsel has advised that as long as you've made the attempt at calling the meeting and complied with notice requirements, you should continue with the agenda except for any issues requiring a vote, and try again next year for a quorum. At the "unofficial" meeting, you could take a straw ballot of those present to fill vacant board positions or let the majority decide to allow the current directors to continue in their expired/renewed terms until a quorum is finally met.

However, if you're facing the bleak challenge of expending time and money reconvening meetings until the magic number of those present in person or by proxy is reached, perhaps some of the following suggestions will help you reach your minimum quorum requirement the first time around.

  • vote with Ballot or another electronic voting system
  • place yard signs at each entrance the day of the meeting detailing location and time of the meeting (a courtesy officer may be necessary if community will look abandoned)
  • conduct a raffle to encourage proxy submission (not necessary to be present to win)
  • award door prizes solicited from area or Internet merchants distribute coupons for free services from area retailers
  • ask area merchant to sponsor the meeting/party
  • distribute awards (plaques, certificates, plant, gift certificate) to recognize volunteers
  • invite an interesting speaker -- politician, police officer, contractor
  • make the meeting a celebration of another successful year or of another "birthday" of the association -- the actual meeting becomes incidental to the festivity
  • establish annual theme such as holidays, cities, countries, travel, games
  • provide entertainment (i.e., magician, comedian)
  • provide baby-sitting service
  • provide food (soda, snacks, sandwiches, catered meal)
  • broaden meeting to be a pool party & barbecue
  • hold a potluck dinner
  • send multiple mailings & reminders (detail the cost of each mailing and room rental to encourage proxy submission); use flyers, postcards, newsletters, bulletin board/mail cluster postings
  • send postage-paid postcard proxies, including option for quorum purposes only
  • form an Annual Meeting Committee charged with achieving a quorum
  • have the Annual Meeting Committee call owners who have not returned proxies
  • hold meeting in a convenient/"cool" location
  • provide transportation to offsite meeting location
  • include a serious/controversial issue on the agenda
Source: Association Times
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