Motions are proposals for action by the board and can only be made by directors. Motions have a variety of objectives, and each motion has characteristics that make it unique. Directors, including the president
, may make a motion by saying, "I move..." , and then stating the motion. Motions should always be specific
. Most motions require a second. A second does not mean the seconder agrees with the motion, but that he/she believes the motion is worthy of consideration. A director can make a second simply by saying "Second" after a motion is made, without having to obtain the floor.
The motion is discussed by members of the board, after which the motion is put to a vote. Homeowners in the audience do not have a right to participate in the discussion. However, the board can, if it chooses, invite comment from owners.
. A voice vote is the most common type of voting. The chair (usually the president) will ask those in favor of a question to say "aye" and those opposed to say "nay." Or, the president can ask for a show of hands. The chair then announces the result of the vote.
. Boards can allow motions
without a second and hold informal discussions while no motion is
pending. (Robert's Rules
, 11th ed., pp. 487-488.) Unless an association's governing documents require otherwise, the chair of the meeting
can decide how to conduct the meeting since there is no requirement
in the Davis-Stirling Act that any particular form of parliamentary procedure be followed in board meetings. In the event boards choose to follow Robert's Rules, see summary of motions
prepared by parliamentarian Jim Slaughter.
Recording Motions in Minutes
. There is no requirement the name of the person making the motion and the one seconding the motion be recorded in the minutes. While some associations do, many associations simply state that a motion was made and seconded. Both practices are acceptable. Even though boards of directors are not required to use parliamentary procedures for their meetings, Robert's Rules of Order serve as a useful guideline for taking minutes.
Roll Call Votes. Since boards are not required to follow any particular rules of
parliamentary procedure, many simply record that a motion
passed or failed.
If directors want to be on record that they voted for or against a
particular motion, they must speak up at the time the vote is taken
and ask that their vote be recorded by name. This is called a "roll
call" vote. (Robert's Rules, 11th ed., p. 420.) Following is an example of a motion recorded in the minutes:
Motion by John Smith seconded by Mark Jones to approve a painting contract
with ABC Paint Company to paint the exterior of the clubhouse for
$10,000 using specifications prepared by Dunn-Edwards Paints. Payment to
be made from the Association's reserve account. Motion passed 4-1 with
Jane Dough voting no.
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter