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Here we will continue the discussion of committees. If you haven’t already, click over to Part 1 here where we talk about their basic responsibilities.

 

For the board to be able to evaluate the conduct of committees it is important that periodic reports be submitted. These reports should be provided to the board (usually via the community manager) in writing and in advance of the board meeting, or as set forth in committee guidelines established by the board.

 

Board members need not attend committee meetings (unless required by the governing documents) however, board members have a right to attend. Board members need not participate in the committee meeting unless the committee chair requests them to do so. This practice is similar to the owner forum at a board meeting. Unless specific authority has been given to the attending board member, the board member may not “officially” represent the position of the board at a committee meeting, unless that position is current board policy. Remember – the board speaks with one voice or not at all.

 

Many boards choose to appoint members of the board as their committee liaisons so the conduct of the committees can be more carefully monitored. Whatever committee structure is chosen, it should be clearly defined and properly documented. Committees can be one of the most helpful tools in the governance of the association, or they can be a hindrance, depending on how well the board establishes and communicates with their committees.