Owners Talking, and Foth Listening

 

Hello all!  This is the inaugural running of what will be Foth & Foth’s weekly interactive publication designed to enhance communication with owners within HOA and condominium associations.  Owners bring us the issues, we listen and deliver an opinion.

The Issue: Whether associations should upload meeting minutes to the association’s Facebook page?

Our Opinion: No.  It is important to place the platform being used for communication and the subject matter of the content in proper relation or context.  Meeting minutes are the official record of actions taken by your association.  Good minutes are an effective tool that can serve associations well if the minutes are properly created. *  At a minimum, meeting minutes contain necessary identifiers of matters before the association and an indication of how board members acted on the matter.

This contrasts with Facebook, which is an informal social media platform.  By its very design, Facebook enables users to interact with seamless ease through the review and ability to immediately comment on information.  Our associations that utilize the platform often experience members posting in a beneficial way to alert other community members of problems that have arisen, issues with construction projects, or even to spread the word on block parties.  Alternatively, some engage on Facebook to vent, complain, or even attempt to undermine association projects and personnel.

Accordingly, we believe that associations should conduct themselves in a way that engenders the credibility they deserve.  If the association has its own webpage, for example, that is a more appropriate platform to share association meeting minutes once the minutes are approved.  There is no need for an association’s official actions to be made available for off-the-cuff reaction and comment.  Those necessary identifiers of matters pending can quickly become kindling for a name-calling, reputation impugning maelstrom that simply doesn’t need to happen.  Meeting minutes should be available to chronicle the association’s actions, but should not be published in a manner where public ridicule or worse can arise and proliferate with one knee-jerk reaction, or a series of knee-jerk reactions for that matter.

-Erick J. Nevin, Esq.

 

*Ask for a copy of our October 2017 newsletter outlining good practices for creating and maintaining minutes to help protect your association.

 

“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” 
Bernard Baruch – American financier, stock investor, and political consultant

 

Disclaimer:  Nothing in this article is to be considered legal advice.  Accordingly, this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.  If you believe that you or your association have a legal matter that needs addressed, please contact an attorney directly.  Every potential issue deserves careful consideration of the specific circumstances unique to it.  The above is general commentary and serves only as a statement of general opinion.