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Guest Speakers


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I'm looking for advice as to what is the correct procedure for a small HOA Board to take with regard to Guest Speakers attending HOA Board Meetings.  Typically such guest speakers might include the landscape company, arborist, patrol service company among others.  Usually the Guest Speaker would be first on the agenda and be given the floor to speak in general with regard to services provided, submitted bid proposals or some particular issue which needs addressing.


We've handled Guest Speakers in the following manner in past meetings:


Speaker(s) is/are introduced by Chairperson.  Speaker(s) speaks. When Speaker(s) finish speaking, Chair states that Board Members may ask questions directly to the Speaker(s) starting at one end of the tables at which Board Members are seated, progressing one by one from one end of the table until the last Board Member has finished asking questions. Normal time limit would apply to each Board Member having the floor to ask questions.  This procedure seems to be more expedient than the Chair having to recognize each Board Member each time individually.  Of course, Board Members are addressing their remarks directly to the Guest Speaker(s) which I understand could be an RONR violation for not addressing remarks directly to the Chair. 


A second round of questions from Board Members could ensue as some Board Members may want more time to ask questions.


I've seen this process unravel when a second Board Member may chime in while one Board Member has the floor and Board discussion ensues.  At this point, it is more likely that the Chair loses control of the meeting.


Some homeowners would likely be present at the Board Meeting and they, of course, are entitled to make Homeowner Comments at Board meetings per state law.  Their comments would be directed to the Chair.  However, if they have questions on information presented by the Guest Speaker(s), I'd expect that the Chair could request the Guest Speaker(s) to respond to questions from a Homeowner.


Thank you for reading my post and any and all responses.



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"Some bodies, especially public ones, may invite nonmembers to express their views, but this is done under the control of the presiding officer subject to any relevant rules adopted by the body and subject to appeal by a member. Often, by rule or practice, time limits are placed on speakers and relevance is closely monitored." (RONR 11th ed., p. 96, l. 32 to p. 97, l. 4)


It will be up to your organization to decide such rules.

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