Governance/Board/Committees FAQs

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+ Q. When are board meetings?

Monthly board meetings are scheduled through October in 2018. Dates and times are posted on the Governance page, Master Calendar, and Events calendar on our Home Page.

+ Q. Are board meeting agendas available before the meeting?

Yes, board agendas are posted on the Governance page approximately one week before a scheduled meeting. Last minute changes to the agenda are discouraged. A limited number of printed copies of the agenda are available at the Clubhouse front desk. There are hand out copies available at the meeting.

+ Q. Can residents speak at board meetings?

Yes, there are two opportunities for residents to speak. The “Resident Agenda Input Forum” immediately precedes Old and New Business agenda items. Residents are requested to limit their inputs to items on the Old or New Business agenda. There is also a “Resident Input Forum” at the very end of a board meeting where residents can make general comments. In both cases, residents are requested to limit their time to 90 seconds or less to prevent an overly long meeting.

+ Q. How many board members are there?

There are five members on the Board of Directors as stipulated in the Amended and Restated Bylaws document. This is a legal document and any changes must be formally voted by the community.

+ Q. When are board elections conducted?

Board member terms are three years. The current board membership is listed on the Governance page along with their positions, term expiration dates, and contact information. The next elections will be in 2019 when two terms expire and 2020 when three terms expire. Board elections are part of the annual HOA meeting in early December. Ballots are sent out in official mailings in November.

+ Q. What happens if a board member resigns?

If a board member moves or otherwise resigns, the current board appoints a qualified resident as a replacement to complete the term. Thus the staggered election cycle is preserved.

+ Q. What are our governing documents?

Our governing legal documents are Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions and the Amended and Restated Bylaws. The Declaration of Covenants include: First Declaration Amendment; Second Declaration Amendment; Third Declaration Amendment; Fourth Declaration Amendment; and, Fifth Declaration Amendment. The HOA is also bound by both Maryland and Federal HOA laws.

+ Q. Can governing documents be changed?

Yes, the governing documents are currently being reviewed by an ad hoc Document Review committee with suggested changes to make them more relevant since the developer is no longer a part of the agreement. The Document Review committee officers and board liaison are posted on the Governance web page. The community will have the opportunity to vote on these changes. A 75% positive vote is required for changes to be accepted.

+ Q. What document defines the official committees?

The Terms of Reference (ToR) document defines the official HOA committees, their roles, and responsibilities. The ToR gives direction to the board and committees on how business is conducted in Symphony Village. The ToR can be amended by the board acting on recommendations from the committees.

+ Q. What are the laws governing our HOA?

We must remain compliant with both Maryland and Federal Condo/HOA laws. Maryland HOA laws go through the same process as all state laws and therefore change from time to time. Our management company and lawyer keep us appraised of any changes that affect us.

+ Q. Does the HOA have a lawyer?

Yes, the HOA retains a lawyer that specializes in HOA law. The board asks our lawyer for legal interpretation of our governing documents should a question arise. The lawyer is paid from the “Consulting Fees” portion of our budget.

+ Q. Are board meetings open?

Yes, all board meetings are open to residents. The board can meet in closed executive sessions to discuss actions after board meetings and discussions relative to personnel.

+ Q. Are minutes of board minutes available?

Yes, board minutes are available on the Governance webpage. They are not posted until officially approved at the next board meeting.

+ Q. Are minutes of committees available?

Yes, all committee minutes are available on the Governance webpage. They are not posted until approved at the next committee meeting. Sub-committees and working sessions are not required to generate or post minutes.

+ Q. How many committees are there?

The ToR defines the following seven official committees: Publications & Communications; Lifestyle Committee; Covenants Committee; Budget and Finance Committee; Operations Committee; Landscape and Irrigation Committee; and Artisan's Guild. The ToR also includes the following non-Symphony Village Association Activities: Outreach; and, Sneakers.

+ Q. Are committee meetings open?

Yes, all committee meetings are open and meeting dates published on our website.

+ Q. Are sub-committee or working meetings open?

Yes, however, they are ad hoc meetings that are not generally publicized. They are held at the convenience of participant’s availability. They are generally informal and are to get committee directed work accomplished.

+ Q. Can board members participate in committee meetings?

Committee meetings are attended by a board liaison or their designee. All other board members are participating as residents.

+ Q. Can residents participate in committee meetings?

Yes, resident input is invited at committee meetings.

+ Q. Do the committees report to the board?

Yes, all committees including Outreach and Sneakers give oral reports at scheduled board meetings. Specific committee requests are put on the agenda for formal board discussion and approval vote.

+ Q. Who can authorize HOA expenditures?

Only the board can authorize expenditures of HOA funds. This may include board approved service contracts or specific expenditure requests. Management has a certain degree of discretionary spending to get things repaired under a budgeted repair account including emergency repairs up to $7500 after consultation with the HOA Board President. Management also has a budget for office and Clubhouse supplies. The HOA approval process is detailed in Appendix C of the Terms of Reference.

+ Q. Can the board authorize an expenditure without a vote at an open board meeting?

This is discouraged and is generally reserved for emergencies that might occur between scheduled board meetings. Any approval by email must be by unanimous vote by the five board members. The board can also call a special board meeting, if necessary.

+ Q. How can I join a committee?

The call for committee signups goes out in November. That is the opportunity to sign up in the Wall Street Room activities book. No one is turned away if you want to join a committee at another time. The board officially approves the committee rosters.

+ Q. Can a board member be on a committee?

A board member cannot be a voting member of a committee. They can participate in committee meetings as a resident, however. Each Committee has a designated board liaison.

+ Q. How many committees can I be on?

There is no limit of committees that you can be a member. You cannot be a chair on more than one committee or if you are not in compliance with HOA requirements such as paying monthly assessments.

+ Q. Can more than one member per household be on committees?

Yes, there are many cases of more than one resident per household on a committee. The only restriction is that there is only one vote per household in the case of a committee vote. They also are only counted as a single member when determining whether there is a meeting quorum.

+ Q. Can the HOA president make a motion or vote?

The HOA president is a member of the board and has exactly the same rights and privileges as all other members have, including the right to make motions, to speak in debate, and to vote on all questions.