Here’s my recommendation for the steps on how to complete a successful document amendment or re-write:
- Meeting with the Board or Documents Committee. The attorney needs sufficient feedback in order to customize the new documents to the needs of the community.
- Attorney prepares first draft of new documents, and also a memo to the owners explaining how the new documents differ from the current documents. This memo should be “plain English”, and is a critical tool in the process so that owners understand what they are voting on.
- Transparency. You should get feedback from the owners before the documents are officially mailed out with a proxy for a vote. You can do this one of two ways. First, you could email the document drafts and my memo to the owners and ask them to send feedback/comments to a Board representative within 30 days of receipt. Or, you could schedule a “town hall” meeting when most of the owners are around. The documents would of course be available to the owners in advance of the town hall (probably by email or posting on a website). Or, you could do both steps discussed above. It really depends on how much feedback you want and how you want to get it.
- Finalize documents. Based on feedback received from owners, we schedule a final internal meeting to discuss any final tweaks or re-drafting. We will never make everyone happy, but the goal is to create a final work product that is acceptable to enough owners so that we ensure a successful vote.
- Schedule special meeting for vote on documents. The meeting would need to take place at least 14 days from the date of the mailing. The mailing would include a meeting notice/agenda, proxy, document drafts and a memo explaining the documents and the process. You could also have this as an agenda item at your annual meeting, depending on when that is scheduled.