Maine Alliance for Road Associations
Personal attacks and meeting disruption has been a plague on Local School Boards and Local town meetings. Unfortunately, it has come to our board and will probably spill over into our annual meetings.
As president I can set the working the environments of all the meetings stating that personal attacks and accusations will not be tolerated. And that the Goal of the meeting is to act in the best interest of the entire organization not to represent personal interests or a small fraction of the organization.
It gets tricky with conflicts of interest as everyone has a unique situation that will be affected by decisions especially assessments.
Has anyone come up with a code of conduct for board members and/or annual meeting participation.
This is a very important topic, thank you for bringing it up. My biggest concern is that it's really hard to be neighbors and conduct business too. I get these ridiculous stories, of the "know it all" when just because they've live over 100 years in the neighborhood they can think they can break the law.
Our first approach is how well is the meetings organized. Is there an agenda, do you have face to face meetings? We do. When a new topic not on the agenda comes up, a motion is called that it be moved to new business, usually at the end of meetings when people want to leave.
Next, if its directed at a person, we move into executive session, thus protecting the privacy of individuals. We definitely have an audit of the treasurer's report to prevent accusations that we are pocketing the money, which is usually the real issue - money. The worst situations are about boundary lines of private property and the right of way. So we solve it with a surveyor's report or go to court.
Next, we create policies on issues such as a tree/brush cutting rules (especially in shoreland zones), regulations on paying members to do work, send thank you cards to volunteers and of course the procedures for recording notice of claims, all of which are presented at annual meetings and voted upon.
Finally, when a topic is presented, we create an ad hoc committee to research and investigate it. Thereby, who ever is doing the complaining we assign them to do the work to research it.
We have also hired a parliamentarian who was fantastic at teaching us proper "DECORUM" and handling meetings efficiently, respectfully and democratically. Here is our contact for more information: https://www.cepconsultingllc.com/index.php/aboutcarlepease/
The Maine Alliance for Road Associations