Some boards will make their meetings open to observers. As indicated above, there are some items that should not be disclosed and discussed in front of the general ownership. “In camera meetings” are necessary at times and if used properly and not used excessively they are important and useful. An “in camera meeting” means a private or closed meeting of the board; this means that only the board members and if the specific circumstances dictate, others required for the discussion attend the meeting. Some of the usual “in camera” matters are issues such as internal problems and factions, discussion on legal advice or potential litigation, communication with individual owners that may be sensitive in content.
“In camera meetings” are often misused by boards and therefore lead to misunderstandings and mistrust among condominium owners. It is suggested that boards respect condominium owners’ concerns about the corporation’s affairs and try to maintain transparency and an open policy with respect to all matters that they can and that the owners respect and trust the board, their duties, responsibility and obligations that they have entrusted in them by voting them to be their board members to carry out the corporate affairs.
“In camera” meeting minutes are not to be accessed or disclosed to general membership and are usually “in camera” because of the liability and privacy issues to be discussed. Any record of an in camera meeting should be by a separate document maintained for board purposes and not disclosed to general membership. Often in camera meetings are meant for open discussion on how to handle a particular issue without need of minutes or recording of any motion.
If you have further questions about meetings and best practices we suggest that you discuss same with your property manager and/or lawyer.